Saturday started early and promised to be a hectic day. After 7 ½ hours of great sleep in the “man cave”, Mindy dropped me off at the Megabus stop in Chicago for my 7am departure. Bundled up, I grabbed a top deck seat that allowed me to sprawl out a bit. I was able to stretch out my hamstrings, a move that I have coined the “Mega Hammy Stretch.”
I arrived about 25 minutes early in Indianapolis and headed to Starbucks to get a little caffeine and breakfast. I quickly realized that today’s run would be windy one. I think this mural captured the situation quite nicely.
After fueling up, I headed west to meet my running buddy (Lisa Fedler Swiontek) at the Indiana State Capitol. We bundled up to bear the wind and took off for our run. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Sigma Kappa Foundation in Indy. Prior to starting, I was able to thank Michael Hyatt at the Capitol building. What a great structure. Mike is a Province President for Phi Delta Theta.
From the capitol, we headed north to visit the home of U.S. President, Benjamin Harrison. Before we reached the Harrison House, we came across this cool mural. Here, I was able to thank Jeremy Sale again.
We reached the Benjamin Harrison house and I was able to thank Dallas Short, a fellow Phi Delt from the University of Miami. Benjamin Harrison was a member of Phi Delta Theta and former chapter president at our Ohio Alpha Chapter at Miami University. The current chapter president at Ohio Alpha is Benjamin Harrison’s great-great-great-great grandson. I think this is pretty awesome.
We headed back south towards downtown. Every time I visit Indy, I’m always impressed by its architecture. There are so many great buildings in Indy.
Speaking of monuments, Lisa and I met up with Andy Huston at Monument Circle. Monument Circle sits in the heart of downtown and is one of the coolest central landmarks I’ve come across in a city. We passed on climbing the stairs to the top for obvious reasons. Andy works for the North-American Interfraternity Conference in Indy, and we’ve become friends through our mutual love for social media and the power of it. At Monument Circle, I was able to thank the Mores family. Marc, Jennifer, Ashley and Stephanie are awesome friends who live in Denver. Marc is an Iowa State Phi Delt from Harlan and was my first boss out of college. His better half, Jennifer is one awesome woman. Ashley was the flower girl in our wedding and Stephanie is the funniest little girl I know.
From Monument Circle, we headed back to a mural that I spotted when I departed the Megabus that morning. I thought it was only fitting to thank Lisa Fedler Swiontek in front of a mural full of runners.
From here, we headed to the spot of the Super Bowl, Lucas Oil Field. What a place. The stadium is HUGE and I was pleased to see that my doppleganger’s (Peyton Manning) banner still hangs proudly from its walls. Speaking of Peyton Manning, I was able to thank Sparky Rearson in true Peyton fashion by mimicking Peyton’s famous “shut up fans, I can’t hear anything calm the crown motion.” My form was a little off, but you get the picture. Sparky is the quintessential Southern gentleman and has had a positive effect on the lives of many Phi Delts You may have seen him in this ESPN commercial or briefly in the movie The Help.
From Lucas Field, we headed towards the NCAA headquarters. En route, we came across my favorite Indy statue. Here, I was able to thank my pal Jon Collier. Jon and I worked together at Phi Delt and he is currently working to obtain his Masters of Education at Bowling Green State University. He and his fiancée Ellen are tying the knot this summer in Oxford where they met.
We took off and made it to the headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. All sports fans should place this location on their bucket list. Very cool museum and the grounds are beautiful. Here, I was able to thank Andy.
We finished up our run alongside Indy’s canal. The canal is awesome and so well kept, streaming through Indianapolis. A perfect place for running.
Another thing I realized during the run was how well Indianapolis recognizes our veterans. The city has many monuments that celebrate the lives of those who have fought for our freedom. Speaking of freedom, we found this newly erected monument to remember September 11, 2001.
We made it back to Lisa’s car where I picked up my stuff. Lisa is the lucky Green Bay Packer fan in Indy who was able to grab this license plate. Her marathon sticker is pretty sweet too!
Lisa surprised me with a small care package for my trip to Cincinnati. So cool.
Andy and I said goodbye to Lisa and we headed to have a delicious brunch. After brunch, we walked back to Andy’s car, ran into Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid (The NFL Combine was going on) and then headed to the local YMCA so I could shower up for my trip to Cincy. A big thanks to Andy for carting me around a bit. I made it back to the bus stop and jumped on my bus with 5 minutes to spare. Off to my second homeland, the great city of Zinzinnati, Ohio.