BY PAUL BICKLEY
Having won the men’s division each of the past five years, Jesse Davis, who ran cross country and track at Bloomington High School South and qualified twice for the U.S. Olympic marathon team, will try to make it six wins in a row on April 8 when he competes in the Greene & Schultz Hoosier Half Marathon. “It’s my favorite course!” says Davis, 35.
The race starts and finishes at the Indiana University Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 E. 17th St. Along the way, runners pass by the downtown Square, run up Kirkwood and through parts of the IU campus, traverse some near-south neighborhoods, and pass by Bryan Park.
Samantha Ginther, 26, the women’s 2015 winner, says the course is one of her favorites as well. “It’s the perfect combination of scenery and challenge,” she says.
Bill Bartley, co-owner of INTIMECO Productions, the Indianapolis company that manages the race, says running in Bloomington is different than running in many other parts of the state. “Many courses are flat and fast,” Bartley says. “This one’s not easy. It’s hilly.”
In 2011, INTIMECO assumed ownership and management of what was then the IU Mini Marathon and renamed it the Hoosier Half Marathon. In 2015, Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers became the title sponsors. Attorneys Betsy K. Greene and Fred Schultz are both regular race participants.
According to Bartley, the race has grown over the past few years. In 2015, about 1,800 people participated; in 2016, around 2,300. This year, he anticipates 3,000 runners. All finishers receive medals, and the men’s and women’s winners each receive $500. Last year, the race managers started partnering with IU Dance Marathon, garnering many volunteers and a home for race proceeds — the Riley Children’s Foundation.
A shorter race, the IU Dance Marathon For the Kids 5K, begins at the same time as the half marathon, shares part of the course, and also starts and finishes at the alumni center.
Registration is open online through April 3 and by mail through April 1. For more information and a map of the course, visit hoosierhalf.com.