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Posted: April 15, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon announcer headed overseas for remote races

INDIANAPOLIS (April 15, 2009) -- The announcer of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon will soon head overseas to become the first ever host of a remote Mini-Marathon. Veteran race announcer and two-time Olympic coach, Rob Powers will be in Kuwait on Monday, April 27 to provide support for the remote version of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Powers is a former member of the United States Army and Air Force and currently resides in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After Kuwait, Powers will return to Indianapolis on May 2 when 35,000 runners and walkers take to the streets for the 33rd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. On that same day the 500 Festival will also hold a remote version of the Mini-Marathon in Afghanistan and Baghdad. Marathonguide.com, one of the country's most popular running websites, is sponsoring Powers trip to Kuwait.

"As the voice of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon I'm honored beyond words to be able to not only voice this remote race, but to come back to Indy and share with our live audience and WISH-TV viewers the incredible accomplishments that our troops are achieving on a daily basis,' said Rob Powers, OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon announcer. "Over the past 22 years I've had the honor of emceeing over 700 races, and none of those starting line experiences from the past will come even close to the experience of saying go to the Indiana National Guardsmen and other service members who toe the starting line in Kuwait."

The remote Mini-Marathon is designed for troops who would like to participate but are unable, due to their tour of duty overseas. In 2004, the 500 Festival responded to a request from the Indiana National Guard's 38th Infantry Division to stage a remote Mini-Marathon in Bosnia. The race was successful with more than 500 participants who received everything from finisher's medals to new socks for the race, courtesy of Mini-Marathon sponsors. In 2005 the 500 Festival again staged a remote Mini-Marathon in Afghanistan under the auspices of the 76th Brigade Combat Team. In 2007, the Indiana National Guard's 38th Division Support Command participated in Baghdad. Last year over 800 soldiers from the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed at LSA Anaconda/Balad Air Force Base took part in a remote version of the Mini-Marathon.

Troops participating in the remote version of the Mini-Marathon will have many of the same amenities as participants in Indianapolis on May 2 will have. Entries for the participants are being provided courtesy of 500 Festival Mini-Marathon sponsors including OneAmerica, Finish Line, Marsh, St. Francis and Subway. The 500 Festival is also providing a Mini-Marathon kit which will include an official start line banner, finishers medals, Gatorade, Mini-Marathon participant t-shirts and goodie bags courtesy of Mini-Marathon sponsors.

Additional information concerning the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon can be found by going to 500Festival.com.

The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce events and programs that celebrate the success of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Indiana and their guests. These events and programs, produced largely by volunteers, enhance the image of our city and state by showcasing our cultural, educational and social benefits to the world.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 52 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.

Last year, over 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.


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