The air was warm, with a slight breeze blowing through downtown Indianapolis. Despite the cold that come in the evenings this fall, October 22 held the heat for the final run in the RUN(317) series this year. Fountain Square filled with those eager to get a workout, to grab a few beers at the finish line, or to help a good local cause.
RUN(317) partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful this October to raise money and awareness about maintaining the city as a clean, and beautiful space. They were also happy to join together with the community and celebrate the city.
“Our mission is to help people, and [to help] nature thrive. Whether that’s planting trees, or picking up litter,” Ashlee Fujawa, a representative from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, said.
“We’re just here to make Indy clean and green.”
KIB offers the opportunity to not only be introduced to their organization, but the ability to volunteer to work with them in the future.
This year is the second year that RUN(317) took place, and has grown since the first race last year.
“Last year we had just over a thousand participants, and already we’ve had 1,500 sign up and we anticipate another three to five,” Fujawa said.
Running 3.17 miles in honor of the Indianapolis area code in the Fountain Square area, participants who are 21 and older received two pints of beer at the end of the race, and other merchandise tagged with RUN(317). There were registration fees, but most participants were happy to know that part of that money goes to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, or any of the other three sponsors this year.
“Whenever anyone signs up to participate in one of these runs they’re actually helping fund a green space or a tree planting project in their city,” Fujawa said.
Each of the three races in the series has a different focus, and venue. They are unique to each other, and allow for a wide range of charities to be benefited.
The first, on June 18, in Broad Ripple celebrated that area and School on Wheels, a charity geared at helping teach elementary school students who are affected by homelessness.
The second, on September 3, celebrated Mass Ave and the Humane Society of Indianapolis which is an organization that helps and rescues animals in need.
The series ended October 22 with KIB appropriately beginning and ending right in front of it, in the heart of Fountain Square.
“You get some nice beverages...there’s food trucks, there’s music. It’s just a great time to [hang out] with people, and it’s really beautiful at that time,” Fujawa added. She said it was a good warm up for anyone who took running seriously, and wanted to participate in bigger events later in the year. It’s fun, but can also be taken seriously.
There are a lot of reasons why Indianapolis residents participate in RUN(317), but no matter what they are it is a great event to bring the city together, and celebrate making it even better.