Cheer zones introduced for Carmel Marathon


Participants in this year’s Carmel Marathon might pass by some interesting spectators for the fifth anniversary: Zombies, movie characters, cheerleaders and toga wearers rooting them on in several neighborhoods.

If you don’t want to run in the April 18 race but want to be involved in some way, 2015 will be the first year for neighborhood-themed cheer zones throughout the 26-mile course.



“We’re excited about it because it’s the first time we’ve ever engaged the community in this fashion,” Race Director Todd Oliver said. “This is a way they can play a specific role in our event. We’re counting on our neighbors to go through their closets, have some fun and cheer on our runners.

There will be ten neighborhoods participating at certain times with designated costumes, such as 80’s clothes or Kentucky Derby attire. But if you have a great costume, you can travel to any neighborhood, even if you don’t live there, to cheer on the runners as they sprint past.

In addition, Oliver said this year will introduce “big head miles” which will be similar to the big head signs that college basketball fans wave when players attempt free throws. There will be 26 signs for each of the 26 miles and each big head will match up to the 26 letters of the alphabet.

“Hopefully it creates a letter fun for the runners and they try to figure out who’s going to represent the next letter,” he said. “And maybe we quiz them afterwards and give out some prizes.”

Not only will those costume-clad cheerleaders provide extra motivation when a runner is struggling to find the energy for that next mile, but a good showing of spectators actually helps boost the race’s reputation and standing.

“The only thing that our event has been lacking compared to other big events is number of cheerleaders and people watching,” he said.

Neighborhood Themes

Providence at Old Meridian: Kentucky Derby, 8:25 a.m. to 12:24 p.m.

One One Six Apartments: Toga Party, 9:34 a.m. to 1:44 p.m.

Carmel Woods Apartments: Zombies, 8:15 a.m. to 11:52 a.m.

Foster Estates: Carmel Pride, 8:10 a.m. to 11:36 a.m.

Cool Creek North: 50’s and 60’s, 8 a.m. to 11:04 a.m.

Brookshire Village: Red, White and Blue, 7:46 a.m. to 8:24 a.m.

Mohawk Crossing: Movie Characters, 7:55 a.m. to 10:48 a.m.

Cherry Creek Estates: Margaritaville, 8:24 a.m. to 10:16 a.m.

Settlers Ridge & Prairie View: Awesome 80’s, 8:13 a.m. to 10 a.m.