Todd Oliver, founder of the Carmel Marathon and the Carmel Road Racing Group, has signed a contract to manage the Indiana University Alumni Running Club. The IU Alumni Association met with Oliver, who serves on the board for the Central Indiana IU Alumni Association, to discuss ways to engage IU graduates and possibly encourage them to donate or join the alumni association.
The IU Alumni Running Club will create a community for Hoosier runners at certain events to meet before, during and after races, such as the Carmel Marathon, the 500 Festival Mini Marathon or the Monumental Marathon. Oliver said specific merchandise has been created for club members. Running club members are asked to send photos from running events when they are wearing IU Runs gear.
“This is a great way to connect alumni using a similar interest,” Oliver said. “It can help connect you to the university or make friends if you’re new to the area or maybe just find some fellow runners to motivate you to run more.”
Oliver said he’s set up some IU booths and tents at local running events, and he’s gotten considerable interest from attendees. He said people will stop by and say, “Hey, I went to IU. What’s this all about?” and then he has a chance to recruit them.
“It’s really like an IU tailgating event breaks out before or after these races,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Oliver said as a test he asked a voluntary question on the Carmel Marathon Weekend registration page about which university a participant attended, and 12 percent of the respondents, or 455 participants, said they graduated from IU. He said the Carmel Marathon had alumni from every Big Ten University at this year’s event.
The IU Alumni Running Club will stage social events called “IU Runs Tour Stops” at race events, such as the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, Carmel Marathon and the Bank of America Shamrock 8K in Chicago.
“We are very excited about the club that launched in October,” Oliver said. “We already have members from three states, including a 1963 grad, born in 1941, that still likes to run half marathons, 10K and 5K events.”
There’s a $50 membership fee to sign up, of which $15 goes to student scholarships. The fee includes an IU Alumni Running Club T-shirt, an IU Runs sticker, an IU Alumni Running Club sticker, a membership bracelet for entry at race events and access to the club’s website and invites to VIP events.
For more, visit iualumnirunningclub.com.