Guys. It’s my absolute favorite time of year. Can you hear it?
That would be the beautiful sound of 33 IndyCars zooming 220 mph around the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It’s the Month of May in Indianapolis. Go ahead and consider the next 30 days a holiday.
In college, I worked as an intern with the 500 Festival. I had always had a fascination with the famed oval in Speedway, but after that internship I became a full-on fan girl. Then, when I worked for an advertising & public relations agency after college, I had the pleasure to work with the Town of Speedway and their redevelopment commission. They were always my favorite client, mostly because of awesome experiences like this:
Basically what I’m saying is, if you have never been to the Indianapolis 500 do yourself a solid. Go. It’s magical.
May is about more than the race, though. Today, in honor of this wonderful month, I give you my top 5 stories from my time behind the scenes of the Month of May.
OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
This event could qualify as the worst day of my life. By worst, I mean most exhausting. Giving birth was easier.
The weekend of the Mini, I worked for 36 hours straight. On my feet, and performing manual labor, the entire time. As if I wasn’t dead enough by 5 p.m. on Saturday, I got to come back the next day (on a Sunday) and wash hundreds of Gatorade coolers. Intern life is not glamorous, people. But, who else can say they crossed the Mini finish line HOURS before the “winner”? Like, at 2 a.m.?
As the Public Relations Intern, I was tasked with getting the actual Mini winners to the appropriate media on race day. Then, I got to stand with a man who planned to propose to his girlfriend when she finished the race. Yes. I watched 35,000 people cross the finish line for 2 hours looking for woman I had never met. When we spotted her, I grabbed her from the crowd, asked if she would be willing to do an interview with Angela Buchman, and then the magic happened on live TV.
It was worth it.If you’re participating in the Mini tomorrow, be sure to go up to the 500 Festival staff and interns and thank them. I guarantee that by the morning of the race, they will have been at work and away from their families for DAYS.
I walked the Mini two years later, and I can honestly say my feet felt better after 13.1 miles than it did after this weekend.
I have a love affair with the Pagoda.
Throughout the Month of May, I met so many VIPs. IndyCar drivers, racing legends, celebrities… the list will go on. I learned all kinds of things.
When Derek Hough needs allergy medicine, he needs it STAT.
Helio Castroneves is completely human.
Mario Lopez is a diva.
Adam Vinatieri is the nicest football player around.
Milka Duno may not drive very fast, but she is one smart lady.
Both Gilles Marini and Josh Duhamel are as good looking in real life as they are in the movies.
Richard Petty is really hard to get close to.
While the 500 Festival Staff enjoyed the glamorous Snakepit Ball the night before the race, the interns were subjected to hosting a high school marching band party – luau themed, of course.
Yeah. It was as lame as it sounds.
Thank God for people watching, and college-age interns who aren’t afraid to embarrass themselves.
Indianapolis 500 = My Mecca
I’ve been to the Indianapolis 500 many times, but few times compare to 2009.
Race day was actually on my first wedding anniversary, which also conveniently happened to be graduation day for my sister and Courtny’s brother. Luckily, my bestie Lana served as my date.
We had amazing seats directly behind Helio’s pit, which was pretty awesome when he won the Indy 500. NBD.
Best internship ever.
What is your favorite Indianapolis 500 memory? And seriously, if you’ve never been, I would be happy to be your tour guide. 🙂
Also, after looking at these pictures from five years ago, please don’t ever let me cut my hair that short again.