Posts Tagged Indianapolis


Shoe Size?  Running shoes – 9; non-running shoes – 7.5

Favorite post run food?  Coffee since it’s usually early in the morning!

Why do you run?  I love the challenge and the “me” time to clear my mind, and I love my friendships that have developed from running.  My closest friends started out as running partners before we really knew one another.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done?  Zero marathons; 6 half marathons, lots of 5Ks

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  Nashville Half Marathon

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?  Completing my first full marathon this year, along with getting married and turning 30!

Favorite music?  Anything with lyrics, I like it all!

Favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere by water- I love the beach, northern Michigan, my parents’ lake house!

Family?  Getting married in April- so that will make a husband, Peter!  I have one sister who is marries with 2 kids.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it?  My friend was the sales assistant for the JW Marriott and did the launch event for BoMF Indianapolis.  She emailed our friends trying to raise money for BoMF and as soon as I read about it, I knew I wanted to get involved.

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far?  I really enjoyed the 42K relay last October, and I have a particularly fond memory of one of the resident members laying out his plan on how he was going to better his situation during one of our Saturday morning training runs.

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  You don’t have to be a runner to join!  But it’s difficult not to be motivated when you’re surrounded by a group of runners.  It’s a great way to meet all different types of people and help a great cause while you’re doing it.



Erika and Joe!

Shoe Size? 9

Favorite post run food? I would have to say pizza.

Why do you run? I love how running makes me feel happy.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I just completed my 10th marathon in November!

Favorite race you’ve ever done? My favorite race is Tecumseh Trail Marathon because it was my first full marathon, plus I’m a big fan of trail running!

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? I would like to someday finish a half Ironman distance triathlon.

Favorite music? Christian and Pop/Rock.

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere warm and near the ocean!

Family? I have one younger brother who runs the Indy Mini with me every year along with our mom. My dad isn’t a runner, but enjoys walking his dog.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it? I heard about BoMF from a friend at church who is a non-resident runner, Andy Chandler. Andy mentioned BoMF several times and I finally went to a meeting to see what it was all about. BoMF has shown me how the power of community can help us become better people. Alone, we’d probably not be exercising outside in the early hours of the morning or building these friendships. However, together, we are able to become healthier physically, as well as emotionally. I stick with it because I am always in a better mood after running with BoMF!

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far? I remember one morning last spring we were running downtown from Warman and saw a mouse! I don’t want to name any names, but the little mouse really frightened one resident!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF? I think that the most important thing to remember is always give your best. This is easier said than done, but I know that most of us are stronger than we think!


Circle up with Mike, Erika, Barb, and Joe on a freezing cold race day!

Running Shoe Size:10

Joe, Tom and Brian before the BoMF 42K Relay.

Home Town/Family: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two sisters, one brother

Fave Athletes/Coaches: Tim Duncan, (center San Antonio Spurs), Tom Brady (QB New England Patriots), Bobby Knight (former IU basketball coach)

Fave Music: Easy Listening

Fave Post Race Food: Fruit

Fave Food: Baked Chicken

In what branch did you serve? Navy, four years as a machinist

Most memorable BoMF memory? Climbing what seemed like mountains in the Planet Adventure trail run. Leon and I were jumping logs and encouraging a group of female runners and they were doing the same to us.

Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  To be part of a group and be held accountable. It makes you get up in the morning and run. I like the races, the individual accomplishments and cheering each other on.

What difference has BoMF made in your life? I’m more physically fit and mentally tough.

What’s most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? Right now it’s getting a job.

What races have you run in with BoMF? Which one was your fave? Outrun the Sun, Joseph Maley Run, Drumstick Dash, Planet Adventure Trail Run, Trinity Trot and the BoMF 42K Relay. I’d say the 42K Relay and the Planet Adventure Trail Run were my favorites.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to watch movies, all kinds like action, tech movies and even love stories.  It takes a really funny movie to make me laugh though. I also like to read. Dr. William Glasser is one of my favorite authors.

Joe’s BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). I’d like to find consistent employment and complete the RN program that I will start in April. It should take about a year. Eventually I’d like to return to Milwaukee to be closer to my parents and siblings.

We give a runner’s salute to Joe
for his commitment to the Warman Warriors
Back on My Feet Team, his kind eyes and million dollar smile!

Joe finishes strong with his BoMF 42K Relay Team of Tom, Leon and Emily

Crossing the finish line at the Planet Adventure Trail Run

Taking it easy before Outrun the Sun


Karen and Jay at the BoMF Christmas Party!

Shoe Size? 10 Narrow

Favorite post run food? Chocolate Milk!!!

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? 5 half marathons in 2011

Favorite race you’ve ever done? Dances with Dirt – A relay race through the hills, trails, and streams of Brown County.  Every leg is different – and each person runs three segments.  The total race is 100K (62 miles) so each person runs close to a half marathon distance.  Bring a change of shoes and clothes for each leg – because you will be wet and muddy!  And bring a sense of humor – there are costumes, themes, music along the way and a pig roast at the end.

Favorite music? Jam bands – some old (Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic) and some newer (Dave Matthews, Umphrey’s Mcgee)

Favorite athlete/team/sport? IU Basketball – Go Hoosiers!

Favorite vacation spot? Tough call, because I love to travel and try new places.  But, my favorite vacation was probably when we went to the Grand Canyon.  We went on a week long rafting trip from Marble Canyon to the Grand Canyon National Park and hiked out the Bright Angel trail.  We are part of a group of about 25 people.  We did many side hikes along the way and camped out under the stars every night.  The best part was 7 days with my family (including two teenage boys) with no electronics – no email or work disruptions for me, and no texting or electronic gaming for my boys!.

Tell us about your family? Married with two young adult boys (Patrick, 20 and Michael, 17) and a Golden Retriever (Sadie).  My mom, sister, 2 nieces and 2 nephews live in town, and my brother and his family are in Trujillo, Peru.  I also have more cousins around the world than you can count!

What is your most memorable BoMF memory? Running the Women’s Half.  BoMF had a water station set up in a spot where we were able to see the guys on the way out and on the way back, so it was a great support on a hot, steamy day.  The best memory, though was coming back to run with the group on Monday morning and being told by one of the BoMF runners, “yeah, you all looked good going out, but you girls weren’t looking so pretty on the way back!”  Truer words were never spoken! : )

How did you hear about BoMF?  Why did you stick with it?  What has BoMF meant to you?   I decided to start running with BoMF after seeing the group at the Joseph Maley run at Eagle Creek.  I could tell they were a close group, and I wanted to learn more and to be part of the fun.  I have loved getting to know the many runners in the group;  seeing the newer runners achieve running goals they may have never considered before – finishing their first 5K, half marathon or full marathon; while at the same time achieving their personal goals of new jobs, new housing.  I now look forward to my morning runs with BoMF.  Not only do I get my work out done by 6:30 am, but I get to start my day with good conversation, the support of the group, and an abundance of hugs!  What a great way to start the day!


Branch of military: Army

Shoe Size: 10.5

Longest race with BoMF: Drumstick Dash (4.6 miles)

Favorite food before/after race: I LOVE all food minus tomatoes

Favorite Movie: Tie between Brian’s Song and Billie Jack

Favorite kind of music: all kinds, favorite song is Kid Rock’s Born Free

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite place to visit: Hawaii, Italy or France

Life dream: Go to golf school

What do you like about BoMF: I hated running when I got out of the Army because it was my job. Now I do it for fun and enjoy it. It helps me set goals and every run I finish is achieving a goal. I battle addiction and this helps me get through it and I find it therapeutic. I feel better, set goals, achieve them and set larger goals.

 Jay has hit the ground running, literally. Jay quickly took to jogging and now has been running with our fast pace run group. He’s excited seeing his miles accumulate quickly in the running group and has inspired other guys to push themselves harder.



Damon with his stocking that the Manchester Non-Residential teammates put together for the Residential teammates!

Branch of military: Army

Family: Mother, 2 brothers, 1 sister, 2 daughters (28 & 26) and one son (24)

Shoe size: 12

Hometown: Indianapolis

Favorite pre-race food: he doesn’t eat despite all the good advice given to him :-)

Favorite post-race food: bananas and water

Favorite music: Pop – he loves Michael Jackson – no wonder why he was seriously shaking a tail feather at the Drumstick Dash!

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite movie: Scarface

Place he wants to visit: Africa

Goals: get married again, be a good husband, father, grandfather and product member of society

What do you like about BoMF: It’s the true meaning of team work. It’s a relationship with no conditions and provides me with a sense of health. I never thought I could run, but I realize I can!

Damon has been on our injured list for quite some time, but Damon is out with us to open and close the morning with our prayer circle and he does it with a great attitude. He is the first to volunteer for something when we need help and his smile and laugh is always a great start to any one’s morning!

Damon with his Back on My Feet 42K Relay teammates! Team “I’d rather be eating”

There’s always a reason to celebrate when one of our teammates scores a job, however recently we were kicking up our heels when we learned that one of our long-time team members was awarded Associate of the Month by the Sheraton Indianapolis City Center Hotel.

Having been on the job for a little over four months, Jeffrey Powell was recognized for his performance, productivity and dedication to the property and the guests.  “Being a maintenance engineer, you never know what you’re going to be called to fix or build. It could be anything from a leak to drywall repair. Sometimes it’s as easy as plugging the lamp in for the guest.  Whatever it is, I respond as soon as I get the call. A lot of times I work ahead to keep on top of possible problems that might occur”, said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey, who previously served in the United States Navy, has been an active team member with the BoMF Indy Warman Warriors team.  Throughout his 15 months with the team, he has maintained 100% attendance and continues to humor our early morning runs with his “Jeffreyisms” that include words of wisdom appearing to be more of a cross between an Aesop Fable and witty sarcasm. Being one to “call it like he sees it” he is quick to recognize the BoMF volunteers as the  most upbeat and dedicated folks he’s ever known and explains, “Everyday the volunteers come down here and they’re always happy, even early in the morning. They never complain about the gas or the time. They are real leaders who lead by example.  I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without Back on My Feet and the volunteers.”

As the Warman Warriors’ featured Runner in the Month last January, Jeffrey cited his reason for joining “Happy Feet” as he refers to it, was to obtain a job. His goal was to eventually move out of transitional housing and be a home owner again. Obtaining a job through one of Back on My Feet’s job partners has moved Jeffrey one step closer to his goal.

Jeffrey and volunteer Emily Hickman finish the Hoosier Hoops 5K together.

Indy BoMF Program Director Brian Meyer, Jeffery and volunteers celebrate the accomplishments of helping Hoosier Hearts and Hands get closer to their goal of renovating homes in the Haughville community.

Circling up at the end of a run with the Serenity Prayer.

Collin with Manchester Residential Member Ed at the Back on My Feet 42K Relay. They have logged many miles together!

Shoe Size?  10

Favorite post run food? It’s a toss-up between donuts and my favorite, go-to sandwich: toast with peanut butter, sometimes with a little Nutella, and bananas

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I’ve run three marathons, ten half-marathons, and a handful of 5- and 10-k races.

Favorite race you’ve ever done? It’s a three-way tie between the marathons I’ve run.  My first was the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon.  It’s a great race with a beautiful course.  Like many runners’ first marathon, it’s very memorable.  The second was the 2011 Carmel Marathon.  It was fun to be a part of the inaugural race.  Much to my surprise, I placed 9th and qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon, my 3rd and most recent marathon. 

Favorite music? Indie (Alternative, Rock, Folk)

Favorite athlete/team/sport?  My favorite sport?  Football…err…what we call “soccer” here.  I played growing-up and I’ve always loved the sport.  I’m a big fan of Manchester United, an English football club.  I do love the Colts, though; gotta support the hometown team!  My favorite athlete is ultra-runner Dean Karnazes.  I’ve read his books and even had the chance to run with him when he came through Indiana in April 2011 during his “Run Across America.”  I question whether or not he’s a human with the mileage he’s able to endure (ha), but he’s an inspiration to me and many other runners.      

Favorite vacation spot?   Siesta Key, FL.  My family’s gone there for years.  It’s a great location and we have so many great memories there.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?  I plan to run thirty miles on my 30th birthday this coming May.  If all goes well, I’ll sign-up for an ultra-marathon, more than likely a 35-miler. 

Why do you run?  Tough question!  My dad ran when I was younger, so I guess you can say it’s in my genes to be a runner.  When I was a Senior in college, though, one of my best friends who happened to be an amazing Cross Country and Track runner, challenged me to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.  I took him up on the challenge, even though the race was on graduation day.  Since that day, it’s been a part of my life.  Also, when I was 12-years old, I was in a pretty serious “bicycle vs. car” accident, I being on the bicycle.  It was a serious accident, one that threatened my future physical abilities.  The fact that I came very close to losing the ability to walk, let alone run, is cause for me to give thanks for the ability to run and not take each mile for granted.

Tell us about your family?  My wife, Anna, and I have been married for nearly six and a half years.  We actually met in pre-school; corny story, right?  We grew-up knowing one another and reconnected in college.  She’s awesome in every way and is very supportive of my running endeavors, which is a huge blessing.  Not everyone can understand and/or appreciate when you say “Hey, I’m going to be gone for the next 2-3 hours on a training run. I hope you don’t mind!”  We don’t have any kids, yet, but we do have a dog, Basher, who’s a Miniature Schnauzer.

What is your day job?  I work for ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based SaaS (Software as a Service) company on the Existing Business Sales team.  We work with clients of all sizes in their marketing efforts through channels like Email, Mobile, Social, and the Web.  It’s a great company and I am extremely thankful to be part of the ExactTarget team.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?  It’s tough to pick just one memory as there have been many memorable moments.  My first run with BoMF, May 9, 2012, is pretty special, though.  As anyone entering a new community or team, there’s always a bit of hesitation and anxiety; it’s almost inevitable that you experience some sort of “me and them” type of feeling.  The special, unique thing about BoMF is that there is no “me and them.”  Sure, there are residents and non-residents.  When we gather to run, though, we’re all runners.  Honestly, it took me two weeks to figure out that one of the guys I was running with was a resident; I had no idea!  That’s a testament to the community BoMF creates.           

How did you hear about BoMF?  I heard about BoMF through Social Media.  It was early 2011 when I began seeing tweets about BoMF-Indy.  I began to research and was really intrigued with the organization.  At the time I was living in Fishers and working in Anderson, so making it downtown for the 5:45 AM runs was a logistical challenge.  I had committed in my mind, though, that when I began working downtown I would begin running with BoMF.

Why did you stick with it?  I knew before my first run with BoMF that it was something I wanted to be a part of, so it wasn’t and isn’t a hard thing to commit to.  Sure, the 4:30 AM alarm can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but I love running – the confidence it builds, community it creates, the health benefits, etc.  I know not everyone loves running, even those that get involved with BoMF, at least initially.  I’m not sure if it’s a “gift,” but I definitely enjoy it and if I can use running to help build community with others, I’m happy and grateful to do it.

What has BoMF meant to you? Like any endeavor in life when you set out to help someone else, you end-up learning, growing, and receiving more than you thought possible.  BoMF has done just that for me.  When I began with BoMF, I thought I’d be using my love and enjoyment of running to help someone else.  While that may be true, I’ve been given much more than I could have imagined.  My time with BoMF has been humbling and enriching.  There’s nothing like a bunch of sweaty runners, standing in a circle, reciting the Serenity Prayer to remind us that we need one another in life.  Regardless of age or where our lives have taken us, we can improve not just in running, but in many aspects of life.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career?  The obstacles and life challenges that I’ve seen BoMF residents overcome (or are currently overcoming) are constant reminders that I can overcome the challenges in my life.  Whether that be work-related or not, I’m reminded of the inner strength that I believe lies within all of us.  Work presents challenges to all, but often those challenges pale in comparison to some of the “life” challenges that many deal with.  I know that with perseverance and commitment, like I’ve seen with BoMF, the goals in my life can be achieved.

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?   Just Do It! (credit to Nike for that one).  If you have the slightest inclination or curiosity about BoMF, attend one of the interest meetings.  Even if you’re not a runner, we have groups that walk.  And if you’re not a walker, there are other ways to volunteer. 

Anything else you want to share with readers?  Obviously, you’ve made it this far in this Q&A and know that I love running.  I’m an advocate for BoMF, but I also realize running may not be everyone’s “thing.”  If you know what your “thing” is, though, find a way to share it with others.  Whatever it is, be it running, mentoring, or something else, it’s a gift and talent you’ve been given.  Share that with others and in the process of sharing that gift, your life will be blessed as well.

Running Shoe Size:14

Larry and volunteer Erika prepare to run the Pogue’s Run Race

Home Town/Family: Meridian, Mississippi, widower, 2 daughters

Fave Athletes: David Robinson, Roger Staubach

Fave Music:  Gospel, Old School R & B

Fave Food: Collard Greens, Turnip Greens and Mustard Greens

Fave Pro Teams: Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds

Fave Quote: WWI Sergeant Dan Daly leading the 5th Marines’ attack into Belleau  Woods on June 6, 1918 near Lucy-`le-Bocage said, “Come on, Marines, do ya’ll want to live forever?” Daly is one of only two Marines to ever receive two Congressional Medals of Honor, and to this day remains one of the most legendary figures in American military history

In what branch did you serve? United States Marine Corps, Second Recon, 16 years, United States Army, Tank Commander and Parris Island Drill Instructor, 3.5 years

Countries in which Larry served: Japan, Phillipines, Martinique, US Virgin Islands, US Puerto Rico, Australia, Panama, England, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Madagascar, Korea

Most memorable BoMF memory? I would say my first day with the group. Everyone was so accepting.

Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  When I first got to HVAF everyone told me there was a group that did PT early morning three times a week. I wanted the sense of camaraderie and belonging.

What difference has BoMF made in your life? Health-wise it’s made a difference. I’ve had two heart attacks and now I’m walking and running. Mentally I feel better because I belong to an organization with good people. The biggest change is that I know no matter how far down you go, there’s always a way to come up.

What’s most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? Just dealing with everything all at once. I picked myself up and I’m dealing with health issues, transportation issues and living arrangements. I just gotta take it one step at a time.

What races have you run in with BoMF? Which one was your fave? My favorite was the trail run out at Eagle Creek. I’ve also run Pogues Run, Outrun the Sun, Joseph Maley, the Trinity Trot, and the Geist Run Around the Reservoir.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to cook! My favorite meal to prepare would have to be baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, homemade dressing, greens and peach cobbler. Every time I cook I receive several marriage proposals!

Larry’s  BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) Overcome my health issues and then get financially secure. Finally I’d like to “give back.”

We give a runner’s salute to Larry for his Marine-powered, generous hugs,
his gratitude for the simple pleasures in life and the way he leads
our men in our BoMF cheer at the end of practice.

Larry and the other Warman Warriors just before the Joseph Maley Run.


Crossing the finish line at the Planet Adventure Trail Race.


Warman’s Garden Brigade with Larry as our fearless leader. It was challenging this year with such a dry summer but we “got ‘er done!”


Kicking off Pogue’s Run with his teammates, Larry goes for a nice steady pace.


Time to circle up before Outrun the Sun.


Larry pictured here with his nephew who is currently serving active duty.


Larry and his fellow Warman Warriors bring it in to the finish line at the Trinity Trot.

Melissa and Ed before 26.2!

Together they trained, and together they ran, 26.2 miles.


The company I work for, White Lodging, has been a huge supporter of BoMF for awhile now in various states. I always thought BoMF sounded like a very inspiring and unique organization so I first became a FundRacer for the Chicago Marathon in 2011. When my work schedule became a bit more normal I soon found out about the Indianapolis chapter and the opening of a new house, Manchester, last February. I started running M,W,F and soon started Saturday runs. It was so neat to see the guys achieve their first miles without stopping, their first 5k’s then half marathons and now to see Ed complete a full marathon brought such pride to my heart.

When I started volunteering with BoMF I never imagined how emotional I would become over every up and down the team went through. We truly are a team. We get up at least 3 days a week before the sun rises, sometimes sick, sometimes grouchy, no matter what we get out there, hug one another, tighten up our shoe strings and pound the pavement. We have seen loss together and major achievements as well.

From day one I was running alongside Ed. He always wanted to push himself a little harder than that day’s workout called for. Ed knew he wanted to continue to increase his mileage and we all were there to support him. We started Saturday long runs, first just a few laps around the canal and then we soon realized we had run all over Indianapolis and had to start venturing up the White River Greenway and sometimes became a little lost. During the entire journey we shared such great stories, laughs and he had to put up with me whining at times as well, poor guy.

I was alongside Ed when he finished his first half marathon, Geist, up hills in the hot June temperatures, and was so proud for him that I knew if we put our mind to it we could achieve anything. Soon it was evident that Ed would attempt his first full marathon. As a team many of us made it our goal to get him across that finish line. Ed had the determination and willpower to get out there with us and do all the long runs it required and rarely if ever missed a weekday group run, his dedication made me want to work harder as well. I honestly would not have done a two man relay, 13.1 miles each, then 7 more miles on a cold Saturday morning, or have gone for the full 26.2 miles at the Monumental Marathon if it was not for Ed. I was so proud of how hard Ed was working that I could not let him down and back out. I quit my whining, tightened my laces tighter and ran next to him every step of the way.

No matter the distance we have had a blast. Whether it was dancing/running around the Geist reservoir, playing a marathon game of tag dressed as SMURF’s or chugging along like little choo choos in the Monumental Marathon, we have kept our spirits high and achieved all goals. I am proud to say I ran a 5hr 30min marathon with some of the most inspiring friends a person could ever have! Thank you BoMF!

Caitlin and Ed Post Race!


I have been a runner for a long time. Distance running is not new for me. In fact, marathons are not new for me, as I have completed seven of them in my lifetime. However, on the morning of November 3rd, as I was preparing to run 26.2 miles of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, I knew things were different. It was going to be an extra special day.

I had been eagerly anticipating this marathon in particular for a two reasons. To begin, I had set a personal goal to run five full marathons in 2012 in an effort to raise money for Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). This aspiration, as crazy as I came to realize it was, was important to me. I had determined that running marathons for WWP would be the perfect way for me to spend my year since my twin brother, Colin, was spending his year as an Army officer in Afghanistan. After all, running did help me manage the worry and anxiety I had about him being deployed.

In addition, one of Colin’s best friends, Dimitri del Castillo, had been killed while on a mission during their deployment. This was devastating for my brother; it was then that I truly understood what sacrifice our military members make for us. Afterward, Dimitri’s wife, Katie, began a running team that consisted of people from all over the country who participated in races to honor his memory. It was known as TEAM DEL and I was proud to be a part of it.

So it began; I had set out at the beginning of 2012 with the determination to run five marathons as a way to honor and thank those in the military who have fought for this great country. I had raised nearly $3500 for WWP and had written the names of all the donors on my TEAM DEL shirt, which I wore proudly for each marathon. My excitement was growing, as the Monumental Marathon was my final marathon of the year and I was energized to be so close to accomplishing this challenging goal.

The second reason for my enthusiasm on that cold November morning had to do with an amazing program called Back on My Feet (BoMF). Not only was I completing my last marathon of the year, but I planned to run every step of it with Ed, a resident member of BoMF who was completing his very first marathon at the age of 54. Ed had become a good friend to me the first day I joined BoMF and it did not take long for my love of running to rub off on him. I had challenged him to run a marathon within a few weeks of our friendship…and he accepted without hesitation. Ed’s commitment to this goal was motivating; it perfectly captures the living mission of BoMF.

Back on My Feet is an organization that has meant an enormous amount to me throughout this past year. During our team breakfast the day before the Monumental Marathon, I wrote a letter to everyone, residents and nonresidents alike, stating that they had become my family in Indianapolis – I think only those who spend the dark Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings running with us at 5:45am may understand this sense of family. I am truly honored to be a part of their team, as they are an inspiring group of people who fill my mornings with love and laughter.

After months of training, the day of the Monumental Marathon had finally arrived. It did not take me long to realize that I was running a different marathon than I ever had before. This time, the marathon was not about a personal achievement of being able to run for 26.2 miles, although I still find that impressive. It was about so much more and I was eager to get started. At 8:00am, Melissa, another amazing BoMF volunteer, Ed, and I took off to begin our journey. We had an unforgettable time together, each taking turns to keep a positive mood, as we were battling 40 degree temperatures, wind, sleet, hail, and rain.  After five and a half hours, the three of us crossed the finish line hand-in-hand. It is definitely a moment I will never forget.


“I know this sounds strange , but when I was able to cross the finish line with to of the people that stuck with me thru thick or thin,  It was like I was having an out of body experience.  I turn to them and said  ” Did we really just do this?  The whole world was right for a moment.  Thank You BoMF for the once in a lifetime experience.”

Ed raised funds for Back on My Feet through his Marathon training- you can still donate to his campaign!

Finishing 26.2!

And this is what Back on My Feet is truly about. Forming friendships, building community and helping individuals come to realize their full potential so that they are motivated and believe that they can succeed and be powerful, strong Members of our community.

Meet Manchester Residential Member Ishmil:

Ishmil before the Monumental Half Marathon!

Age: 40

Shoe Size: 11

Family: 2 daughters and a son

Hometown: Indianapolis

Branch of Military: Army and Navy – 8 years stationed in San Diego

Favorite place he visited with the Military: Japan

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Movie: Superman 2

Favorite Music: Gospel

Where Ishmil wants to visit before he dies: Paris France

Longest race with BOMF: Monumental Half Marathon

Favorite BOMF race – Carmel

Why do you like being involved with BOMF? “I like everything about it. I like meeting people and talking to volunteers. It motivates me to improve. I really like the running and social events”

Ishmil has been with Team Manchester since day one. At first he had a hard time getting up early in the morning, but in recent months Ishmil has really stepped up his commitment and involvement. We’re very proud of Ishmil for this.

Meet Manchester Non Residential Members: Michael and Michele Cooley:

Michele and Michael after the Monumental Marathon!

Shoe Size? Michele: 9, Michael: 11.5

Favorite post run food? No question – donuts!

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? Michele: 1 Marathon, 4 Half Marathons, 1 5K. Michael: 1 Marathon, 1 5K

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  We just finished the Monumental Full Marathon. Michael decided at the last minute to run it with me. We stayed together the entire race and crossed the finish line together.

Favorite music? Michele: Ben Folds is my favorite musician.  For running, anything with a good beat (like 90s rap).  Michael: Alt-Country/Folk

Favorite athlete/team/sport? Michele: While I am an IU grad, I am a huge fan of the Butler Bulldogs.  I’m a sucker for an underdog (and I love Blue).  Michael: Arsenal FC and the Chicago Cubs.

Favorite vacation spot?   San Francisco

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? We just ran our first marathon.

Why do you run? Michele: See answer to favorite post run food.  I started running to lose weight, and stuck with it because it helps to relieve stress and refocus.  Michael: It gives me energy and clears my head.

Tell us about your family? Michele: I grew up in Lafayette, and my parents are still there.  I have one younger brother.  He and his wife live in Las Vegas and are expecting twins.  Michael and I have two dogs, Pete and Maggie.  Michael: I am from Rush County, IN, and my parents and extended family are still there.  I have a younger sister who lives outside of Atlanta.

What is your day job?  We are both attorneys.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?  Our most memorable BoMF moment was watching Ed cross the finish line Saturday at the Monumental Marathon.  We have trained with him since June, and watching him cross with a smile on his face, hand in hand with Melissa and Caitlin after running in sleet and rain meant just as much to us as our own finish.

How did you hear about BoMF? Why did you stick with it? What has BoMF meant to you? Michele: I heard about BoMF shortly after the Indy chapter started.  I can’t remember if I learned about it through Blue Mile or the Indianapolis Downtown newsletter.  I thought it sounded like a great organization to get involved with, but honestly, the 5:45 am run time was intimidating.  I instead showed my support by running the inaugural BoMF 42K relay with a team of complete strangers, and then I was a FundRacer for the 2012 Mini Marathon.  After that, I decided it was time to become a non-res member, and Michael decided to join me.  We stick with it because we have gotten to know our team members, and we enjoy seeing their progress.  It’s easy to get up at 5 knowing that we are going to be greeted with hugs, smiles, and hellos when we get downtown.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career? We have met a lot of people through this organization, and you never know when one of those connections will lead to a new opportunity.

Advise for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  The experience is unforgettable.  Even if you aren’t a runner or a morning person, you will want to keep coming back week after week because of the relationships you will create with the team members.  Everyone is friendly and welcoming.  While team members have different backgrounds and experiences, everyone is instantly connected by the commitment to improve themselves.