BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – As teams of IU Bloomington students race the quarter-mile cinder track at Bill Armstrong Stadium on May 26 in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 race, everyone out of the track also has the opportunity to participate. This year, the IU Student Foundation, in partnership with Echelon Racing and The Media School at IU, will offer a virtual Little 500 race.
“We are thrilled to bring the tradition of Little 500 to a wider audience with this new virtual option,” said Andrea Balzano, Director of the IU Student Foundation. “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ride in Bloomington, now you can. It’s also a great option for our alumni to relive their Little 500 experience.”
The Virtual Little 500 Series will take place over two days with a 20-lap time trial at 10 a.m. on May 22, followed by women’s and men’s races on May 23. To participate in the virtual race, runners will need to register by 5 p.m. on May 20 and must have a bike; a smart trainer, a Bluetooth-enabled power meter, or a Bluetooth-enabled speed and cadence sensor; a mobile device; and a tablet or computer. Echelon Racing Promotions will provide additional guidelines for testing rider setup, workouts and event participation.
Registered runners can participate in optional training rides, which are 20 and 30 mile training routes. The optional 20-lap time trial will be 5 miles in total: 20 laps around a quarter-mile track. During the virtual race itself, runners will have a video game-like experience, with each runner having an avatar that will appear on screen and move the runner based on their performance in the race compared to other runners.
“Our virtual race will be a road race on a classic 45-mile loop around Bloomington through the Morgan-Monroe State Forest,” Balzano said. “Runners will be able to see the scenery of Southern Indiana and see all of the avatars of other runners moving along the road with them. All of our registered runners will be entered into a raffle, and we will choose two winners after the race who will each win an official Little 500 bike.”
Alongside professionals from Echelon Racing Promotions, students from The Media School will help make the virtual Little 500 race happen.
“The Media School has valued our partnership with the IU Student Foundation and the Little 500 over the past few years, and we are thrilled to participate in the virtual race,” said Galen Clavio, Sports Media Program Manager at Indiana University. Bloomington. . “As we have done with our traditional race coverage, our students will be involved in broadcasting the virtual race, as well as creating video packages and conducting interviews with the riders.”
In addition to their work on the virtual race, Media School students will continue to help produce the Little 500 race in person on May 26. The virtual race and the Little 500 in person will be streamed live online via broadcast.iu.edu.
About the IU Student Foundation
The Indiana University Student Foundation is the student programming arm of the Indiana University Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to raise funds for Indiana University and its students. The IU Student Foundation contributes to the fundraising efforts of the IU Foundation while cultivating participation in leadership development activities and programming among its undergraduate members. The mission of the IU Student Foundation is to develop lifelong commitment and support for Indiana University through student-led programs and leadership development opportunities that are educational, philanthropic, and fun.
About Echelon Racing Promotions
Echelon Racing Promotions is a division of the non-profit organization Project Echelon. Through physical activity and connection, they work with military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. The Echelon Racing League is the first of its kind and is in a league of its own. Serving as a channel to strengthen the cycling community as a whole, the league brings together virtual and real cyclists and racers to ride on real roads. Additionally, the league has been designed to enhance the reach, influence, impact and connectivity of riders, teams, race promoters and international governing bodies to grow the sport of cycling through an innovative model. , sustainable and scalable.