Participation Reflects Continued Organizational Growth and Highlights Indianapolis as a Top American Running City
INDIANAPOLIS, November 3, 2018 – The 11th annual CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K was held this morning in downtown Indianapolis. Ideal running conditions led to a phenomenal day that saw three major course records fall in the elite races.
CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Men’s Champion: Aaron Fletcher of Salt Lake City, UT in 2:17:23. Zach Beavin of Lexington, KY was second with a time of 2:18:26, in a race that saw the first five men run under the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon time standard of 2:19:00
“The race went okay – I missed the last three weeks of training because of a knee injury, so I was just hoping to run as fast as I could,” said Fletcher. “I got my Olympic trial qualifying time and the win, so I’m happy.”
Women’s Champion: Laurie Knowles of Atlanta, GA set a new course record in a winning time of 2:37:52. Sri Lankan National record holder Hiruni Wijayaratne was second in 2:38:34, tying the previous course record. A total of seven women ran under 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon qualifying time of 2:45:00.
“It was a great race – I was really pleased with it,” said Knowles. “It was perfect for me strategically and what I had hoped to do. It was a fabulous course, the bikers were helpful, the crowds were amazing, and it was beautiful – I loved it.”
CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon
Men’s Champion: Brogan Austin of Des Moines, Iowa, in a course record time of 1:02:39. Reed Fischer of Boulder, CO was runner-up and also ran under the time standard for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon in 1:02:57. Last year’s champion, Edwin Kibichiy, was third in 1:03:05. “Today felt great,” said Austin. “The weather was perfect and it’s a fast course, and we had great weather to work with. I felt really smooth and strong and excited for what’s to come.”
Women’s Champion: Allison Cleaver of Austin, TX qualified for her third Olympic Trials by winning the race in a time of 1:12:47. Molly Grabill of Boulder, CO was second in 1:13:34. “The race turned out really well,” said Cleaver. “Toward the end, I saw that I was at 1:12:11 with .1 to go and thought, ‘I just have to sprint.’ I saw the time and just kept running as hard as I could. It was very emotional and I’m so glad I did it.”
CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental 5K:
Men’s Champion: James Sweeney, Birmingham, AL in 15:19.
Women’s Champion: Samantha George, Raleigh, NC in 16:52.
The CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon had its seventh consecutive sellout and had 4,568 marathon finishers, making it the 11th largest U.S. marathon to date in 2018.
Including the marathon, half marathon, and 5K, the number of finishers surpassed 15,000.
Participant representation from 50 states and 15 countries.
More than 1,800 students graduated from the Monumental Kids Movement. The youth running program now includes 61 schools in Center Township, including 35 IPS schools.
Since 2016 the program has included 13 schools in MSD Lawrence Township and an additional 3 in MSD Wayne Township, 2 in MSD Washington Township and 5 charter schools.
The fourth annual Apex Monumental Challenge, presented by Apex Benefits, saw more than 36 companies take part in this participation-based employee health and wellness competition.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our 11th annual CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in downtown Indianapolis,” said Jed Cornforth, Executive Director, Beyond Monumental. “With the help of our civic leaders, title sponsor CNO Financial Group, presenting sponsors Franciscan Health and Apex Benefits, and thousands of volunteers, we were able to truly come together and celebrate health and wellness in our great city.”
“Today’s celebration of this nationally-recognized marathon was inspiring,” said Gary Bhojwani, CEO of CNO Financial Group. “It was phenomenal to see the culmination of all the hard work and dedication from the runners, volunteers and the fans in a race that brings out the best of Indy and our CNO associates. Our title sponsorship of the marathon is more than just a race; it’s also a commitment to health, wellness and the central Indiana community. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Mayor Joe Hogsett, and we look forward to another successful race in 2019.”
Complete results and event photographs can be found at https://www.monumentalmarathon.com/results/2018-results-overview/. This is the third year of CNO Financial Group’s title sponsorship, once again providing significant growth opportunities for this year’s event. In July, CNO Financial and Beyond Monumental announced an extension of their partnership through 2020. In 2018, for the 11th consecutive year, Franciscan Health served as the presenting sponsor of the marathon and half marathon.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event, set for Saturday, November 9, 2019. Registration for 2019 will open on January 1, 2019 with special Monumental Resolution pricing.