Indy 500 — My time with the Snakes

INDIANAPOLIS — Fifteen minutes is enough to last a lifetime.

For 15 minutes on Saturday, I found myself in the Snake Pit during the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was my first time in the Pit, and it will most certainly be my last.

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Column: Line Drives — Mini finish only the beginning

[This is the unabridged version of my column that appeared in the May 11 issue of The Commercial Review. For the abridged version, click here.]

Mentally and physically I was prepared.

I had a plan I was going to follow that I was sure would help me reach both of my goals — finish, and do so in under two and a half hours.

I was already in the area because of the Indiana Associated Press Media Editors awards banquet*, I stayed just north of Indianapolis in Fishers with my friend Eric, his wife Clorissa and their son Sawyer. (It’s my go-to spot to crash whenever I need a night in the donut.

I had an alarm set for 6 a.m. Saturday, knowing full well I was going to hit snooze a couple times. I got up, changed, and left Fishers about a half hour later.

I got to Indianapolis and the Indiana Parking Garage, where I had reserved a parking spot for myself, not knowing what the parking situation was going to be like with thousands of extra people in the area.

I parked and made my way to the starting area on Washington Street in Indianapolis.

Rain began to sprinkle from the sky through the 44-degree air. I found the gear check UPS trucks, and it was then I opted at the last minute to ditch a jacket,]. Instead, I decided leggings, shorts, a long sleeve shirt, T-shirt and ball cap would be sufficient attire for the next three hours.

Photo May 06, 7 35 45 AM


I joined the thousands of runners who were herded like cattle between steel barriers with banners indicating the start of each of the five waves, with letters representing “corrals” within each wave.

I made my way to Wave 4 in Corral Q, trying my best to be near the front and not have to fight too much with any runners ahead of me that might be a little slower than my intended pace.

We started to make our way forward toward the starting line, with an approximate start time of 8 a.m. As I took each step, my anxiousness to run was subdued. The wind was gusting and at that moment I regretted my earlier decision to run without a jacket.

Wave 4 approached the starting line. The IndyCar zoomed west on Washington Street in the Wholesale District of Indianapolis. With the official time above my head, the emcee began to count down from 10 to signify the start of the race.

As I began the race, I left my strategy in the starting corral.

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Column: Line Drives — Text led to great weekend

[This is my column in the March 20 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Some of the best times I’ve ever had have come out of spontaneity.

Like this past weekend when I went to Indianapolis to spend it watching my favorite team win the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.

I tried to get media credentials to shoot photos for the tournament, but was quickly denied. However, after seeing how many photographers were there for each game — roughly 40 — I can see why I wasn’t granted the privilege.

But I wasn’t going to let it keep me from seeing the Michigan State Spartans run through the tournament.

For as many years as I lived in Michigan, I had never seen either the Michigan State or Michigan basketball team play. Part of the reason was because I wasn’t a big fan (then) of basketball. The other, I just didn’t have the time.

This weekend, I got to see them both. Twice.

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Column: Line Drives — Experience felt out of place

[This is my column in the March 6 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Most people go to sporting events to see their favorite teams or players.

I go for the same reason, but I enjoy getting to experience new venues and get the feeling for different atmospheres too.

I may also go just to watch a handful of specific players I may not get the opportunity to see again.

That was why I went to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday to watch the Indiana Pacers host the Golden State Warriors.

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Photos: My date with ‘Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral’

Dec. 31, 2013

To some, that’s New Year’s Eve.

To me, it was the night I got my feet wet with professional sports photography.

You can read my column on the subject here.

But with this post, I will delve more into the details surrounding the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University, and my day in Indianapolis.

On Dec. 26, with no plans for New Year’s Eve, I submitted a request for media credentials to the Butler-Villanova men’s basketball game on the last day of 2013. After some persistence (read: borderline annoyance) I was granted credentials to shoot photos of my first college sporting event.

Now, the photos I got from shooting the game would not be published in The CR, because by the time we went to press again the game would be old news.

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