Little 500 races provide scholarships that help IU students 'Reach the Finish Line'

Women's and men's bike races set for April 25 and 26

  • April 17, 2014


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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Now well into its sixth decade, Little 500 at Indiana University Bloomington remains an important cycling event, and it also continues to be a crucial means of raising money for student scholarships.

The theme for this year's Little 500 activities is "Helping Students Reach the Finish Line." In addition to the women's and men's Little 500 bike races April 25 and 26, there also is the Little Fifty, a running relay race, on April 22 and the Armstrong Golf Classic on April 25.

“Since its inception in 1951, the Little 500 has had a positive impact on the lives of those that it has touched, including the riders who participate, the volunteers who help to put it on and the students who receive scholarships from the money that it raises," said Jordan Bailey, the IU Student Foundation Little 500 race director.

"For 64 years, the Little 500 has educated generations of students about the importance of private support to Indiana University,” Bailey added.

The IU Student Foundation is the student-led arm of the Indiana University Foundation. The organization does not exist simply for one weekend in April. Through many activities throughout the year, it helps students develop leadership skills and teaches them about philanthropy and service learning.

"The organization strives to grow lifetime commitment to and support for Indiana University through programming and leadership development opportunities that are educational, philanthropic and fun," said Melissa Wolter, assistant director of the IU Student Foundation. "The IU Student Foundation manages the annual Little 500 bicycle races, the Metz Grant Scholarship program, IU Polar Plunge and the Hoosier Donor Day.”

Last year, IU Student Foundation awarded about $177,000 in scholarships and grants. To date, more than $1.5 million has been awarded to IU students as a result of Little 500. More than 20,000 people attend one or both of the races every year.

IU Student Foundation also partners with organizations in the community, such as Girls Inc. of Monroe County.

The 27th running of the Women's Little 500 will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Bill Armstrong Stadium, near the intersection of 17th Street and Fee Lane. The following day, the 64th running of the men's race will begin at 2 p.m.

Alpha Chi Omega has the pole in the women's race, and Phi Delta Theta has the top spot in the men's race. A complete field of 33 teams will be featured in both races, which are fashioned after the Indianapolis 500. Teams line up for the start in 11 rows of three. Starting positions are determined by qualifying times, with the fastest team nabbing the pole.

As with the Indy 500, winners of the Little 500 are immortalized on their version of the BorgWarner Trophy, which is displayed year-round at the Indiana Memorial Union.

All race competitors are amateurs and are full-time undergraduate students at IU Bloomington. As many as four riders can compete on a team. When one rider is tired, he or she exchanges the bicycle with a teammate. The women's race is 25 miles -- 100 laps on a quarter-mile cinder track. The men's race is 50 miles -- 200 laps on the same track.

Once again, both Little 500 races will be presented live nationally in high-definition television by AXS TV.

Little 500 has been the subject of numerous national news reports and sports broadcasts and an Academy Award-winning film, "Breaking Away."

Little Fifty takes place April 22, beginning at 5 p.m. for the women's event and at 7 p.m. for the men's event at Haugh Track. The Armstrong Golf Classic will begin at 8 p.m. at the IU Golf Course; advance registration is required.

Tickets for Little 500 race events are $25, $10 for children 12 and younger, and are available through Ticketmaster locations include the IU Auditorium Box Office; visit for more information.

Tickets will cost $30 at the gate on race day.

Other events on the IU Bloomington campus include the official Little 500 concert featuring rap artist ScHoolboy Q at 7:30 p.m. April 24 at the IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.

The California-based rapper is celebrating the release of his third studio album, Oxymoron, which debuted at No. 1 in early March and includes the Billboard Hot 100 song, “Man of the Year." Influenced by rap artists 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Nas, ScHoolboy Q is part of the next generation of West Coast MCs. He will be joined by Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples and Audio Push.

Tickets for the concert will be available at the Assembly Hall ticket office, IU Auditorium Box Office, Ticketmaster ticket centers and Tickets range from $35 to $45 for IU Bloomington students and $45 to $55 for the general public.

Related Links

The 64th running of the men's Little 500 will take place April 26.

The 64th running of the men's Little 500 will take place April 26.

Print-Quality Photo

It always is an joyous celebration for winners of the Women's Little 500.

It always is an joyous celebration for winners of the Women's Little 500.

Print-Quality Photo

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