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Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Women's Little 500 nearly a quarter century old; Men's race now in its 61st running

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Little 500 bicycle races, which have marked the beginning of spring and the coming end to another school year since 1951, will take place at Indiana University Bloomington on April 15 and 16.

The women's Little 500 -- now in its 24th year -- will begin at 4 p.m., April 15 (Friday), and the 61st men's race will start at 2 p.m., April 16 (Saturday). Both races will take place at Bill Armstrong Stadium, located off Fee Lane, just north of its intersection with 17th Street.

women's Little 500 race

The women's Little 500 -- now in its 24rd year -- will take place on April 15, and the 61st men's race will be held a day later.

Print-Quality Photo

The races are patterned after the Indianapolis 500, with up to 33 teams lining up for the start in 11 rows of three. Starting positions are determined by qualifying times, with the fastest team nabbing the pole. As many as four riders can compete on a team. When one rider on a team 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.

The competitors are amateurs and full-time undergraduate students at IU Bloomington. Little 500 has been the subject of numerous news reports and sports broadcasts, and an Academy Award-winning film, Breaking Away.

Both Little 500 races will be presented live nationally in high-definition television by HDNet.

ESPN columnist Jim Caple placed the Little 500 at 26th on his list of "101 things all sports fans must experience before they die," ahead of the Indianapolis 500 and the Kentucky Derby. "The Little 500 has just about everything you could want in a college weekend. Exciting races between true student-athletes competing for little more than the thrill of sport," he wrote.

Other Little 500-related events include the increasingly popular running relay race -- the Little Fifty -- on April 14 at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex. Any IU Bloomington undergraduate student who is a non-varsity runner may compete.

Pam Loebig, Little 500 race director and IUSF assistant director, said both Little 500 races will be competitive.

"Cutters are going to be the team to beat again in the men's race," Loebig said. "In the women's race, last year's champion, Teter, will have three of the four riders returning and a good rookie. So it's really going to be up to all the other teams to stop Teter and Cutters from repeating again this year."

At Saturday's (March 26) qualifications, Sigma Nu captured the pole for the men's race and will start alongside the Cutters, in the second spot, and Phi Delta Theta. In the women's race, Teter also will start from the second spot, alongside pole winner Delta Gamma and a team of Army ROTC members.

The races raise money for 34 scholarships valued at $1,000 each for working IU students. To date, the race has awarded about $1.5 million in scholarships, while also providing countless leadership opportunities for IU students.

All-event tickets, which provide access to all Little 500 races, are $25 for adults and $10 for children aged 12 and under. They are available at all Ticketmaster locations -- including the IU Auditorium Box Office and TIS Bookstore, and online at http://www.ticketmaster.com. Single-event adult tickets are $5 for the Little Fifty, $15 for the women's race and $20 for the men's race. Single-event tickets will be sold only at the gate of each event. Go to http://www.iusf.indiana.edu for more information.

Other entertainment options will be available in addition to the official Little 500 events:

  • Grammy Award-winning, multiplatinum recording artist and producer Lil Wayne will perform at IU Assembly Hall, 1001 E. 17th St., April 12 (Tuesday), at 7 p.m. The event, co-sponsored by the Indiana Memorial Union Board and IU Auditorium, also will feature Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross. Tickets are $49.75 to $99.75 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster ticket centers, including the IU Auditorium box office, as well as online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Part of the concert's proceeds will go to Malaria No More, an organization working to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.
  • The IU Cinema will be screening Breaking Away on April 10 and 11 (Sunday and Monday). In preparation for the Little 500, the film will be shown with a 3D presentation of recent race highlights.
  • The Little 500 Step Down, beginning at 6 p.m. on April 16 at the IU Auditorium.

Media credentials and infield passes are required for the following 2011 Little 500 events: the Women's Little 500 Bicycle Race, April 15 (Friday), at 4 p.m.; the Men's Little 500 Bicycle Race, April 16 (Saturday), at 2 p.m.; and the Little Fifty, April 14 (Thursday) at 7 p.m. Credentials and infield passes will be issued only to working members of the media. Media credentials information and request forms can be found at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/7857.html.

Follow IU's Little 500 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IUSF and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Indiana-University-Student-Foundation/142690686649. A regularly updated blog, "Inside the Track," can be found at http://little500blog.blogspot.com/.

EDITORS: A credentials request form for media can be found at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/7857.html.