BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – For the second consecutive year, the IU Student Foundation, in partnership with Echelon Racing and The Media School at IU, will offer a virtual Little 500 race. This is a unique opportunity for anyone to experience the tradition of the race virtually and for alumni to relive their Little 500 experience.
“The virtual Little 500 is an exciting opportunity to connect past and current Little 500 riders while building enthusiasm for this year's race,” said Andrew LaValle, an IU senior on the Little 500 Phi Kappa Psi team and vice president of the Little 500 Riders Council. “The route selected is a true classic and includes the many highlights of riding in Bloomington.”
The virtual Little 500 will take place on March 5 at 11 a.m. ET. To participate in the virtual race, riders will need to register by 5 p.m. ET on March 2 and will need to have a bike; a smart trainer, Bluetooth-enabled power meter or Bluetooth-enabled speed and cadence sensor; a mobile device; and a tablet or computer. Echelon Racing Promotions will provide additional guidelines for testing riders' set-up and event participation.
During the virtual race, participants will have a video-game-like experience, with each rider having an avatar that will appear on screen and move them along based on how they're performing in the race compared to other riders. The race will be a road race on a 31-mile loop around Bloomington through the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Riders will be able to view southern Indiana scenery and see all the other riders' avatars moving along the route with them. All registered riders will be entered into a raffle. Two winners will be selected following the race and will each receive VIP tickets to the in-person 2022 Little 500.
Along with the professionals at Echelon Racing Promotions, students from The Media School will be involved in making the virtual Little 500 race a reality. The Media School has partnered with the IU Student Foundation and the Little 500 over the last several years. Students will be involved in broadcasting the virtual race, as well as creating video packages and conducting interviews with riders.
In addition to their work on the virtual race, Media School students will continue to be involved in production of the in-person Little 500 races on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23. Both the virtual race and in-person Little 500 will be broadcast live online at broadcast.iu.edu.
About 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. IU Student Foundation aids in the fundraising efforts of the IU Foundation while also cultivating participation in leadership-development activities and programming by its undergraduate members.
The mission of the IU Student Foundation is to grow lifetime commitment to and support for Indiana University through student-led programming and leadership development opportunities that are educational, philanthropic and fun.
About Echelon Racing Promotions
Echelon Racing Promotions is a division of the veterans' nonprofit organization Project Echelon. Through physical activity and connection, they work with military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. The Echelon Racing League is the first of its kind and is in a league of its own. Serving as a conduit to strengthen the overall cycling community, the league brings virtual and in-real-life riders and racers together to ride on real roads. Furthermore, the league has been designed to enhance the reach, influence, impact and connectedness of riders, teams, race promoters and international governing bodies as a means to grow the sport of cycling through an innovative, sustainable and scalable model.