Race month is finally here, and I could not be more excited. I truly enjoy how the city of Columbus works hand in hand with the Mill Race Marathon committee members in order to create an event that involves the entire community the day of the race.

The volunteers are also pivotal to race day, and their help is a classic example of Hoosier hospitality.

The Mill Race Marathon has always been one of my favorite races for a number of reasons. I am able to see a lot of familiar faces and catch up with many of my running friends before and after the race.

With the race being a community event that I am close with, I consider this race to be special because I can participate locally. For me, Mill Race is an opportunity to run a great race without the stresses of traveling to another city in order to compete.

For the past 16 to 20 weeks, I have pushed through long runs and went the extra mile during speed workouts β€” no pun intended. As we are honing in on the last three weeks before the race, I have to complete my least favorite parts of my training.

For me, this is tapering and reducing my weekly mileage by 15 to 20 percent. During this time, it is important to maintain intensity on hard days for my mental state. This helps my body recover from the previous weeks of training and allows me to be ready in body and spirit for the race.

As we prepare for these last few weeks, I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during my journey. It has been a pleasure to share my running diary with the community every Sunday. And remember, β€œTo give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

This is the final diary entry for Luke Inman, who will be running in the Mill Race Marathon on Sept. 24. Inman can be reached at luke.inman20@gmail.com.