It pays to run in the Mill Race Marathon and its associated shorter events.
Melanie Riddick of Indianapolis learned that last year when she walked away with the keys to a new Ram pickup.
She had persuaded her husband of seven weeks, Adam Riddick, to run a half-marathon with her. He is a Cummins employee in Indianapolis and had heard about the Mill Race Half Marathon — and the truck giveaway — through work.
Melanie Riddick said a chance to win the truck compelled them to register.
“When you compare that to buying Powerball tickets, your odds are pretty good,” she said. “There are only somewhere around 3,000 people running, but we never dreamed it would actually happen.”
Even after her name was called shortly after 3 p.m. on race day, she did not process the information immediately. She had just changed her name to Riddick.
“Adam said, ‘Babe, that’s you!’” she said. “There was still that few seconds of shock before it would sink in.”
Melanie and Adam Riddick drove the truck — supplied by the Bob Poynter auto dealership in Columbus and powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine — away that day, but they did not keep it for long.
Win a truck
Want to win a 2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab heavy-duty pickup truck? Here’s how:
Win a bike
Planning to run or walk in the SIHO 5K? You can win, too. Finishers are eligible to win a bike. SIHO will provide four bikes valued at $1,250 each to be given away at the Finish on Fourth party.
Anyone who is registered and crosses the 5K finish line will be entered into a drawing, and a random winner will be drawn at 12:30 p.m. Winners must be present to win.
They returned to the Bob Poynter dealership two days later to finalize details and paperwork and ended up selling it back to the dealer. The truck was valued at $50,000.
“We knew we wanted to buy our first home. So for us, financially, it kind of made sense,” Melanie Riddick said.
They used the money to make a down payment on a house in Nashville, Tennessee, where they will be moving in a few weeks.
If it were not for the move, Melanie Riddick said she and her husband would already be registered to participate in this year’s race — even if they’re not eligible to win the truck again.
She works for nonprofit Centerstone and helps organize events such as the Mill Race Marathon.
“I plan races myself, so I can be a little bit critical,” she said. “But the event is not just a race, it’s a community event. I would encourage anyone that does run or is considering their first race to participate in this event.”
Melanie Riddick said that while she is disappointed she cannot run the Mill Race Half Marathon again, she has plenty of good things to look forward to.
“It was a financial blessing in our life to be able to have that happen for us,” she said.
The Riddicks also plan to start a family.