70th running of men’s Little 500, 33rd women’s race scheduled for May 26
Event will go forward with no spectators and limited access to Bill Armstrong Stadium
For Immediate Release
Mar 4, 2021
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The 70th running of the men’s Little 500 and the 33rd running of the women’s race will be held at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday, May 26. The women’s race will begin at noon, and the men’s race will follow at 4 p.m.
Entrance to Bill Armstrong Stadium will be limited to essential, credentialed volunteers and riders. Fans are encouraged to watch the races via livestream at broadcast.iu.edu.
“While the date for this year’s race is unlike other years, we’re happy to be able to continue this storied IU tradition while ensuring the safety of our riders, volunteers and campus community,” said Andrea Balzano, director of the IU Student Foundation. “Our students work diligently to plan and train for this event, and we’re thankful to be able to celebrate their efforts with a revised event schedule in 2021.”
The races have been planned by IU Student Foundation in consultation with the Monroe County Health Department and IU’s Medical Response Team, which has led the university’s comprehensive public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year.
The IU Student Foundation will follow health and safety protocols for riders similar to those used by IU Athletics for student athletes, which includes COVID-19 testing. Additional rules for riders participating in the May races are forthcoming.
Details about other Spring Series Events, which include individual time trials, Miss N Out and Team Pursuit, are also forthcoming. There will be no qualifications for the 2021 races, and all currently registered Little 500 teams will be permitted to participate in the event. IU Student Foundation is still determining how the starting grids will be orchestrated.
The Little 500 is the largest collegiate bike race in the United States. In a race modeled after the Indianapolis 500, riders compete in four-person teams around a quarter-mile cinder track at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The men’s race is 200 laps (50 miles) and the women’s race is 100 laps (25 miles).
The event began in 1951 as a men’s race between teams from fraternities and residential units. In 1988, a women’s race was added, and modern fields for both events have expanded to include student groups and independent riders.
Proceeds from Little 500 races have contributed to more than $2 million in student scholarships since it began in 1951. Though no tickets will be sold to this year’s event, the IU Student Foundation will still award its regular cycle of spring scholarships. Donations to support these scholarships can be made on the IU Student Foundation website.