True Brenna McGinn, Kate McDougal and Elizabeth Lieberman celebrate their victory in the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
2014 Little 500 | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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2014.04.27
There are some things in life that just make me smile. The profundity of seeing the million-year-old light of stars in the night sky. The connection I make between something I learned in organic chemistry and something I've observed and wondered about throughout my life. The friends I made in Madrid, and the fortune I've had in seeing them many times since we studied together.

On Friday, what made me smile was the exit off State Road 37 into Bloomington. At 1:45pm that day, an hour after finishing my physics lab in Indy, the exit meant I was that close to the Little 500, an experience that is simultaneously just a pair of bicycle races and so much more than just a pair of bicycle races. It's spring, it's college, it's athleticism, it's determination, it's the pinnacle of life in a great many ways. For me, it's the memory of good times at the IDS, it's where I first earned a photojournalism award, and it's a reminder of how vivacious life is and can be.

That's how I describe it when I'm away from the race. When I'm there, though, the only words I can say are "Wow" and "Woo hoo!" and "This is the best!" I have neither the time nor the presence of mind to put those emotions into words; I'm living the emotions, and there are photos to make! And make them I did, including my first good crash photo and the winning moments in both the women's and men's races. The sound I made when I saw that I got Brenna McGinn of Kappa Alpha Theta crossing the finish line, hand over her mouth in jubilant realization, is something hard to replicate. If you see me in person, ask me about it, and I'll try my best to make it. It was some sort of squeal.

I was covering the race for the Star, and they posted photo galleries, of course. Their gallery-posting system is still a bit off, though, and it resulted in crops I didn't make (to be fair, I'm certain the photo editors didn't make them, either). So, here are galleries of the women's and men's races, but original versions of 32 photos (16 women's, 16 men's) appear below.

Happy Little 5, everyone, and happy spring!

Flip the light switch
Kappa Alpha Theta riders huddle as their supporters cheer before the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Kappa Alpha Theta riders huddle as their supporters cheer before the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Junior gunner Matt LaSuer lays down bikes in the starting grid before the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Junior gunner Matt LaSuer lays down bikes in the starting grid before the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Riders from the leading teams discuss track strategy before the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Riders from the leading teams discuss track strategy before the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
A parachuter brings the American flag down to the track before the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. A parachuter brings the American flag down to the track before the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Balloons are released into the blue sky before the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Balloons are released into the blue sky before the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
The cinder track reflects out of an Alpha Chi Omega rider\'s sunglasses during the warm-up laps of the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. The cinder track reflects out of an Alpha Chi Omega rider's sunglasses during the warm-up laps of the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Riders speed through turn two during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Riders speed through turn two during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
A Collins rider works her way down the back straightaway during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. A Collins rider works her way down the back straightaway during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
The lead pack of riders speed through the front straightaway during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. The lead pack of riders speed through the front straightaway during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
A Wing It rider is comforted after a rider exchange during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. A Wing It rider is comforted after a rider exchange during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Ski riders perform a rider exchange during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Ski riders perform a rider exchange during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Brenna McGinn puts her hand to face after leading Kappa Alpha Theta to the finish line in first place during the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Brenna McGinn puts her hand to face after leading Kappa Alpha Theta to the finish line in first place during the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Kappa Alpha Theta teammates celebrate winning the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Kappa Alpha Theta teammates celebrate winning the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Brenna McGinn and Kate McDougal spray Coca-Cola into the crowd after winning the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Brenna McGinn and Kate McDougal spray Coca-Cola into the crowd after winning the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Brenna McGinn, holding the winner\'s trophy, and her teammates celebrate winning the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Brenna McGinn, holding the winner's trophy, and her teammates celebrate winning the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Brenna McGinn, Kate McDougal and Elizabeth Lieberman celebrate their victory in the women\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Brenna McGinn, Kate McDougal and Elizabeth Lieberman celebrate their victory in the women's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Friday, April 25, 2014. Alex Farris
Miles McKay, 7, son of Phi Delta Theta coach Joel McKay, watches riders circle the track before the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Miles McKay, 7, son of Phi Delta Theta coach Joel McKay, watches riders circle the track before the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Race winners from the 1954 Sigma Nu team circle the track before the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Race winners from the 1954 Sigma Nu team circle the track before the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Phi Kappa Sigma riders huddle before the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Phi Kappa Sigma riders huddle before the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Cutters rider Brian Depasse sits under an umbrella next to his bike before the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Cutters rider Brian Depasse sits under an umbrella next to his bike before the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Chap Blackwell waves the green flag to start the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Chap Blackwell waves the green flag to start the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Riders from Collins (28), Dodds House (16) and Delta Upsilon (23) are involved in an accident going into turn three during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Riders from Collins (28), Dodds House (16) and Delta Upsilon (23) are involved in an accident going into turn three during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Riders from Delta Sigma Pi (20) and Dodds House (16) race into turn four during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Riders from Delta Sigma Pi (20) and Dodds House (16) race into turn four during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Beta Theta Pi rider Chris Craig stretches before a rider exchange during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Beta Theta Pi rider Chris Craig stretches before a rider exchange during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
A rider from Wright looks back to the lead pack during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. A rider from Wright looks back to the lead pack during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
A rider for Pi Kappa Phi races through the front straightaway during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. A rider for Pi Kappa Phi races through the front straightaway during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Jacob Miller celebrates as he crosses the finish line, bringing Black Key Bulls its first victory in the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Jacob Miller celebrates as he crosses the finish line, bringing Black Key Bulls its first victory in the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Steven Gomez waves the Black Key Bulls flag in celebration of the team\'s first victory in the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Steven Gomez waves the Black Key Bulls flag in celebration of the team's first victory in the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Black Key Bulls rider Spencer Brauchla gets congratulated after his team won the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Black Key Bulls rider Spencer Brauchla gets congratulated after his team won the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Race director Jordan Bailey gets a hug before handing the winner\'s trophy to Black Key Bulls after the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Race director Jordan Bailey gets a hug before handing the winner's trophy to Black Key Bulls after the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Black Key Bulls riders Jimmy Rosati, Spencer Brauchla, Jacob Miller and Steven Gomez celebrate their team\'s first victory in the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Black Key Bulls riders Jimmy Rosati, Spencer Brauchla, Jacob Miller and Steven Gomez celebrate their team's first victory in the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris
Phi Kappa Psi rider Wil Beaty helps teammate Ian Shoup wrap his wounds suffered during the men\'s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Phi Kappa Psi rider Wil Beaty helps teammate Ian Shoup wrap his wounds suffered during the men's Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Alex Farris

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THINGS WE SAID TODAY Bloomington | Sports | The Indianapolis Star | IU
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