Writer / Keeley Miller Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Husband and wife duo James and Sheri Nichols launched 131 Event Productions, a race management and timing company that hosts runs around the Indianapolis area. In less than two years, they have already gained a local following of racers seeking a top-quality racing experience.
The 131 Events team, comprised of about 20 employees, creates races from start to finish. This includes brainstorming, marketing, course design, food, music, photography, timing, set-up, tear-down and much more. Along with their goal to provide racers of all types with the highest quality experience, the events are also often themed and provide a fun, dynamic atmosphere for runners of all ages and abilities.
After working in the field for a few years and developing an interest in creating her own events, Sheri began 131 Event Productions in June 2014 as president of the company. With her creativity and experience in marketing, she makes the perfect pair with husband and Director of Operations James who handles technical aspects including timing.
“In June 2014, I built 131 Events to create and market my own events focused on the racer’s experience and high quality aspects of the event’s production,” said Sheri. “I love what I do because I get to create an event for the community that provides them an opportunity to get outside and do something healthy. I am constantly surrounded by people that constantly challenge themselves and care about their health. Our racers inspire me every day.”
Starting in the fall 2015, the company has been experiencing a sellout of races. Racers follow the events, and many of them sell out weeks beforehand.
“It is the quality of the overall experience,” said James. “From the medal, course design and food to the photography, upbeat music and the world-class timing, racers can expect to enjoy every aspect. I think that the quality of the events are reflective of our personal investment. We care.”
While a typical race day begins at 4 a.m. and runs 8-10 hours, the countless hours chipping race bibs, meeting with police and venue owners and answering Facebook messages are what make the events what they are.
“It never stops,” said Sheri. “You think about the next event or a new idea 24/7.”
And with 11 branded events for 2016, it really doesn’t stop for the duo. Each event takes months of planning and dozens of staff members, volunteers and sponsors. For 2016, two brand new races will be introduced, and other races will be expanded as well.
“For 2016, we are most excited to introduce the SHE Power Half Marathon,” said Sheri. “This is the first of our races that we truly expect to expand nationally. The theme is capturing the attention of women nationwide. In only two weeks since its introduction, the Indianapolis race in June is nearly 40 percent sold out. The virtual race option has already reached 29 states and three countries.”
For more information or to register for an event, visit 131events.com.
February 13 – Run4Love 5K – Fishers
March 12 – Lucky Clover – Carmel
April 24 – Brew HaHa Craft Series – Indianapolis
June 4 – Summer Night Trail Marathon – Indianapolis
June 18 – Brew HaHa Craft Series – Fishers
June 26 – SHE Power Half Marathon – Indianapolis
September 3 – Boom Shakalaka Half Marathon and 5K – Indianapolis
October 29 – Brew HaHa Craft Series – Carmel
December 10 – Caribbean Christmas Half Marathon and 5K – Carmel