Race Review: Kentucky Derby Half Marathon

If you are looking for a fun, flat, totally – PR-able race, the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon is it.
Disappointed that I was no longer able to do the full, I was hoping for a really fantastic, fun half.I’m honestly surprised more people don’t talk about this race. IT WAS AWESOME.

Let me start by saying Saturday was a 100% chance of rain. Rain or shine, all participants were in great spirits.The race is a Saturday morning race, making it the perfect weekend trip. Sitting in a car Friday to drive from St. Louis took away the stress of tiring my legs before race day. After the race, we had all day to tour the city, taste the bourbon, eat the food, and did I mention taste the bourbon?

The race itself

You have all afternoon and evening Saturday, without the pressure of resting the daybefore the big race.

Back to the race.

The course was incredibly flat – maybe one small hill – if anything there were several declines! Let me clarify again that this was the first 13.1 miles. I’ve heard that the full has a few more hills.

Along the course, in addition to the planned water and food stations were tons of local groups with water, sports drink and orange slices.

Even in the pouring rain, which started about spectators filled the streets cheering on the runners.

My one complaint for the race was not the weather, but the quantity of walkers starting in the early corrals. Right from the start line, people were walking, blocking all the runners coming up from the back. If you truly intend to walk either within the first mile, or the entire thing, that’s fantastic! Power to you for doing it! But, you need to be conscious that there are lots more people trying to get on their pace, and kick off their run. It’s the right thing to do to let those runners move along and start behind them.

The best part of the race was around mile 8, running through the infield of Churchill Downs. Knowing one of the biggest events of the year will be held on those same grounds the following weekend was just inspiring. I was seriously all jacked up. Did I mention that there were several horses practicing on the track alongside the infield? I almost started crying.After mile 8 I pushed myself, and finished in 2:04:02. Almost 5 minutes faster than my previous PR.

Overall, this race rocked. I’m hoping to do the full next year!


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