Overall Rating
Overall Rating (43 Reviews)
4.1
(43 Ratings)(43 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3.7
The modified course for the 2021 Humana miniMarathon and Marathon will include two states and four cities, to allow participants to be socially distanced and comply with COVID-19 guidelines. For this year’s event, the Derby Festival developed plans for both a virtual and an in-person (socially distanced) race option. The … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Pros: 1. Running inside churchill downs is super cool! 2. Really fun finish line party (ran this in 2019, pre-covid). Definitely recommend splurging on the VIP package 3. Nice expo. … MORE

    Pros:
    1. Running inside churchill downs is super cool!
    2. Really fun finish line party (ran this in 2019, pre-covid). Definitely recommend splurging on the VIP package
    3. Nice expo. Not super huge though

    Cons:
    1. There is a really nasty uphill around mile 14
    2. The course overall isn’t the most scenic

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    50StateRunner50 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Socially distanced due to COVID. The course was an out and back and had a fantastic view crossing the Ohio river on the long foot bridge. Fairly flat, the majority … MORE

    Socially distanced due to COVID. The course was an out and back and had a fantastic view crossing the Ohio river on the long foot bridge. Fairly flat, the majority of the course followed a greenway along a levee on the river.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    vhaden REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Great efforts to make it covid safe. The route was pretty & fairly easy. I get why the majority of the route was in Indiana, but it made it seem … MORE

    Great efforts to make it covid safe. The route was pretty & fairly easy. I get why the majority of the route was in Indiana, but it made it seem less like Derby. There were some super awesome people along the route though!
    My biggest point of concern is the support, or lack there of, at the end. I am a slow runner and could only run on Sunday. I finished within the allotted time, but everything but the finish line was packed up. No photo ops, no medal engraving ops. Does my lack of speed equate to less importance? Sure everyone wants to be done and pack up after a long 4 days, but don’t offer amenities to anyone if you won’t offer them to everyone. This isn’t the only race where this has happened to me & it’s very disheartening. I’ll never be a fast runner, but I will always give 100% effort. So should you.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Matt Ryan
    MattyIce FIRST-TIMER '21

    First time in Louisville and running the race. Deferred registration from 2020, first non-virtual marathon since last February. Overall I really enjoyed the race and the city. Event staff were … MORE

    First time in Louisville and running the race. Deferred registration from 2020, first non-virtual marathon since last February.

    Overall I really enjoyed the race and the city. Event staff were responsive over email which was helpful for me coming in from out of town. Same-day packet pickup was a breeze. Course was very well marked and self-serve water was available throughout the day. Really nice scenic trail on basically a levy on the Indiana side of the river.

    Only complaint would be for a “Kentucky Derby” marathon I felt like it was Kentucky and Derby in name only. Maybe it was different in non-COVID years. Also kind of funny that only 10 of the 26.2 miles are in KY…rest is Jefferson/ New Albany IN.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    runvirginia FIRST-TIMER '21

    This year's course and race was different because of the pandemic, and I really appreciate all the effort that went into putting on a live, fun event. There were many … MORE

    This year’s course and race was different because of the pandemic, and I really appreciate all the effort that went into putting on a live, fun event.

    There were many starting waves, and the expo was early (to the surprise of out of town runners), but there was also morning-of pickup. I was in the first wave, and was given a bib and shirt for the half, which I didn’t realize until close to the start time. I was able to exchange my bib but not my shirt (priorities!).

    The fun thing about the many waves is that I could see runners the entire time! People passed me, I passed a few , etc. It was further livened up by the full marathon course having little spurs so that by the time we were crossing back in to KY across the bridge, we were at mile 20 and the half was at 12. The out and back spurs allowed for runners to see each other and the full spurs built a sense of camaraderie. The scenery was mostly of the river along a bike path, lush and green. Some of it was along a more industrial area, and through a small sliver of the city.

    Overall, it was so, so much fun. Louisville is a cool town, and I loved walking from my hotel to the start, seeing other runners in the hotel afterwards, the medal engraving station at the finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    mwpotter5 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my third time running the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon (it was my first half ever in 2016). I love the course because it takes you through some of the … MORE

    This was my third time running the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon (it was my first half ever in 2016). I love the course because it takes you through some of the most scenic parts of downtown Louisville. The medals are always amazing and I’m loving the Louisville landmarks series they’re doing. There’s plenty of water stations, the crowds are great and super friendly, and running through Churchill Downs is the highlight of the race. I’m looking forward to running this race again and again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    EBMcNally FIRST-TIMER '18

    The pros: it's cool running through Churchill Downs, and Iroquois Park is really pretty. The cons: The expo is out of town, nowhere near the hotels and where the race … MORE

    The pros: it’s cool running through Churchill Downs, and Iroquois Park is really pretty.

    The cons: The expo is out of town, nowhere near the hotels and where the race actually is. It’s also pretty underwhelming. Most of the water stations are in the front half of the race, with the half marathon. The last quarter mile is pretty lackluster, and there’s no real post-race celebration.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    mwpotter5 Apr 20, 2021 at 6:49pm

    The expo was out of downtown in 2018 because the convention center (where they usually have it) was under construction. It was back downtown in 2019.

    The expo was out of downtown in 2018 because the convention center (where they usually have it) was under construction. It was back downtown in 2019.

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    erbVanZan FIRST-TIMER '19

    Louisville is a pretty, clean and safe city (or so it seemed). Enjoyed running through Churchill downs. Nice people! had a fun time with my sister, enjoyed the Jim beam … MORE

    Louisville is a pretty, clean and safe city (or so it seemed). Enjoyed running through Churchill downs. Nice people! had a fun time with my sister, enjoyed the Jim beam at the expo. The fun through the park was pretty.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    The course was fun and easy, with some good local scenery and some just plain running down a street. I was able to walk from my hotel and the race … MORE

    The course was fun and easy, with some good local scenery and some just plain running down a street. I was able to walk from my hotel and the race race production made things smooth.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    gerryberry393 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Expensive lodging, nice expo, take the Churchill Downs tour. Really cool to run through Churchill Downs while horses are out running around for inspiration! Hilly in the middle, great medal, … MORE

    Expensive lodging, nice expo, take the Churchill Downs tour. Really cool to run through Churchill Downs while horses are out running around for inspiration!
    Hilly in the middle, great medal, great swag! Good size hill around mile 12, then up and down through park setting before heading back through downtown Louisville. Volunteers didn’t want much to do with us turtles coming in after 6 hours (I think they had already started laying claim to any leftover box lunches). Beer was all gone and had a painful limp back to the hotel.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    clsmit FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race has 2 good parts - 1) It's flat. There are a couple of places where it goes under a railroad and there's the entrance/exit from Churchill Downs, but … MORE

    This race has 2 good parts – 1) It’s flat. There are a couple of places where it goes under a railroad and there’s the entrance/exit from Churchill Downs, but otherwise flat. So if you want to PR this race is an option. 2) You run the infield of Churchill Downs. Seeing the iconic horse racing location in person is just awesome. The race could use more water stations early on the course, but otherwise it’s well run with decent crowd support and a big party area at the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    demman1024 FIRST-TIMER '19

    It was a really nice course. This hills through the park were tougher than i thought, or maybe I wasn't as fit as i thought. Although I didn't run as … MORE

    It was a really nice course. This hills through the park were tougher than i thought, or maybe I wasn’t as fit as i thought. Although I didn’t run as well as I had planned i still think it was a great course. Loved running through Churchill Downs! The town was really into the Kentucky Derby! So much to do there besides the race–bourbon tours, Louisville Slugger factory, Ali museum, etc. I like the race shirt because it fits well and I can wear it anytime. Since this was my 31st marathon I really don’t need another short sleeve running shirt!
    I think they could improve the aide stations if the volunteers were more informed on what the runners need. They didn’t yell Gatorade loud enough. i never knew if i was getting water or Gatorade or even if they had it. As far as the gels, they were so timid handing them out that 2x I just noticed after I had passed that i missed the gels!!! That’s not good in a marathon! I only ended up getting 1 on the course and good thing I had a couple with me. I thought the finish line was just fine. Lots of places to sit, plenty to eat.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    amyg186 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race is a great option for a first timer. The half marathon course is relatively flat and there's enough entertainment to remain entertained the entire time. The finish line … MORE

    This race is a great option for a first timer. The half marathon course is relatively flat and there’s enough entertainment to remain entertained the entire time. The finish line is downhill; there is one “hill” in the race; there are frequent water/powerade stops.
    The potty stops were frequent but the lines at each stop were long.
    The race expo was boring – basically a regular packet pickup with a few extra people to talk too.
    Swag — included was a shirt and then the finisher medal. There were extras available for purchase.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Ronnie Isaac Jr.
    roisaac FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race was really fun. I did the full marathon and the course was flat except for the park. It goes through the infield of Churchill Downs, which was really … MORE

    This race was really fun. I did the full marathon and the course was flat except for the park. It goes through the infield of Churchill Downs, which was really cool. After the marathon splits from the half, there are barely any spectators and no one from the half really sticks around to watch the marathoners finish. The expo was smaller than I thought it would be. I completed this race because I heard this was one of the top races in America and it didn’t disappoint. Great swag too. The medal was big. Just a heads up, when you do run this race, make sure you get downtown very early, they close the roads early and it’s nearly impossible to park. I had to park over a mile away and run to the start line and I was still 15 minutes late. But the people of Louisville are very nice and they helped me find my way when I got lost trying to find my car after the race. I live in Michigan and I would travel down to run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Shak38 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I ran this race with some friends from Colorado as we are attempting to run a marathon in every state...eventually... The course was very enjoyable, especially Iroquois Park, although the … MORE

    I ran this race with some friends from Colorado as we are attempting to run a marathon in every state…eventually… The course was very enjoyable, especially Iroquois Park, although the hills are no joke during that point in the race. The course is interesting and hits all the highlights of Louisville. We stayed at the Galt House and had many restaurants and activities to choose from during our stay and we were within walking distance of the start and finish line. The expo was a very good size – not too big and not too small. It had all the things you might need if you forgot to pack something and some cool things that you wouldn’t expect at an expo, like bourbon tasting. There were more than enough aid stations and the volunteers were top notch. Quite a few spectators were out and about with kids giving those all-important power high fives! The medals are pretty cool with the ribbons mentioning all the highlights of the course. These are some things I’d suggest to make the race even better. The bag drop had an incredibly long line. This was because the volunteers had to mark your bag with your number and then use a zip tie to close the bag and there was still a line even after the race started. I suggest having the markers at the expo so that the numbers can be written before the race and then just have the zip ties on the table for people to tie their own bags. The corrals weren’t monitored and, as is often the case, people lined up incorrectly with many walkers in the first few corrals. Also, there were not enough porta-potties in the first 13 miles of the race. They’d have one or two at each aid station and the lines were 15-30 long. They advertised gel at several aid stations, but they only had it at one that I saw so perhaps they ran out by the time I got through (5+ marathoner). The finish-line party could have been great but it started raining and got muddy and cold – that can’t be helped. My biggest disappointment was the race swag. The shirt had such a cool design, but then they put it on a cheaply made shirt that fits poorly (the men’s didn’t have a v-neck and I wish I would have chosen that). The only other thing we got in our bag was a miniature bat and that wasn’t even given to the half marathoners. I did buy a marked-down sling pack at the expo that was normally $28 for $10. I took the last one so my friends didn’t even get to buy one. Many marathons would have included something like this as swag. Would I recommend this race? Absolutely! Louisville is a wonderful, welcoming city and the few minor things mentioned above can be easily corrected.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1
    My Media

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    elladams REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I wasn't planning to run this race, but as I needed to get 20 in for an upcoming marathon, I purchased a transfer-bib. Considering I was up at 4 a.m. … MORE

    I wasn’t planning to run this race, but as I needed to get 20 in for an upcoming marathon, I purchased a transfer-bib. Considering I was up at 4 a.m. to get my additional 7 miles in before getting to the race, I was pleasantly surprised to be only 3 minutes off my half-PR (which was on this course in 2018). It’s a flat/fast course, but there are a lot of walkers and quite a few people who take their corral placement as “suggestion” instead of actually starting with their assigned corrals. This has always bugged me about this race and I keep hoping that next year will be better. The weather was great this year, which brought out the spectators … which helped motivate the runners. For being the largest race in the state, they could really do more in the way of swag – half-marathoners just got a shirt.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    Shak FIRST-TIMER '19

    Very nice course. Well organized. Swag for a larger type race is a little lacking. No commemorative bat for our friends who ran the 1/2. Could have used another gel/food … MORE

    Very nice course. Well organized. Swag for a larger type race is a little lacking. No commemorative bat for our friends who ran the 1/2. Could have used another gel/food station on the course as well.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    rma2001 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a real nice mid sized race at a good time of the year. The course is pretty flat except for a long uphill section from miles 11-12.5ish. Steady … MORE

    This was a real nice mid sized race at a good time of the year. The course is pretty flat except for a long uphill section from miles 11-12.5ish. Steady uphill there on a curvy road. Take the straightest path and you can pass a lot of people running the edge of the road. I wish you saw more of Churchill Downs during the run through it. I did see a horse practicing so that was neat. Good aid stations throughout helped. Crowds weren’t big, especially after the split off from the half marathoners but it’s not lonely. I set a big PR here and very happy.
    I stayed at the Residence Inn right by the start/finish and it was great for logistics. Easy walk to the start and go. Not a lot of dining out there though but I walked to a spaghetti warehouse at lunch time and just heated it up in the kitchen in the hotel, saved my legs and beat crowds that way.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    SlowJuan FIRST-TIMER '19

    ….because that's exactly what Louisville will be talking about! Come prepared to experience the best that "Sweet Lou" has to offer; bourbon, baseball and the Kentucky Derby! First Expo I've … MORE

    ….because that’s exactly what Louisville will be talking about! Come prepared to experience the best that “Sweet Lou” has to offer; bourbon, baseball and the Kentucky Derby! First Expo I’ve ever attended with a Louisville Slugger mini-bat in my race packet and free bourbon samples on the floor. The Starting Line ceremony begins with the distinctive Derby trumpet clarion call followed by the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” (I’m from Oklahoma and it still brought a tear to my eye.) The course travels past the best of the city; the Louisville Slugger Museum, bourbon distilleries, microbreweries, University of Louisville and, of course, the heart-racing entrance to Churchill Downs and circuit around the infield. It’s every bit as cool as you’ve imagined. “I love the smell of manure in the morning!” Some other highlights: Well manned, enthusiastic aid stations. The elderly quartet playing the theme from the “Batman” TV show at Mile 6 …..and playing it well! Bummed a much needed Natty-Lite from a fraternity party at U-LOU. The circuit through Iroquois Park at Miles 12-15 is shaded and beautiful, but to quote Adm. Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” All of the elevation changes for the entire course are concentrated in that 3-mile section. If you’re running a specific race pace, be sure to allow yourself a little “cushion” through Iroquois.
    According to the locals, this was the first time in 5 years that there was no rain on race day. 2019 had Chamber of Commerce weather conditions. It actually got a bit warm for those of us back in the caboose section of the field. And all I could come up with to motivate myself for a 6-hour finish was, “They shoot horses, don’t they?”
    Microbreweries?!? Yes, indeed. Check out Against the Grain (at the Louisville Bats’ ballfield!), Good Wood Brewing, Bluegrass Brewing, Apocalypse Brewing and the Red Yeti. And, as you might expect, most of them have a bourbon-infused beer!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    docdandadio FIRST-TIMER '19

    Great run through through all parts of the city, tons of volunteers and cheering sections. Great after party. More than expected water stations. My favorite part was running into and … MORE

    Great run through through all parts of the city, tons of volunteers and cheering sections. Great after party. More than expected water stations. My favorite part was running into and through the infield at Churchill Downs, pretty neat. No pr as was a bit tired but a nice course

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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