Overall Rating
Overall Rating (36 Reviews)
4.1
(36 Ratings)(36 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3.6
The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon presented by Walmart and Humana has grown from a small local road race into the largest day of road racing in Kentucky history. Runners from all 50 states and several foreign countries annually complete the scenic 13.1- and 26.2-mile courses that start and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    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
    PRODUCTION
    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
    PRODUCTION
    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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    brookegal FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first full marathon and second time I participated in this event (first as a half marathon). The volunteers and crowd support are amazing! Absolutely made this race … MORE

    This was my first full marathon and second time I participated in this event (first as a half marathon). The volunteers and crowd support are amazing! Absolutely made this race for me… from the guys riding bikes cheering us on, to the bands playing, to the kids and people of all ages giving water and cheering. The wheels came off for me around mile 25 and I struggled hard needing the medics at the end… which again were super amazing! The parts that I found less than superb were the post race setup… food is soooooooooooo far from the finish line (like ridiculous far) and I struggled hard to get there honestly. Also the swag bags only had the shirt and mini bat for marathoners…. everything else including race directions are all electronic. I like to have a paper copy of the map and instructions. Also, the shirts ran small so I went to exchange them and was told only half marathoners were able to do shirt exchanges.
    The course is very flat except hills between 12-15 and gradual hill around 22. Since there is a half at the same time, I found myself dodging half walkers in the final miles which was wasn’t ideal. The best part of the course was to run through Churchill Downs!
    Overall some of the logistics were not as great as they could have obviously been but the volunteers rocked my socks off! I guess for such a big race I expect the details (swag, runner info, and post race) to be on point and that’s were I felt this was lacking.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    brookegal FIRST-TIMER '18

    This course is fast and amazing that it goes through Churchill Downs, but other than that lacks scenery... but makes up for in crowd support. By far the best crowd … MORE

    This course is fast and amazing that it goes through Churchill Downs, but other than that lacks scenery… but makes up for in crowd support. By far the best crowd support of the races I’ve done. One issue I had was race day parking and honestly it was nightmarish and had to run to the corrals then wait in forever potty line … so I learned my lesson for next year – get there super early! I liked the expo and shirt and medal were all great! My personal issue was that I was battling IT band issues and went out too fast but crowd really helped get me to the end. Food after the race was plentiful but wish I didn’t have to walk so far for food and meet up with people. Actually getting to the east side of the course (where parked) was trickier than it should have been. Overall I think it was a great course, organized well, and would recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    FormerFatGirl FIRST-TIMER '18

    I did this race because I had heard it was much better than the Indy 500 Mini (which was ok) and needed another spring race. The course is enjoyable. I … MORE

    I did this race because I had heard it was much better than the Indy 500 Mini (which was ok) and needed another spring race. The course is enjoyable. I especially enjoyed running through Churchhill Downs and seeing the spires. I also LOVED the course support…from the nursing home handing out oranges to the college kids wanting trading tylenol for beer tickets :).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    bjfuller2000 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Another personal favorite race. I’m already signed up for my 5th straight year to run this race. Bling is always top notch and a good and flat course through Louisville … MORE

    Another personal favorite race. I’m already signed up for my 5th straight year to run this race. Bling is always top notch and a good and flat course through Louisville

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Micah Garcia
    garciami FIRST-TIMER '18

    Very fast, flat course as advertised. Fun running through Churchill Downs. Good crowd support throughout the race and plenty of water stations. MORE

    Very fast, flat course as advertised. Fun running through Churchill Downs. Good crowd support throughout the race and plenty of water stations.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    4inthefamily FIRST-TIMER '18

    We must have just hit the weather jackpot in 2018, but it was a beautiful day for a marathon. As we ran through the tunnels at Churchhill downs the entire … MORE

    We must have just hit the weather jackpot in 2018, but it was a beautiful day for a marathon. As we ran through the tunnels at Churchhill downs the entire pack at my pace sang an echoing rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home”….which was just awesome. The run through the park, though a little hilly, was my favorite part. The rest of the run was not as scenic, but it was flat as advertised a the crowds were great. I’ll definitely be back.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    snowdrce REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The race expo was larger than I expected. Good variety of vendors and picking up the packet was very smooth. Only surprise was that the packet numbers were not in … MORE

    The race expo was larger than I expected. Good variety of vendors and picking up the packet was very smooth. Only surprise was that the packet numbers were not in alphabetical order on the wall, and it took a minute to find them and then get the packet. The race trucker hat was unusual. Parking the morning of the race was harder to find. I ended up paying to park in a garage rather than search out something further out from the start. The course was great as usual. I started with a pace group and the leader was spot on. The hills in the park were not too bad, and they were in the shade for the most part which helped. The aid stations were well organized and stocked. The finish area was a bit disorganized, and the volunteer ended up giving me a RELAY medal by mistake, which I did not notice until I left. However, the race team quickly send a replacement medal when I called and asked. Very responsive.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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  2. Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon