Overall Rating
Overall Rating (22 Reviews)
4.6
(22 Ratings)  (22 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.4
Run The Bluegrass is America’s Prettiest Half-Marathon through Lexington, Kentucky’s majestic Thoroughbred Farms, starting and finishing on Keeneland Race Course’s iconic grounds. Brand new for Spring 2022: We’re racing our course backward! Something many of us have done during training runs over the years; now, we’re doing it officially! It … MORE
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Recent reviews

    henrykat REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Admittedly, I did not train for hills at all (and come from the flatlands of Chicago), so I knew this would be tough, but I really didn't realize just how … MORE

    Admittedly, I did not train for hills at all (and come from the flatlands of Chicago), so I knew this would be tough, but I really didn’t realize just how much those hills would take a toll on me! It didn’t help that I forgot my gels, and the aid stations only had water. The scenery was beautiful, but until I can properly hill train, I don’t think I’ll be doing this one again anytime soon!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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    kmerskine FIRST-TIMER '19

    I'd read a lot about this race needing to be on any half marathon bucket list. Scratch that. It's a good race, but not that good. I've run several others … MORE

    I’d read a lot about this race needing to be on any half marathon bucket list. Scratch that. It’s a good race, but not that good. I’ve run several others that are as good or better. It’s still a good race, go do it… but don’t be disappointed when the scenery fails to impress like the Northern Lights.

    Parking is easy, pre-race festival / expo is nice, course is pretty. In the 50+ races that I’ve done this is in the top 10, but not the top 5. Would I do it again? No. Am I glad I checked the box on this race? Yes.

    I don’t think this is a PR course, if that’s what you are looking for. There aren’t hotels on site so you’ll have to drive in. There were ample aid stations.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    musical23 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I have had this race on my list "to do" list since I saw the medals. I was excited to run it last year for the 10th anniversary.... but in … MORE

    I have had this race on my list “to do” list since I saw the medals. I was excited to run it last year for the 10th anniversary…. but in person was not to be… 🙁
    This was a new year looking forward to finally running an in person race. Communication was excellent with emails as was packet pick-up. you scheduled a time for pick up, so as not to be bunched up. As we waited for our turn to enter, there were two ladies answering questions about the race, the area, etc. Pickup was smooth as silk…. Race day… you were assigned a wave before race day with an approximate start time. Something happened that I have never seen at a race before… the waves started a couple a minutes early, usually they start late. Start went off without a hitch. Course directions were easy to to follow. Aid stations were all manned but small… once again not a bad thing. All had bottled water and a porta-john… two thumbs up for that. The course is what it is… beautiful. Don’t expect crowd support, although the volunteers were very encouraging. Finish line was quick, snacks were bagged and handed to you as well as the medal.
    Overall, awesome race, word to the wise… DO YOUR HILL TRAINING… the hills are no joke.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    pmonnig REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Yes it has hills but they are rolling so you have downs also. The view will take your mind off the hills. Running in the country,awesome. Prepare to take add … MORE

    Yes it has hills but they are rolling so you have downs also. The view will take your mind off the hills. Running in the country,awesome. Prepare to take add some time to your race while you stop to take pictures. WELL organized !

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    samanthadolen FIRST-TIMER '15

    This race is often included in the list of "most beautiful" half marathons. And it's true, the scenery of the horse farms is nice. But those horse farms are mostly … MORE

    This race is often included in the list of “most beautiful” half marathons. And it’s true, the scenery of the horse farms is nice. But those horse farms are mostly located on rolling hills…22 of them by my count. And some of those hills are REALLY tall. This is also a race run mostly on back roads, so if you enjoy a large crowd of spectators to help push you through, you likely won’t have that. It’s a well run race, but the expo is small and the field is runners is small compared to some city-based races. I enjoyed this one, but would have done better if I have been able to train for those hills which I just hadn’t done and can’t do well where I live. So, I recommend this if you can prepare for it properly.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    trose1 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    A challenging course filled with lots and rolling hills, but some of the prettiest views of million dollar horse farms and scenic countryside. Well supported race, but not many crowds … MORE

    A challenging course filled with lots and rolling hills, but some of the prettiest views of million dollar horse farms and scenic countryside. Well supported race, but not many crowds until the end. The finishing medal is classic and the swag is very desirable.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Manivannan REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Awesome course, RDs, swag, volunteers. Challenging hilly course but the scenery and the RDs make it well worth it. Plenty of photo ops for those who like those type of … MORE

    Awesome course, RDs, swag, volunteers. Challenging hilly course but the scenery and the RDs make it well worth it. Plenty of photo ops for those who like those type of things too. If you are into bourbon and horses, there’s plenty of tours that are organized as well.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    arielleighmurph FIRST-TIMER '19

    It’s a beautiful race and great for a first time half. There’s a lot of rolling hills but they’re not steep. It did not feel like 13.1 miles. For my … MORE

    It’s a beautiful race and great for a first time half. There’s a lot of rolling hills but they’re not steep. It did not feel like 13.1 miles. For my first half, I slowly ran and fast walked to take in the scenery. I intend to return next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    brookegal FIRST-TIMER '19

    Top notch all around... greatly organized, easy parking/navigating, beautiful course, great post race provisions, and hands down best medals EVER! I ran this as a “fun run” in prep for … MORE

    Top notch all around… greatly organized, easy parking/navigating, beautiful course, great post race provisions, and hands down best medals EVER! I ran this as a “fun run” in prep for my full marathon and got to enjoy it! Loved running with the horses with their foals and by amazing farms like Calumet! Also, I loved how easy the corrals were set up. Best damn organized race! Highly recommend!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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    Runnerkaty FIRST-TIMER '19

    The medal is sparkling and beautiful, the course had mile marker flags that surprised you as you were enjoying each horse farm scene and despite the hills, the miles just … MORE

    The medal is sparkling and beautiful, the course had mile marker flags that surprised you as you were enjoying each horse farm scene and despite the hills, the miles just clicked away with ease! The toughest hill has a delightful drumming band at the bottom to pump you up to the top! Just a blast!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Apr 10, 2019 at 9:10pm

    Thanks for the enthusiastic review, Katy! I'm definitely interested in a race that bills itself as "America's Prettiest Half," and it sounds like RTB lives up to the title. Run… MORE

    Thanks for the enthusiastic review, Katy! I'm definitely interested in a race that bills itself as "America's Prettiest Half," and it sounds like RTB lives up to the title. Run well and enjoy Hatfield McCoy, too — you're checking off Kentucky's finest! LESS

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    Runnerkaty Apr 24, 2019 at 11:34am

    Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind thoughts and best wishes! Enjoy RTB! I'll be back next year for the 10th anniversary!

    Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind thoughts and best wishes! Enjoy RTB! I'll be back next year for the 10th anniversary!

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    jalderink FIRST-TIMER '19

    Beautiful run in horse country! Loved everything about this race from the expo all the way through to the finish line! The medals were stunning! My only regret is not … MORE

    Beautiful run in horse country! Loved everything about this race from the expo all the way through to the finish line! The medals were stunning! My only regret is not being able to get to KY early enough to enjoy some of the Tours. I am on a 50 State quest and I promised my husband I would only do one run per state. I may have to revisit that promise on this State! 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Apr 10, 2019 at 10:41pm

    Ha, I felt the same way about Hatfield McCoy in Kentucky. Definitely a couple of states I'd like to visit again before I hit all 50... or maybe I'll save… MORE

    Ha, I felt the same way about Hatfield McCoy in Kentucky. Definitely a couple of states I'd like to visit again before I hit all 50... or maybe I'll save 'em to start the next round 🤔 (ha ha, yeah right!). Congrats on adding Kentucky to your map Julie, and continued success on your 50 States quest — look forward to following along here on RaceRaves! LESS

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    Sandytine FIRST-TIMER '19

    Everything I heard about this race was true, it was both beautiful and hilly. I viewed it more as an endurance challenge. The race was very organized, and has may … MORE

    Everything I heard about this race was true, it was both beautiful and hilly. I viewed it more as an endurance challenge. The race was very organized, and has may repeat runners. I would recommend bringing along some type of snack or GU since the course only provided drinks. The medal this year was Kentucky Derby triple crown winner Justify and is stunning!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of BJ Fuller
    bjfuller2000 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was my 4th RTB race. While my time wasn’t my best the bling was triple sweet and it’s always enjoyable to run at Keeneland. Already signed up for 2019 … MORE

    This was my 4th RTB race. While my time wasn’t my best the bling was triple sweet and it’s always enjoyable to run at Keeneland. Already signed up for 2019

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ldoucet FIRST-TIMER '18

    This should be on EVERYONE'S Half Marathon to do list! From the swag, to the medal, to the organization of this event, to the events associated with this Half that … MORE

    This should be on EVERYONE’S Half Marathon to do list!
    From the swag, to the medal, to the organization of this event, to the events associated with this Half that you can sign up for, the package pick up, to crossing the finish line with a High 5 from the race director! they even have an APP that you can track your workouts on and get additional goodies at the race. Did I mention the medal! By FAR MY FAVORITE in my collection!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    mseeyoremi FIRST-TIMER '18

    Very nice well run race. The hills are there but make you stronger. Expo is small but well organized. I loved race swag and option to upgrade to jacket. MORE

    Very nice well run race. The hills are there but make you stronger. Expo is small but well organized. I loved race swag and option to upgrade to jacket.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    kellyh REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Very well organized race, no detail is overlooked. Quiet, hilly course through horse country. The best swag with options to upgrade. Awesome medals. Plenty of aid stations on course. MORE

    Very well organized race, no detail is overlooked. Quiet, hilly course through horse country. The best swag with options to upgrade. Awesome medals. Plenty of aid stations on course.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    LHAMPT20 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I thought this was a great race and worth my 6 hour drive to get there. Plenty of emails to keep you informed leading up to the race. Nice app … MORE

    I thought this was a great race and worth my 6 hour drive to get there. Plenty of emails to keep you informed leading up to the race. Nice app for tracking purposes. Nice long sleeve hoodie and choice of premium upgrade. And I’m not going to lie, I did it only for the awesome medal!!!! The only thing I did not care for was that they started the shorter race (3.85 I think) first so when the 1st wave started we were running the first mile with walkers and it was packed because the 7 milers also started with the half marathoners. And about 3 miles to go in the half the race merged back with the 7 milers so you had to weave around a lot of walkers.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Wayne Cornett
    KirstensDad FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was the prettiest run I've ever done. Cherry blossoms, dogwoods, pear trees, and crape myrtle trees all in bloom while running along side of beautiful horses. The shirt had … MORE

    This was the prettiest run I’ve ever done. Cherry blossoms, dogwoods, pear trees, and crape myrtle trees all in bloom while running along side of beautiful horses. The shirt had a hood which means I don’t wear it. The medal was incredible. The only down side is that you cannot stay within walking distance of the start of the race. Traffic was terrible and they delayed the start on a freezing very windy morning by about 15 minutes because of the traffic. Granted, if I had been stuck in traffic I would have been thankful for the delay, but I was there freezing.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    robrien0215 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I loved this race! It was so cold and rainy but race was still fun regardless. The course has the definition of rolling hills-you run immediately downhill after you run … MORE

    I loved this race!

    It was so cold and rainy but race was still fun regardless.

    The course has the definition of rolling hills-you run immediately downhill after you run up the hill. There is one killer hill at about mile 9.

    The course director was in constant contact and was at the finish line to high 5 you as you crossed the finish line-yes cruel joke that the end is uphill as well.

    The scenery had rolling green hills and horses out in the fields. Not a ton of spectators but the race was so large, you were never really alone on the course. The race being so large I would say is its only downfall as usually the further into the race you get, the more space you have. This was not the case on this one.

    Lexington is a lovely area to visit-great weekend away.

    Everything about this race was well done-highly recommend doing it!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Lorelei FIRST-TIMER '14

    Ranks as probably #3 in my list of favorites. The entire course was along the horse farms/stables and was just breathtaking. And when a horse runs alongside you - that's … MORE

    Ranks as probably #3 in my list of favorites. The entire course was along the horse farms/stables and was just breathtaking. And when a horse runs alongside you – that’s a wow experience.

    Hilly! Hilly!! and more Hilly!!!!! I trained for months for these hills. The 9 mile hill is a long 9% grade. But, when we were done, I felt like there was no race I couldn’t handle after that one. If you want that feeling of accomplishment, this is the race to do. There is a special Director’s award for everyone who PRs in this race.

    Kudos to the race organizers who go above and beyond to make this a spectacular experience. They keep the excitement up all year long. The expo included signature bourbon!! Forget the shirts and hat — give me the booze. And rum balls – grandmother’s recipe. I still buy it every year as a Christmas gift to myself.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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