This Year's Course: From Downtown to the Derby Track and Back
The start line for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Marathon and Mini Marathon is in downtown Louisville at the corner of Main and Floyd Street. From there, the course winds through downtown and then heads to South Louisville, where participants will make their way through the famous Churchill Downs infield. The mini marathon course heads back downtown from there, while the full marathon route takes runners all the way to Iroquois Park via the Southern Parkway, and then heads back downtown, winding through the Highlands and the outskirts of Nulu on the way. The finish line for both courses will be at the corner of Preston and Witherspoon Street (near Waterfront Park).
The Logistics: What to Do on Race Day
On race day, the start time for both events is at 7:30 AM (7:25 AM for wheelchair participants). Of course it's always recommended that you get there early, leaving plenty of time to find parking, sign in, and warm up. If you have any gear that you want to leave at the finish line, you can bring it to the Runner's Gear Truck, which will be parked at the intersection of Preston and Main Streets. Once the race is over you can pick up any gear you left at the Runners Reunite area near the finish line.
Be Prepared For Any Weather
The weather in Louisville in April is usually moderate to warm, but as with any race, you can never know quite what to expect until the race begins. Average temperatures in April here can range anywhere from 46°F to 67°F, and the average rainfall for Louisville in April is 3.91 inches. Extreme conditions have been recorded in April however, with the temperature some years dropping as low as 21°F and climbing as high as 91°F. While participants and organizers are hoping that the weather will be good this year, it's best to be prepared for any type of conditions, just in case.
Surviving the Race: Enjoy the Scenery!
The Marathon and Mini Marathon routes here are challenging courses, but are also extremely rewarding thanks to the great scenery along the way and the fun race atmosphere. Both routes lead through Louisville Central Park, Spalding University, the University of Louisville, and of course the world-famous Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby itself. The Mini Marathon is a half-marathon course, and is open to both runners and walkers. Each year over 12,000 participants cross the finish line in the Mini Marathon, and over 2,000 runners participate in the full Marathon.
Being well organized will allow you to stay focused on the race. Remember to get there early, prepare for any type of weather conditions, and most importantly, have a great time! Don’t forget that as an added bonus, the Kentucky Derby Festival hosts their annual Pasta Dinner on April 26, so you can celebrate your accomplishment and scarf down some all-important carbohydrates at the same time!