Monday, March 31, 2014

The Insider’s Guide to Surviving the Kentucky Derby Marathon

Feeling in shape? Are you ready to put your fitness to the test? If you are, then get ready for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Marathon and Mini Marathon, which take place in Louisville on April 19. Here's the insider’s guide to surviving the Kentucky Derby Marathon.

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!

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Insider Secrets: Top Tips for Surviving the Louisville Ironman Challenge (Hint: Start Training Now!)

Registration is now open for the next Ironman Challenge in Louisville, Kentucky. The event will be taking place on August 24, 2014, and although it still seems like ages away, it's never too early to start training. As a matter of fact, the athletes who tend to do the best in the Ironman Challenges are typically that ones who train nearly all year long. The more you train, the more prepared you are for the different elements of the challenge, and the better your body can withstand the vigorous physical exercise involved in the multi-faceted race.

Now a signature event for Louisville athletes and bystanders alike, the race was first held here in 2007. The Ironman Challenge brings with it plenty of entertainment, dining experiences, and recreational activities, charming the city with its presence and encouraging only the best performance from the city's finest athletes.  The Ironman Challenge in Louisville is the final qualifying event for the World Championship held in Kailua-Kona, HI. If a trip to Hawaii for the World Championship is your ultimate goal, these training tips will help you get there.


Preparing for the Race: Practice Makes Perfect

The Ironman is a vigorous and challenging course that is divided into three components. Starting with a swim in the Ohio River, continuing with a scenic biking route with a mixture of rolling hills and flat pastures, and finishing with flat running across Churchill Downs and the University of Louisville, Ironman competitors should be well prepared for each level of the race.

Whether you are a strong athlete or not, you should not discount the importance of practice. Just a few swims each week during the off-season can help you maintain your fitness level year-round, and stepping up your workout intensity as the Ironman Challenge nears will prepare you both physically and mentally for the trial ahead. Consider taking a dip in the Ohio River a few times prior to the race – this will help to prepare you for the real thing. Spin classes are a great option for indoor cycle training, and outdoor riding in a group setting can be a pleasure-filled hobby that will help you prepare. Consider running the Louisville Ironman route itself on a regular basis to become acquainted with the route’s various characteristics and challenges.

Maintaining a Balance: Rest and Recovery

Although practice is key to achieving success at the Ironman Challenge, it should be noted that many amateur Ironman athletes make a similar mistake: over-training. Over-training will drain your body of much-needed nutrients and won’t give you an opportunity to properly recover from your training regimen prior to the start of the Challenge. These effects will be detrimental to your performance during the race. Rest and recovery time for your body should not be overlooked. Ensure you balance your training and focus on making time for rest so that your body is fully rejuvenated for its best performance during Ironman.

Avoiding a Common Jump Start Mistake

Contrary to what some may believe, starting the race too fast may actually have a negative effect on your overall performance. Athletes in the race should have a clear idea of their performance abilities from one moment to the next, and should pace themselves accordingly. A "negative split" is an approach that has led to the successful qualification of many Ironman athletes in the past, whereby the second part of the race is finished at a faster pace than the first. The key to this approach is to avoid becoming too excited at the start of the race, and maintain the discipline to keep a slower pace for the first half. This will allow your body the time to warm up and get into a zone of maximum preparedness before you encounter the most challenging part of the race.

Aside from adjusting your daily diet to fit well with your Ironman Challenge preparations, the biggest advantage you can give yourself is a combination of practice, self-encouragement and rest. The right combination and balance of these elements just might help you say Aloha, Hawaii!

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Fit in 2014? Try out These Downtown Louisville CrossFit Studios

Is your New Year's Resolution to get fit in 2014? If you're in the Louisville area and you're interested in developing a new fitness regimen, you're in luck! CrossFit is the perfect workout to improve your muscular strength, cardio-respiratory endurance, and flexibility - and it’s a great way to lose weight. As the primary strength and conditioning method for many police academies, military operations, champion martial artists, and professional athletes across the country, CrossFit is a vigorous and effective workout sure to help you achieve your 2014 fitness goals. Here are just a few Louisville fitness studios offering CrossFit programs.

A New Venue for a New Year: CrossFit The Ville

Having been closed for a temporary period during the last portion of 2013, CrossFit The Ville has reopened in their new and convenient location in downtown Louisville, and are back in action with their CrossFit members. Now located at 721 East Main Street, CrossFit The Ville is taking 2014 by storm with their schedule of group CrossFit classes amongst their yoga/mobility classes, Olympic lifting classes, and strength training programs.

As a professional establishment with a focus on safe exercising, CrossFit The Ville requires beginners to enroll in their Elements sessions before joining group CrossFit classes. The Elements classes focus on skill development and will introduce CrossFit beginners to the basic movements of the exercise program. A total of two sessions are taught at the Elements level, which build upon each other for a full understanding of the art of CrossFit.

CrossFit The Ville suggests that prior to starting Elements classes, you should take "before" pictures of your body composition. These pictures will serve as a reference point as you progress with CrossFit. This can be a great motivator as you continue getting closer to reaching your 2014 fitness goals.

Louisville WOD Travel Series: Derby City CrossFit

Another established CrossFit studio in Louisville is Derby City CrossFit, located at 139 Breckenridge Lane, which is just east of Downtown in the Cherokee Gardens area. This studio not only offers some of the best CrossFit classes in the city, but also has specialists on board to provide Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy. These services can be integrated with your workout plan at Derby City CrossFit. This studio is also offering a promotion for a complimentary two weeks for new customers.

As a collaborative CrossFit Studio, Derby City CrossFit is participating in the "WOD Travel Series" along with CrossFit The Ville on the first three Saturdays in February. FourBarrel CrossFit (located in New Albany) is the third participating studio in this series.

If you're particularly interested in a challenge, Derby City CrossFit also offers the CrossFit Open, which is a series of five weekly workouts that will determine the participant's eligibility to partake in the 2014 CrossFit Games.

If you're looking for your CrossFit studio, both of these gyms are great options to begin your CrossFit exercise program. Regardless of where you end up, you're sure to be pleased with your results after committing to this vigorous - but effective! - workout for your 2014 resolution.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Get Your Geek On at the 2014 Louisville Comic Con

Attention, Louisville-area geeks: start working on your cosplay outfits! The 2014 Louisville Comic Con is coming to town this March. Featuring 18 celebrity guests, dozens of vendors, and thousands of excited fans, this year's Comic Con will be one for the history books. Come see Louisville's first-ever Comic Con and experience the ultimate in fandom.

The Celebrity Guest Lineup: The Biggest Names in Geekdom Converge on Louisville

The 2014 Louisville Comic Con will feature a number of celebrities from film, television, comic books, and other media. Come see The Walking Dead cast members Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Scott Wilson, Jon Bernthal, and Sarah Wayne Callies. With this many Z-Day survivors in one building, it might be wise to bring a wilderness survival kit, should a zombie apocalypse break out.

Other major headliners include Michael Rosenbaum of Smallville fame, James Marsters and Kristine Sutherland from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and everyone's second-favorite hobbit, Sean Astin. With so many sci-fi and fantasy celebs in attendance, it shouldn't be hard to get an autograph or signed photo from your favorite geek idol.

Get Involved: Wizard World Film Festival, Exhibition Booths

There will be several ways to get involved and have some fun at the Louisville Comic Con, with some of the best being the great exhibition booths and the Wizard World Film Festival.

If you're an artist, crafter, retailer, head of a fan community, or other exhibitor, you can register for your very own exhibition booth. There are booths available for fan organizations, painters and designers in the Artist Alley, or retailers. You can even get a press booth (separate from a press pass) and connect with fans and retailers.

The Wizard World Film Festival will showcase fan-made films up to 20 minutes in length (15 minutes for music videos). The best films from each city will net the creator a great VIP prize, while those who win their individual categories will have their films shown at other film festivals and the Wizard World website.

The Vital Details: Venue, Ticket Prices, and Admission Miscellanea

The Louisville Comic Con will take place on the last weekend of March—that is, March 28, 29, and 30, 2014—at the Kentucky International Convention Center on 4th Street. The show will operate from 3 PM to 8 PM on Friday, 10 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, and 11 AM to 5 PM on Sunday. Guests who purchase VIP tickets will get onto the convention floor 30 minutes early on Saturday and Sunday.

A standard three-day pass is $75 at the door or $65 if you purchase in advance. There are also one-day passes available, ranging from $35 to $45 depending on the day you choose to attend. Every ticket purchased admits one adult and two children (ten and under).

If you plan to cosplay, know that any fake weapons will be inspected by security upon entering the convention. See the full policy at the Wizard World website,

This year's Louisville Comic Con is a great opportunity to get out, meet your favorite geek celebrities, and connect with people who are passionate about geek culture. Meet celebrities from The Walking Dead and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, check out fan and vendors' booths, and watch for the film festival! If you're ready to feed your inner geek with some Comic Con goodness, be sure to grab your ticket for the last weekend in March. Passes will sell out fast, so get yours early.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Attention Louisville Motorheads: The Antique Auto Swap Meet Is on This March, and It's Going to Be Huge!

Are you an antique car fan looking for that unique or hard to find antique car part? It might be hard to find events that are specifically suited to your passion for antique cars and memorabilia, but if you’re a motorhead, the Antique Auto Swap Meet in Louisville this March is an ideal shopping destination for you. Here is some information about what to expect from this year's event.

Some Background on One of the Biggest Indoor Meets in the Country, and How to Get In On the Action

This year's Antique Auto Swap Meet is being sponsored by the Louisville region's Antique Automobile Club of America, so you know the event is going to bring out the best cars and parts, but also the most reputable and successful antique car dealers, traders, and restorers. Over 1,000 vendor spaces will be competing for your attention over a quarter of a million square feet of the venue's space, making the room quite the spectacle to behold. The event has sold out every year since it first began in 1984. Admission to the event is $10 for adults, and children under 10 are admitted free with a parent. The meet is taking place at the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center, and it runs from March 8th-9th.

What You Can Expect to See, and Possibly Find

Like any car show of this size, the Antique Auto Swap Meet offers car fans such a huge variety of car products and services that it's often difficult to predict what will be available to you. If you visit the event's website at, you can check out some of the highlights from last year's event and see what sorts of companies and independent dealers come to he event. There are larger, better known companies, such as Coker Tire, who was in attendance last year, but there are also smaller, independent dealers looking for and selling extremely obscure and unique car parts or antiques, like authentic Standard Oil cans or old Firestone signs. The size of the event makes it likely that you will find some of the same dealers as last year, like car wax companies, independent clothing companies, and people simply bringing in their classic cars for others to appreciate.

Not Just for Antique Auto Fans?

The past few years have seen an increase in classic mopeds and scooters at the meet, given their renewed popularity among young people, which demonstrates the diversity of motorheads making their way to Louisville each year for this event. Also, there are countless booths of toy cars and books about cars, and there are always a variety of food options on hand to serve the huge crowds who come through the event over two days.

There is something to do for everyone at the Antique Auto Swap Meet in Louisville, so you might want to think about grabbing your family or your fellow motorheads and heading to Louisville this March!

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!