Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017

This is my recap of the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017 held on April 29th. This was a bucket list race for me and my only regret was not taking off more days and being able to enjoy the super neat city of Louisville, KY.

Weekly Wrap 91 Weekend in Kentucky

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017 Race Recap

Let me just tell you there is nothing mini about running 13.1 miles, but that is what they are calling it!

My normal fashion of race recaps is I recap my entire weekend. I am deviating from this method. If you would like to see more about my weekend in Louisville, please visit my Weekly Wrap post here.

It starts with the Expo

We had to go to “Plan B” and drive our RV to the expo instead of stopping off at the campground first. It turns out the expo was held at the Louisville Exposition Center aka the old fairgrounds. Needless to say, there was not a problem parking our RV. This place is HUGE!

The expo was well-organized and decent sized and if I had more time I would have gone through it with a fine-tooth comb. In our race packets, we got v-neck tech shirts and I did have to exchange mine for a bigger size. BUT, you could do that right there at the very next table! Why don’t other races offer this instead of making you lug it to the race??? I did not particularly like the shirt design but that’s just me.

A few other things in the packet like other race info sheets, a 5-hour energy shot, but that’s about it.

You could have gotten last minute race gear, gels, GU’s and such. They even had shoes and apparel. We skimmed through pretty fast because they were closing and several of the vendors were already gone. We had a big day of travel and ran into delays around the Nashville area that really set us back. Not to mention, I forgot about the time change so there went another hour.

weekly wrap 91 weekend in Kentucky

I’m ready to race!

Pre-race Routine

I did not partake in my normal “carb-loading”. We ate at a Cattleman’s Roadhouse where I got salmon but I did have two delicious yeast rolls!

After a long day, I was tired. We rolled into the campground after 10 but had no problems getting to our spot.

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017

How about some Sparkle?

I got “flat Tricia” ready and all my gear laid out for the morning. I decided to go with some gunsmoke sparkle.

Race Day

With a 7:30AM race start, I set my alarm for 5:15, and my timeline would be 6:10 start looking for an Uber, leave by 6:30ish. It was about 25-minute drive to downtown. Get there right before 7. All Good!

None of that worked! First off when I woke up I see an email from the race director stating the start was pushed back to 8 AM. That’s fine I’ll try to loosely stick to the timeline and it’s not cold outside so I’ll just hang out around the start. Not be rushed.

Out of curiosity, I checked Uber about 5:50. Nothing, not a single car in the area! Mind you I called ahead and talked to someone at the campground asking if Uber was available and I was told yes. After the fact, I was told: “Uber doesn’t, much come out here early in the morning or late at night”! That little tidbit of info would have been great to know ahead of time!

Second thing, Mother Nature decided to throw us some curve balls this morning. Overnight strong storms traveled just north of us but they were predicted to be out of the area. When I looked at the radar when I got up it did look promising that by the time the pushed back time arrived, we’d be just fine.

Well about the time my husband said start packing things up were going in the RV, we get a bite on Lyft (a service like Uber). It was about 7:30 but we were on the road!

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

My view headed to downtown

The closer we got to downtown the worse the sky looked! This was taken on the interstate. The driver kept saying “yall ain’t gonna be racing today” I actually started to believe him!

He lets us out and I head to the start, but passing several runners just lounging around, I decided to stop at a hotel courtyard and ask two ladies. The time now had been moved back again.

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

Just hanging out before the race

Pictured here are Greg, Ashley, Holly and me. I met these sweet ladies and we chatted until it was time to head to the start! It was great talking with them and my nerves began to settle down. I was just ready to run! The storm stayed just NW of us. It did rain and we actually started in the rain but then it turned into a very cloudy morning with only a few spots of light rain.

We all walked the couple blocks to the race start just before 9. It was after the announcements and the official Kentuck Derby Bugler (that was cool) I checked the weather one last time and it was already 70 degrees.

I did not know what the weather would do, at points it looked as if the bottom would fall out then others as if the sun might peek out.

I’m not real sure what I would have liked better though. I didn’t want to run in the rain or even worse get caught in a thunderstorm, but I sure didn’t want it to get any hotter! At very best I’d be finishing around 11:30!

Time to Race

This was a bucket list race and my last distance race until the fall so I really wanted to take in the scenery but also run a decent time.

  • Mile 1 = 10:21  I really did not try to dodge anyone, the streets were very wet and I just wanted to stay upright!
  • Mile 2 = 9:56 Oh crap, slow down!
  • Mile 3 = 10:12  Dang I’m hungry! My coffee and piece of bread with PB on it from 6:15 is long gone!
  • I took my first Honey Stinger here and walked just a bit. I tried to not go too long without fueling but I wouldn’t have thought I’d need it this soon.
  • Mile 4 = 10:33
  • Mile 5 = 10:36
  • Mile 6 = 10:48 I carried my water but I tried to take walk breaks, mostly after the congestion of the waterstops.
  • Mile 7 10:51
  • Mile 8 = 11:07
  • Mile 9 = 12:29 Somewhere between 8 and 9 we came across Churchill Downs. For the first time, I used the race prediction feature on my phone. I looked down and it said my predicted time would be 2:28. I thought well no records are going to be broke so I might as well enjoy what I’m seeing.
kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

This was so awesome

I hardly ever take pictures during my races but I really wanted my husband to be able to see what I was seeing! So I started snapping away!

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

Going through the tunnel

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017We ran on the infield and a lot of the views were blocked by what looked like temporary buildings for the Derby races.

It was still such a treat to be here and yes, it makes me want to come back!

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

  • Mile 10 = 11:39
  • Mile 11= 11:01
  • Mile 12 = 10:45 How many times in a race can you say, wow the miles are flying by? I wasn’t flying but I was very much enjoying myself and the course.
  • Mile 13 = 10:58
  • Last stretch = 7:32 woo wee!

I had a GU somewhere around 6-8?? And I was eating Chews well past mile 12, which I finished all of them. I never do that!

I loved going through the old Louisville neighborhoods. The buildings and houses were just gorgeous! So much architecture to be appreciated there. Talk about crowd support, I was very impressed with how many people cheered us on. I remember going by a Senior Citizen home and the residents were out cheering us with signs and smiles!

I also remember a sign that said Dig deeper than a kid going for a bugger! I laughed out loud on that one!

I truly enjoyed this race even with the weather, starting late and being totally alone with strangers on the course, it was a good race and one to end this season on.

Loved this medal

I missed seeing my husband coming through the finish line. He said I looked right at him. The organizers shuffled us through the finish to a racers only section where there was food, fruit, bagels and such. I did manage to snag some chocolate milk but the other parts were so backed up and at a standstill. I like to keep moving so I bypassed it. I was just ready to see my husband.

While I understand the purpose of rushing us through and having food only for the racers, I hate that I can’t meet up with my family until I’ve walked so far to the reunion area.

We didn’t stay long, I was ready for some real food so we left the finish festival and headed downtown.

kentucky derby mini marathon 2017

This was half #30 for me

The half was pretty much flat, which might be surprising and going through the tunnels at Churchill Downs was most of the hills. I hear the full has more elevation. My official time was 2:22 flat. About a middle of the road time for me on a half. This race exceeded my expectations and I had a fabulous time. What more could you ask for?

I’d love to do this one and Run the Bluegrass in Lexington for a third medal at some point. I’m all about earning extra bling without the extra effort.

I loved traveling through Tennessee and Kentucky with the beautiful scenery. While I enjoyed the campground, I could have done a better job with utilizing my money spent on a site there.

The only thing I can think would make this race better is friends running it with me!

Is this race on your radar?  Make sure to visit their site and get on their mailing list!

Have you ever been to Louisville? Do you have a Kentucky race already?

I’d love it if you’d please share this recap, thanks for reading!



Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017


  1. I”d love to do this race. Interestingly, a few years ago I ran a half in Madison Wisconsin where we had a very similar weather situation. I got to the start and the storms rolled in, so we waited inside some University building. I made friends and my family had breakfast, then went shopping. I think we finally took off about 90 minutes after the planned start. It was pouring when we took off, but by the end, the sun was out and it was HOT! My fueling was completely off. I was pretty miserable the rest of the day but the funniest thing was my finish time: 1:59:59. Can’t complain about that.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Think You’ll Never Run Boston? 13 Ideas to Help You Cut a Race Course and Make a BQ HappenMy Profile

    • Ha no ma’am can’t complain about that time. I enjoyed myself on the course a lot and I was tickled with the 2:22

  2. This race has definitely been on my radar for a while now but it would have to be a racecation for me as I would have to take off work for a few days since it is not close.

    I got a preview of this race from a friend who also ran it so I knew about the weather and the delayed start but thank you for the play by play of the race course. Sounds like you had a great time. I love that the people from the old folks home were out cheering!
    Fairytales and fitness recently posted…A Perfect Cheat!My Profile

    • I’ve never experienced a delayed start that late but I didn’t really think too much into it. I’m glad we were able to run and earn that sweet medal!

  3. Wow, you did have a great race! Congratulations! I have always wanted to do this one and now even more so. I loved everything about our Derby experience, so now I just need to top it off with the race 🙂
    Teresa recently posted…Quarry Crusher Race Series ~ BirminghamMy Profile

  4. Its funny because this is one of the strange years I actually liked the shirt & the poster that matched it – I think you have to be in the area to appreciate it though so I get why you didnt.
    I kept trying to keep an eye out for your sparkle skirt after I saw thats what you were going to wear 😉
    I just hate you didnt get to experience the horses running in Churchill while you’re in there – that’s just the best. Dang muddy track!!!!
    Yeah – every year, that senior home is FULL of support. the rain actually kept a big chunk of them indoors. They just line up & love high fives from the crowd. SO STINKIN’ CUTE!!!!!!
    This was the first year there was such a back up in the food area – not even sure why that happened like that. It was horrible.
    & yes, the full marathon goes through Irquois park – which is VERYYYY hilly. Did you hear about that mess? With the delay, they had to open the roads at the original time they planned – so 2 hours earlier than should have for the race. People had to run on the sidewalks & they eventually shut it down where you couldnt take that route. & THEN, water stops packed up their original time not taking in consideration the delay – & you know how humid it was… the last 10 miles of their race, they had NOTHING!!!!! Isnt that awful? That’s such a shame because they’ve always been so good at treating the runners so good. That delay just screwed up a lot of stuff.
    So glad you made it… & yeah, the Bluegrass Challenge is a big deal around here to do both races. Add that to your bucket list!!!

    • Just because the shirt wasn’t my favorite, I sure sported it on Saturday night 😉 I must come back for sure, even with the weather, I really really enjoyed this race! Plus I’ve got to come back to meet you!
      Tricia recently posted…Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2017My Profile

  5. Sounds like you had a good race experience in spite of the late start. It’s pretty rare that you can say the miles are flying by at the end of the race 🙂
    Chaitali recently posted…Disney World Star Wars Dark SideMy Profile

  6. Sounds like a rocky start but a great finish! I am glad you were able to take in some of the sights! Kentucky is so beautiful ! Actually my hubby left this morning for Lexington! Love the medal too! Dang that weather but that is Kentucky this time of year! I hope you found a mint julep!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…And the baby’s middle name is……………My Profile

    • I was wondering what would happen if they called it off. I’m glad we got to run even if it was delayed.

  7. I’m glad the weather held up for the most part and that despite the rough start to the morning you were still able to finish the race smiling!!! The rnr Nashville race was very similar at the end and runners only allowed in the finish area and being corralled to the reunion area. If I ever do another RNR race I’m dragging some friends with me and just making a weekend of it. Racing big races are always better with friends!!! Congrats on half #30!!!!!!!!
    Melissa Cunningham recently posted…Race recapsMy Profile

  8. You are such a good sport! All of those time delays would have really messed me up eating and fueling wise. Nice job pulling out your race and enjoying it along the way!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Westfields Sprint Tri Recap & thoughtsMy Profile

  9. Oooh I’m glad the weather didn’t wash out the entire race! You ran great despite the delay. I’d love to do this race! I’d have chills running through Churchill Downs. So cool!
    Marcia recently posted…Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Brownie CupsMy Profile

  10. I do like my run/walk because it allows me to easily (sort of) take photos.

    It’s a race I’ve considered — no idea it was flatish! Which makes me want to do it more. I’ve never been to KY at all, but I did go to TN once & we really enjoyed it (haven’t raced there yet).

    It sounds to me like you had a great race! Nice way to cross one off the bucket list!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Imagination vs KnowledgeMy Profile

  11. This has to be the coolest race ever! I know you are not staying for the Derby festivities but check out my article on the best fascinators for Derby day fun! (In the rain this year!)

  12. I thought I left you a comment but I don’t see it! I wonder if it went to your spam 🙁
    You ran a great race! That is hard to wait to start that late.
    That weather looks scary, but at least you got to run and it wasn’t canceled.

  13. If this race wasn’t already on my radar, it would be after reading your recap! Happy to hear it is a mostly flat course-I would have never thought that! Congrats on the finish 🙂
    Stacey recently posted…Easing Back Into TrainingMy Profile

  14. This is such a cool race!! Had no idea it existed but it is definitely on my radar now. Especially since it’s pretty flat – and looks scenic! I’m glad you were able to run despite the weather. Congrats on your bazillionth half 😉
    melissa recently posted…Training Tuesday: Race Month is Here!My Profile

  15. I LOVE the medal! Congrats! Also, I love that you took some pictures along the course.
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Forgetting My Shoes On Race DayMy Profile