Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & Mini Marathon

Saturday, April 27, 2024 • Louisville, KY • Course Map

Both college and professional sports are a perennial draw in this northern central Kentucky city that’s perhaps most famous as the home of the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” the legendary Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the thoroughbred triple crown that kicks off the horse racing season at the end of April/beginning of May each year.

So it’s fitting that this race helps kick off what is actually a two-week series of events here in Louisville, as the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon takes place the week before the Derby itself, which runs the following weekend.

The race sports a course that eliminates some of the hills of past year’s races and showcase more of the city’s historic and tourist-friendly places.

The race follows an out-and-back route that starts and finishes along Main Street in downtown Louisville, near the city’s Louisville Slugger Park, the home of its AAA-level Louisville Bats minor league baseball team, and the Louisville Extreme Park, a 40,000-sq.-ft public skate park.

From there, runners follow what is roughly a counter-clockwise loop through the city, which features stretches through its Central Park, the campuses of Spalding University and the University of Louisville, as well as the highlight of the race — the section that takes runners along the infield of Churchill Downs, the hallowed home of the Kentucky Derby itself.

The half marathon finishes with a nearly four-mile-long stretch along 3rd Street, as runners make their way back northward toward the river and Main Street, where they turn right and head back toward Louisville Slugger Stadium. There’s just one last turn, left onto Preston, before runners cross the finish line.

Both the half marathon and the full marathon are USATF-certified courses, and the full marathon route was also a Boston Marathon qualifying course in 2011.

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along a bend in the winding Ohio River that separates Ohio and Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, Louisville typically experiences mild to moderately warm weather in April, a month that typically sees temperatures between 47ºF and 70ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon here.

Starting Time

7:00 AM

Course Time Limit

6 hours


  • $55 and up – half marathon
  • $65 and up – full marathon
  • $45 and up – virtual race


To reserve your spot in the 2024 running of Louisville’s Derby Festival Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Derby Festival Mini Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in Kentucky

1 comment… add one
  • Shelebra Bartley April 25, 2016, 11:21 pm

    this will be my 3rd mini. This year I don’t have anyone to care for my 5 year old. He is use to running with me. Can I use the jogger if I start in the back. I can do a half with the jogger in 2:30


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