Saturday, August 22, 2020 • Louisville, KY • Course Map
Note: Due the COVID-19 pandemic, the race organizers are also offering a virtual run as a separate option to be run between now and September 30, 2020. As well, the full marathon distance has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.
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 warm (and often hot) and humid weather in August, a month that typically sees temperatures between the mid-60s and the high 80s.
On race day (Aug. 22), the average low is 68ºF and the average high is 88ºF.
- 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon Results
- 6:25 AM – wheelchair division start
- 6:30 AM – half marathon
Course Time Limit
- $55 and up for the half marathon
- $65 and up for the full marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2020 running of Louisville’s Derby Festival Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Derby Festival Mini Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.