Course Details

Click here to view course map

There will be NO bags allowed on the course. You will have the opportunity to leave all belongings at gear check located at Louisville Slugger Field. Camel Backs & Water Bags will be allowed. 

Absolutely no participant is allowed on the course prior to 7:30 a.m. (EDT). Any participant on the racecourse before 7:30 a.m. will be disqualified and asked to leave the racecourse. The following are strictly prohibited at all times:

  • Roller Skates (including in-line skate)
  • Bicycles (including hand crank bicycles)
  • Baby Strollers
  • Animals


Participant Safety Information

A color-coded Event Alert System (EAS) will communicate the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day. The levels range from Low (green) Moderate (yellow) High (red) Extreme (black) based primarily on the weather, as well as other conditions.

  • Email and website communication during race week will inform participants of the current Event Alert System status and provide preparation tips based on advance weather forecasts.
  • Updates will be made at the Kentucky Derby Festival Race Expo via signage in the packet pick-up area and public address announcements.
  • On race day, the current Event Alert System status will be communicated via public address announcements and color-coded signs/flags at the start and finish areas, and along the course at each of the 6 Norton Medical aid station locations and via large digital traffic message boards.
  • Runners signed up for Runner Tracking system can be directly communicated to via text or other alerts.

All participants should familiarize themselves with the Event Alert System prior to the race, remain alert for directions from race officials and announcers and take precautions to prepare properly for varying weather conditions on race day.

Event Alert System table:

Alert Level

Public safety message

Please join us in being vigilant of your surroundings during the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon. If you see something say something, a suspicious person, object or vehicle along or near the race course, report the sighting to 9-1-1 or to onsite law enforcement personnel.

Do not store, hide or leave any personal items, backpacks, packages or clothes along or near the race course, including the start and finish line areas. Use designated Gear Check areas to check your personal belongings, or leave your personal items with a friend or family member.

Thank you for helping to keep yourself and those around you safe.



  • United States Track and Field Sanctioned Course and Event
  • Boston Marathon Qualifying event
  • Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters, Baby Joggers, Strollers, Roller Skates and Roller Blades are not permitted on the course
  • Headphones (Ipods, MP3 players, CDs, Tape Walkmans, Radios, etc.) are discouraged
  • Fluid and Medical Stations are positioned along the race course
  • Water and Powerade are offered at Fluid Stations
  • Norton Sports Health Medical Stations along route

NOTE: Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon race officials have the right to disqualify or remove from the course any participant whose activity violates any condition set forth or who poses any potential harm to himself/herself or any other participant.

All participants must maintain no more than a  13:45 minute per mile pace for the full Marathon or a 15:00 minute per mile in the half Marathon.

Roads will reopen following the Louisville Metro Police trail car which starts after the last corral crosses the start line (not gun time). Course services will not be available past this time.


*6 Hour Course Limit for the Marathon

*4 Hours 20 minutes Course Limit for the miniMarathon

All participants must maintain a 13:45 minute per mile pace for the Marathon or a 15:00 minute per mile in the half Marathon (miniMarathon).

The roads will re-open progressively at the 15 minute per mile pace. The Louisville Metro Police trail car which starts after the last corral crosses the start line (not gun time) will reopen the roads. But Don’t Panic…participants will be allowed to continue the course by moving to the sidewalk and following pedestrian rules for safety. PLEASE NOTE, course services will not be available beyond this time.

Marathoners who do NOT reach Mile 8 (Churchill Downs Split) by 11:15AM will be deviated to the miniMarathon course at the course officials discretion. All Marathoners must reach the 20 mile Split (3rd & Breckinridge) by 12:05p.m. in order to continue the route with full support.

2017 Course Certifications

Marathon (26.2 miles): USATF KY10002MS

  • Marathon is a BOSTON QUALIFIER miniMarathon (13.1 miles): USATF KY10001MS
  • Start Line Locations:
  • S. South Floyd and Main: 20 & (2) handicap
  • N. Side of Main 7 Floyd: 20 & (2) handicap
  • Main N side between Preston & Brook (20)
  • N side of Main in front of Sluggerfield
  • 20 & (1) handicap at N Brook & Washington
  • 20 & (1) handicap N Brook & Washington
  • 20 & (1) handicap W corner of Floyd & Witherspoon
  • S. Side of Main & Brook 20 & (1) handicap
  • 8 restrooms lined along the south side of Broadway; East of Rail road overpass
  • 5 Restrooms lined at 4th and Kentucky (lined on the North Side of Kentucky); 5 restrooms lined at 3rd and Kentucky (lined on the south side of Kentucky)
  • 4 Restrooms and 1 Handicap lined at 4th and Central Ave (lined on the North Side of Central Ave); 4 Restrooms and 1 handicap lined at 3rd and Central Ave (lined on the west side of 3rd street)
  • 5 restrooms lined on Southern Parkway and Woodlawn (lined on the west side of Southern Parkway)
  • 5 restrooms lined on Southern Parkway and Taylor Blvd (lined on the west side of Southern Parkway)
  • 5 restrooms lined on Barrett Ave between Christy and Morton Ave. (Lined on Right side of road as you are going toward Eastern Parkway)
  • 5 restrooms lined on Baxter Ave at Broadway (lined on Baxter Ave after Broadway)
  • 15 restrooms and 1 Handicap lined on grass at Waterfront (North of I-64 Overpass) and 1 restroom and 1 handicap at Preston and Witherspoon.
  • 3 restrooms at 4th and Industry (lined on east side of 4th street) and 3 restrooms at 3rd and Eastern Parkway (west side of 3rd Street)
  • 2 restrooms at Southern Parkway and Ashland Ave (lined west side of Southern Parkway) and 2 restrooms at Southern Parkway and Wellington (lined on the east side of Southern Parkway)

Be sure to check out the course map and turn by turn to familiarize yourself with Marathon and miniMarathon routes. Please be aware of your surroundings at all times while on course. There will be sections of the course that will have fencing and coning to identify which lanes are for the miniMarathon participants and Marathon participants. Please be aware of other participants, everyone has a goal so give plenty of room for everyone to have a safe race.

There are two city construction areas that will affect the course this year. 1st & Main (Whiskey Row) will have additional fencing to help with lane expansion. We are working with all city agencies and construction partners to gain the pedestrian walkway back on Main St.

Also, there is construction between 4th and 7th on Main Street to make road repairs. There will be additional course marshals to help keep everyone moving quickly and safely through the construction areas.

We’ve had some minor course changes the past couple years due to the construction in and around Downtown. We continue to modify the course as needed to move around the construction.