Norton Sports Health Training Program



This FREE miniMarathon, Marathon, and Relay training program features 15 weeks of organized group runs, training tips and preparation, courtesy of Norton Sports Health team!

Trainees have the opportunity to talk with professionals about nutrition, training tips, injury prevention and education.

All registrants will receive a free training manual and access to training experts to help get you ready for race day!

The first 800 to register for both the Norton Sports Health Training Program, AND the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, miniMarathon or Relay, will receive a FREE Tech Shirt.


Training Program kicks off on Thursday, January 9th at the Kentucky Derby Museum!


Thinking of running the miniMarathon or Marathon in April? Norton Sports Health recommends you always consult with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine. A clean bill of health is key in training successfully. To find a doctor visit, or call (502) 629-1234.

Are you healthy enough to start training for the race?  Watch this video with Norton Sports Health’s Jeffrey S. Stephenson, M.D., Medical Co-director of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s training program, to see why it’s so important to check with your doctor first.


What is the Norton Sports Health Training Program?

The Norton Sports Health Training Program is a FREE 15 week program designed to help newer runners prepare to complete the Derby Festival miniMarathon or Marathon. The program offers weekly group runs led by Norton Sports Health professionals, as well as tips on training, nutrition and injury prevention.


What if a Training Run gets canceled or delayed for weather?

You will be notified by your Norton Sports Health training partners through the email you signed up with, but you can also find the latest information on the Norton Sports Health Training Program Facebook Event Page.


When and where are the weekly group training runs?

Training runs are held on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings each week from January-April, at different locations around Louisville. Specific details will be posted here & on our Facebook Page once times, dates and locations are finalized.


I have never participated in an organized road race event before, can I really train to run or walk my first marathon or half marathon?

Many of our runners and walkers have never participated in an organized road race before, and that’s okay. Most people, even with no prior experience, can finish a full or half-marathon provided they follow a structured, progressive training program start to finish. It is a matter of future commitment more than a matter of previous experience.

I don’t know the first thing about running gear, diet, training techniques, or body maintenance, will there be information given on these topics?

Absolutely! Many of our participants will be relative beginners at running and/or walking, so don’t feel like you are the only one. For those new to the sport, we highly recommend attending the Norton Sports Health Training Program Kick-Off at the Kentucky Derby Museum. At the Kick-Off, we will have sports medicine professionals in attendance from Norton Sports Health, as well as partners from Swags Sport Shoes to help get you in the right gear for race-day.

A bonus with our training program is the self-guided Norton Sports Health Training Manual you’ll receive. It’s a guide to help walkers and runners of all levels train safely while enjoying their time preparing for their first half or full marathon. The Manual includes tips for safe walking and running, injury prevention, cross-training, nutrition. Plus, there are complete training calendars and maps to help you stay on track.


I feel like I might be very slow compared to others, what if I can’t keep up with the rest of the group?

Don’t worry about your speed. You will be in good company as many of our runners intend to walk portions of each event.  Our group is large enough that you will always be around people in your speed range. The weekly training runs are a great community where no runner or walker is left behind.


I won’t be able to join the program until late, or I won’t be able to attend all the training runs, is that okay?

You can join the training program after the official kick-off in January, however we strongly encourage starting your training from that first week and doing your best to attend the training runs. The group runs provide a great support system to help keep you on track. If you can’t make each of the training runs, just make sure you’re keeping up with your training on your own (per our Norton Sports Health Training Manual). This will ensure you’re adequately trained to complete the race.