Frequently Asked Questions

What is the “miniMarathon”?

It’s a 1/2 Marathon – all 13.1 Miles!


What are my race distance options?

Marathon: 26.2 miles

miniMarathon: 13.1 miles

Relay: Distances vary from 5k to 7.5 mile options, depending on the number of team members you have (3-5). (See Relay Team questions for more info).


What is the registration deadline?

April 17, 2020

*Missed the deadline? We will be offering 250 “Charity Bibs” for the Marathon or miniMarathon, available at the Race Expo & Packet Pick-Up on a first-come, first serve basis. More info below.


Are there time limits for the course?

Yes. There is a 6-hour course limit for the Marathon & Relay routes, and a 4-hour course limit for the miniMarathon.

THIS MEANS: All participants must maintain a 13:45 minute per mile pace to complete the Marathon by the course closing time, or a 15:00 minute mile in the half Marathon (miniMarathon).

The roads will re-open behind runners maintaining a 15 minute per mile pace – The Louisville Metro Police trail car will reopen the roads. The trail car starts after the runners in the last corral cross the start line (not the time of the starting gun).


But Don’t Panic…participants will be allowed to continue the course by moving to the sidewalk and following pedestrian rules for safety.


*PLEASE BE ADVISED: Course services will not be available beyond this pace time, and course deviations may happen if a runner is not keeping the projected race time.

Course Deviation Cut-Off Times:

Marathoners that do NOT reach Mile 8 (Churchill Downs Split) by 10:15AM will be deviated to the miniMarathon course

All Marathoners must reach the 20 mile Split (3rd & Breckinridge) by 12:05p.m. in order to continue the route with full support.


Can I transfer to a different race distance?

Runners can transfer race categories within miniMarathon or Marathon, with a $20.00 transfer fee. Participants can make the change by logging into the RunSignUp account you used to register. (If you are upgrading to the Marathon you will also be charged the difference in pricing.)


Can I get a refund or race deferral for my registration?

Our race policy does not allow for refunds or deferrals, so we highly recommend getting Race Insurance (purchased when you first register).

You may however, transfer between the Marathon & miniMarathon this year, or transfer your bib to another person. Each transfer will have a $20 transfer fee.


We offer race day insurance through Allianz. *Insurance can only be purchased at the time you first enter to run.

To File a Claim: Use the policy number you received when you completed your insurance purchase to make the claim HERE.



To edit or transfer your race registration, log into your RunSignUp account. Go to your “Profile” page, click the “My Registered Races” and view a list of your registrations separated by race, event, date, and registrant. Next to each registrant, you will be able to “View/Edit Registration”, which is where you will need to go to transfer your registration to another participant.


Why do I need Race Day insurance?

We recommend purchasing race day insurance in the event you are not able to travel, or suffer from an injury. A full list of covered circumstances can be found HERE.


What is the VIP Experience & how can I register?

The VIP Experience Presented by ZEGGZ includes:

  • Beat the crowds with Express Lane access at the Race Expo & Packet Pick-up, only for VIPs!
  • Reserved parking at the Start/Finish Line
  • VIP Finish Line Hospitality by ZEGGZ
  • Complimentary drinks in the finish line hospitality tent
  • Complimentary runner recovery stretching by ProRehab Physical Therapy will be available at the VIP tent on Race Day
  • Unique VIP photo opportunities
  • Private changing tent is available for those runners who want to change before kicking back and relaxing
  • Private restrooms
  • All finish line amenities will be available in the tent from 10:00AM until 1:30PM


The easiest way to register is to purchase when you first register to run on RunSignUp .


Can I purchase the VIP Experience after I’ve already registered?

Yes, simply follow the instructions below to add the VIP Experience Presented by ZEGGZ:

  1. Sign In to RunSignUp
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. View your events under Upcoming Events
  4. Click Manage Registration next to the registration that you are editing
  5. Click Add-On Menu
  6. Edit the quantity of the Add-On that you would like
  7. Click Continue


Is my family allowed in the VIP area?

You will need to purchase additional tickets for added family or friends to cover their VIP entry, however you can purchase up to two tickets per person.


Where do I get my bib & shirt?

At the Race Expo & Packet Pick-Up event in the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC), Hall B  on April 23th & 24th.

Thursday, April 23, 2020
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Friday, April 24, 2020
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Is there an age requirement to run?

The minimum age to participate in the Derby Festival Marathon is 16 and the miniMarathon is 12.

*Runners who are under the age of 18 will have to have a liability waiver signed by their legal guardian at packet pick-up.


Can walkers participate?

Yes! Walkers may participate, but must be able to keep a 13:45 minute per mile pace for the full Marathon or a 15:00 minute per mile pace in the miniMarathon.


Do you use Start Corrals?

Yes! We use the Corral System to maintain safety and pacing for our runners, which is why it is so important to stick to your assigned corral.

*Start Corrals are a system used to regulate the flow of runners out of the starting line. Runners are assigned to lettered start areas, based on previous race times or on predicted times. Faster runners will be towards the front, while more leisurely paces will be towards the end, making it safer and more smooth for all runners or walkers to move at their pace.


Can I request a specific corral?

In a way, yes. Corral Systems are based on previous finishing times or estimated finishing time – which can be filled in at the time of registration.

Preferred corrals at the front (for Elite Runners) can be requested with following times. Please send proof of finishing time to

Marathon Qualifying Time: Women – 3:45:00, Men – 3:10:00
miniMarathon Qualifying Time: Women – 1:52:00, Men – 1:35:00

We ask that you make finish times as accurate as possible, to make sure that the course is safe & enjoyable for everyone. (You can go back and update your time when it gets closer to race day.)

Is the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon a Boston Marathon Qualifier?



What time does the Race Start?

The miniMarathon, Marathon, and first leg of the Relay all start at 7:30am. Wheelchair athletes start at 7:25am.


Where are the Start & Finish Lines?

The Starting line is at Main Street and Brook Street in Downtown Louisville, and the Finish Line is at Preston and Witherspoon Street (near Waterfront Park).


Do you offer runner tracking?

Yes! We partner with the free app RaceJoy, to offer live Tracking & Progress Alerts on Race Day. Before the race, DOWNLOAD THE APP.

Once downloaded to your mobile device, you will want to search & select the Kentucky Derby Festival race you are participating in, using the search box. The app will then walk you through how to use your bib number for Progress Alerts, Live Tracking, customizing notifications and using Send-A-Cheer to share time targeted messages with runners.


Where are the Water Stops along the race route?

Yes, we will have 15 water stop locations on the route.

*For your safety, we strongly suggest only taking fluids & food from official race stops.


What refreshments and nutrition will you have on the race route?

We will have 15 water stop locations on the route, three of which will also include nutrition provided by Honey Stinger and 12 will also include Powerade (Powerade flavor for the race this year, as voted on by you, is Mountain Berry Blast!).

Honey Stinger Gel flavors will be Vanilla, Mango/Orange, and Strawberry/Kiwi.

Stay hydrated along the course, thanks to our friends at the Louisville Water Company.  
(We also suggest bringing nutrition of your own to have on hand on the course, for the times when nutrition isn’t accessible.)

Are electrolytes available on the race route?

Yes, gel is available along the Marathon route ONLY at following Waterstops; Water #5 (3rd & Central), Waterstop #10 (Haywood Ave.), and Waterstop #13 (Breckinridge & Vine).

Honey Stinger will be providing Vanilla, Mango/Orange, and Strawberry/Kiwi Gels.


Will I be running on the dirt inside Churchill Downs?

You’ll be running on the pavement through the infield of Churchill Downs, not on the dirt track.


What items are prohibited on the race course?

  • Roller Skates (including in-line skate)
  • Bicycles (including hand crank bicycles)
  • Baby Strollers
  • Running Strollers
  • Animals
  • There will be NO bags allowed on this year’s 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. 


Can I use a mobile device and/or head phones on the route?

Yes! We encourage you to download the RaceJoy App to better enjoy your race experience.


What should I do if I need medical attention along the route?

If it is an emergency, please contact 9-1-1.

We will have medics surveying the course, as well as 6 medical stops along the route, however we highly recommend if your need is urgent to contact emergency services.


What nutrition will be available at the Finish Line?

Meijer is the Official Finish Line Nutrition sponsor. Here’s what’s on the menu for 2019: Asiago Cheese, Blueberry and Plain bagels, Meijer Kettle Chips, Lance’s assorted crackers, Goodness Squeezable Applesauce (Gluten Free), and bananas.
All will be available at the finish line, along with TruMoo Chocolate Milk.
For participants at least 21 years old, a complimentary beer from Goodwood Brewing Company will be ready for you to enjoy at the Post Race Party!

How do I pick up my Race Bib Packet, T-Shirt and VIP Experience passes?

At the Race Expo & Packet Pick-Up event in the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) on April 23rd & 24th.


When is the Expo and Pick-up?

Thursday, April 23, 2020
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Friday, April 24, 2020
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Where is the Expo and Pick-up?

It will be held at the newly renovated Kentucky International Convention Center.


Where do I Park?

The closest parking available to the Kentucky International Convention Center is in the Riverside Convention Center Parking Garage on S. 4th Street, though there are many garages and public parking lot options on S. 3rd Street, and 2nd Street.

You can find more available parking options by using the PARC site or app. We also like Best Parking for pricing.


Can a friend or family member pick up my bib for me?

Yes, a friend or family member can pick-up your bib if they have a copy or photo of your valid I.D., as well as your bib number.


What if I am an out-of-state runner and cannot make it to the Expo and Packet Pick-up?

You will be able to have another friend, family member or runner pick up your packet and shirt for you with a copy of your valid I.D. and bib number. If you are staying at one of our partner hotels, you also have the option of having your packet & shirt delivered to you at the hotel – just let us know, and you will be able to pick-it-up when you check in.


What if I never received the email with my Bib number?

Go to the Runners’ Services table at the Race Expo & Packet Pick-Up, and they will be able to help you!


What if I have the wrong corral assignment?

Go to the Runners’ Services table at the Race Expo & Packet Pick-Up, and they will be able to help you!


Can I change my T-Shirt size?

Yes! Exchanges can be made at T-shirt Exchange booth at the Race Expo & Packet-Pick Up if that size is available.

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.


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 on our website & 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 in January (Date TBD) 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.


More Information and direct registration link can be found HERE.


You said the Relay isn’t new, what’s different now?

In the past, the Relay has been more of a corporate team event.  Many of our participants have been teams from companies and organizations.

We’ve realized that there are many runners and walkers in the community who’d like to participate in our event, but don’t want to run a half or full marathon.

The Relay provides a way they can be part of the largest day of road racing in Kentucky, with shorter distances.


What’s new for Relay participants this year?

Thanks to Humana’s partnership, we’re able to enhance the experience for Relay participants – including an exclusive hospitality area just for Relay runners at Runner’s Reunite.

Plus, there will now be an opportunity for the entire Relay team to run across the finish line together.


Is there a half marathon relay?

Right now, the Relay is on the marathon course.  But all distances are shorter than the 13.1 mile miniMarathon.


How many people can participate in the relay?

A team of 3-5 runners will cover the entire 26.2 mile distance.

A Team can have as few as three (3) members competing or as many as five (5).

If the team has only three (3) members, the first runner may run the first two legs of the relay and the second runner may run the next two, while the third runs the final distance to the finish line. If a Team has four (4) members, one member must run two consecutive legs of the relay.

Participants can choose to compete on an All Men’s Team, All Women’s Team, or a Coed Team.


What if you can’t find friends or family to run the Relay with you?

Participants will need to build their teams on their own, but social media and run chat groups provide a good platform to find other runners or walkers looking to participate in a relay. We also have an awesome group of Race Ambassadors who can help place you on outstanding teams – contact them HERE.


How long are the legs of the relay?

There are 5 legs in the Relay. All 5 legs are shorter distances than the mini marathon – so under 13.1 miles.

There are two 5K legs, two 10K legs and one 12.2 K.

If your Relay has 3 or 4 participants, there would be one or two runners doing two legs of the race.


Are there awards in the Relay Division?

Of course!  Team Prizes are available for First through Third Place in the Relay Division.


How do you time the Relay?

Each team will be given a baton.  The baton is the timing device.  The baton is passed to each runner at the Exchange Points at the end of each leg.

Timing mats are located at Exchange points. When a runners crosses with baton in hand, a time will be recorded.

Exchange points are marked on the course with signage, also known as Relay Zones.

Designated Race Officials are at each location to assist the runners.

Relay Zones also include nutrition and entertainment as part of the race experience.


Will there be any course changes?

We’ve had some minor course changes the past few years due to the construction in and around Downtown. We continue to modify the course as needed to move around the construction. If there are changes for 2020, we’ll let runners know far in advance so they can prepare.


Where do the races start and finish?

Both races will start simultaneously at 7:30 am on Main Street near Slugger Field and will finish at the intersection of Preston and Witherspoon streets.


How many runners participate each year?

We average between 12,000 to 15,000 runners, it still marks the largest day of road racing in Kentucky.

Where should I stay?

Since the start & finish lines are located in the center of downtown Louisville, we recommend staying somewhere in that vicinity.

We partner with The Galt House Hotel, the Official Race Headquarters, to make the race experience smooth for our out-of-town guests.


Recommended to do while in Louisville?

Lucky for you, you’re arriving in Louisville during the Kentucky Derby Festival – two weeks of parties and events celebrating that Louisville tradition we all know and love. You can find a schedule of those events here.

We also recommend you that you check out the Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website for more local fun & trip ideas. (Or you can give them a call at 1-800-626-5646).


How do I get to the Expo & Packet Pick-Up event?

The Expo & Packet Pick-Up is located at the brand new Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC), which is located right in the heart of downtown Louisville. If you are staying close to the Race Start & Finish lines, you will be within walking distance.

(For parking and location information, please see EXPO & PACKET PICK-UP QUESTIONS section.)


What if I don’t get to town in time for the Expo & Packet Pick-up?

You will be able to have another friend, family member or runner pick up your packet and shirt for you with a copy of your valid I.D. and bib number.

Couldn’t find the answer to your question? Check out RunSignUp’s handy FAQs and tutorials HERE.