Race Ambassadors

The GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon Race Ambassador Team is built of  runners and walkers who are part of an amazing group who are proactive in pushing a healthy lifestyle message to all local and regional groups and organizations. These Ambassadors help KDF keep our runners and walkers informed, inspired and motivated during the months leading up to the race.

Over the past 9 years, our Race Ambassador Team has been essential in the development and continued growth of the Marathon & miniMarathon. We encourage our Race Ambassadors to stay involved in the race, as well as other Kentucky Derby Festival events.


Learn More about Our Ambassador Program!

Race Ambassadors form a subcommittee that will serve as recruiting liaisons within the running and walking community of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

• Race Ambassadors are selected for the program (for a one year term).

• Ambassador selection is based on an application explaining why they would be an important asset to the committee.

• Race Ambassadors report to a committee chair and be expected to attend Ambassador committee meetings and KDF Race events.

FORMER RACE AMBASSADORS: Please see the form below to express interest in volunteering with other Kentucky Derby Festival events.


The Perks

• Complimentary registration into the 2023 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon based on referrals.

• Official Race Ambassador merchandise.

• Biography, photo and email link on DerbyFestivalMarathon.com

• Personal discount code offerings throughout the recruiting period.

• Other perks will be rewarded based on the Referral Rewards Program Levels

Meet Your 2023 Ambassadors!

See below for bios, contact info and more details about the 2023 Race Ambassador Team.

After moving to Louisville, I found so many friends through running. What an amazing and welcoming running community we have! The KDF mini was my first half marathon, and I’ve enjoyed distance running ever since.

The KDF mini around 2017  was my first half marathon. It went terribly, but I loved the general experience! Since then, I’ve participated in the KDF mini one other time and ran the KDF full marathon this spring (2022). I’ve also enjoyed the Triple Crown races, a downtown doubler, and several fall races since I’ve lived in Louisville. Additionally, I’ve trained for a few seasons with Fleet Feet, where I was challenged and met some amazing friends, including two running gals who were the most consistent and encouraging friends throughout the pandemic.

I enjoy running in various social runs around town. Lately, I’ve loved the Thursday night runs from Hi-Wire and hope to consistently return to Tuesdays from Great Flood.

Contact info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emily.bickel.792

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wickeribarelyknowher/

Born and raised in Louisville, I am a husband to a lovely/supportive wife, father of two amazing/beautiful children, sports fanatic and a passionate runner. I am outgoing and love meeting new people.

I have participated in seven KDF half marathons and one team Marathon relay. I have also participated in the Norton Sports Health Training program the last eight to nine years. I’ve been in countless amounts of other local races from the Triple Crown to the Polar Bear Grand Prix.

Contact info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/troygahafer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/troygahafer

I’m originally from Indianapolis and now live in Southern Indiana. 2022 marks my 10-year “runaversary.” It’s a love/like relationship, too! I love the atmosphere at races, training events and in group runs with my SRTT (She Runs This Town) group, and I like how I feel after the run is over!

I ran a few 5K races before I had the nerves to register for KDF. I think my first time running the KDF mini was in 2015 and it was amazing! I knew I was going to keep this race on my calendar . The only year I’ve missed was 2020 (2021 was virtual for me).

I’m an active member in SRTT – both the Southern Indiana and the Louisville chapters. I am also a member of the Trail Sisters and the Louisville Trail Nuts. Fun Fact: Trail running helped me on my road running far more than I was expecting. I think it’s the different muscles used and the chance to work on balance while running.

Contact info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elladams

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elizabetheadams

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elladams/

I am the owner and editor of Chicago Athlete Magazine, an avid runner and race reporter, a mom to two, plus a fur-baby, and a recovering flight attendant,

I attended the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon last year (2022) and explored Louisville with my family. The event was incredibly well done and everyone was welcoming and lovely. While running to catch me at the Finish Line, my daughter fell and scraped her knee pretty badly. A wonderful policewoman cleaned up her knee and bandaged her up. I just couldn’t have had a better experience with the entire Louisville community.

Contact info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandi.florip

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mandiflorip/

I’m currently a senior at UofL and plan to graduate next spring. Whenever I am not in class, I love to run and bike outdoors, try new restaurants and cheer on Louisville City. A fun fact about myself is that I want to work in professional sports after college.

I ran the miniMarathon this spring (2022) on a whim. Running has been a huge factor in my transition to living in Louisville over the last year. It has allowed me to discover neighborhoods/parks and explore downtown in ways that driving a car cannot. I have such a love of this city and all it has to offer.

With training for the Indy marathon this fall, I have been part of a training group with Fleet Feet. Getting to know people within the running community has been huge – almost identical to the team support I had previously. I am a firm believer in the saying, “You go further together.” Having a running community helps everyone involved, and that is something I am thankful to have found in Louisville.

Contact info:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j.fehrenbacher/

I always ran occasionally. I ran my first marathon in 2007. I have been running consistently since then, averaging two to three marathons a year. I have run 32 marathons so far, and am closing in on my target of 50.

I ran my first Derby Festival mini in 1994! Back when it was a point-to-point race starting in Iroquois Park and ending in downtown Louisville. It was part of the original Triple Crown of Running – 10k City Run, KFC 15k and KDF Mini. Fun Fact: Back when I ran my first KDF mini in 1994, your race results were printed on paper.

After I ran my first Marathon in 2007 , I started to run more consistently and ran every KDF Marathon. I take part in other local running events such as the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon and the Bourbon Chase Relay. I also participate in all Norton Sports races.

Contact info:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shamird

I am 39, a Louisville native, wife, mother, and nurse practitioner. I grew up running local races with my dad and ran the mini with him for the first time in 2006. He has run it so many times, he’s actually lost count! I completed my first marathon last year at age 38. KDF is next!

My dad introduced me to local races when I was young and we would run them together, or at least carpool. My first KDF mini was with him in 2006, and I’ve run it every year I’ve been in town since then, always with my dad, who is now 75 and still running it!

I ran my first marathon in April of 2022 after having trained in 2020 for a race that canceled. My goal is to someday soon run the KDF marathon.

Contact info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katie.rubin.5

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krapster83/

Are you a former Race Ambassador that wants to stay involved in the Marathon/miniMarathon and explore other events? Please fill out the form below!

Former Race Ambassadors