2019 Race Ambassadors

The 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 5 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.

Congratulations to our 2019 Race Ambassador team!

2019 Race Ambassadors
Josh Allen
Sumata Bhimani
Michelle Bolton
Keith Clemons
Kristen Daugherty
Kim Diamond
Cassie Kolder
Kelly Lorch
Lauchlin MacGregor
Samantha Oerther
Daniel Perkins
Tara Thomas

Returning Ambassadors:

Sherry Boesch
Amy Barbour Shoaf
Linley Mueller – Junior Ambassador

2017 Executive Team
Deana Middleton
Chris Powell
Stephanie Sturgeon


The Details

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.





Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to be more involved with this great event and LEARN and work with great people!  Being part of the Ambassador team allows me to meet new people each year and I LOVE that!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

Anyone from the military or a first responder!  I make sure I thank all of police and military personnel on the course the day of the race.  I feel safe and will always go out of my way to let them know how appreciative I am of their service and keeping me safe!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I am old school and need music for my mind and motivation!  “Don’t Stop Believing” from Journey as my opening song (because I have to pace myself with the music), “Brown Eyed Girl” Jimmy Buffet, and “Let’s Go” the Cars.

Preferred contact information



Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to become a race ambassador for a few reasons.  First, I love this city, and the course is a beautiful way to see it.  Second, running has been very good for me: the health benefits, the social aspect, and the confidence gained by running has made me a better person, and I believe everyone can, and should, have something like that in their lives.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would like to receive my finisher’s medal from Dave Grohl.  Not only does he ROCK as an musician, he is also a family man, and I respect the heck out of that.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Lately, the three songs that I like to run to are all from the “Hamilton” cast recording.  “My Shot”, a song about seizing opportunities; “Non-Stop”, a song about persistence/drive; and “What’d I Miss”, just because it is awesome.  Honestly, the entire soundtrack is incredible, and if you run in the rain, no one will even notice if you are crying.


Contact Chris

Facebook: http://facebook.com/chris.powell.rwtl

Twitter: @panthersden2

Instagram: @runswlocals

YouTube: RunningWithTheLocals

Email: chris.powell@att.net

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to inspire people and be a part of the Kentucky Derby Festival so I can’t think of a better way to accomplish those goals! The KDF miniMarathon and Marathon are such a huge event in town and I wanted to be able to tell as many people about it as possible so we can all share the best day ever!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would say it would have to be from my grandfather. He passed away almost 10 years ago and I know he would be so proud of me. He is the only family member that hasn’t seen me cross the finish line.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I listen to podcasts, mostly murder mysteries. My brain completely forgets that I am running because I’m too focused on the details of the case! Pro tip: Don’t listen to them while running alone on trails…


Contact Stephanie


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.s.sturgeon

Twitter: @StephSturge

Instagram: @sks117

Email: Stephanie.sturgeon@bhsi.com

I’m a tech guy with a running passion powered by motivating my son and others to challenge themselves to go further than they once thought possible. I’m a Certified RRCA Running Coach and leader of Run the Ville. I would spend all of my non-running time gaming if I could.

I’ve participated in the Derby Festival miniMarathon multiple times since 2015.For me, being a Race Ambassador is an awesome opportunity to reach and inspire others to experience the Derby Festival races, and better themselves through running and fitness.

Contact info:

email: joshageek@gmail.com

Facebook: @joshuadeanallen and @RuntheVille

Instagram: @joshageek and @RuntheVille

Twitter: @joshageek

I’m a 26-year-old who’s balancing her ice cream obsession with a passion for running and fitness. At an early age, my father instilled the expectations of striving for excellence. I’m on a mission to keep challenging myself to find my extraordinary and support others in doing the same.

I’ve run the Derby Festival miniMarathon four times since 2013, and the Marathon in 2015. When I started running 5 years ago, I was building my endurance to run 3 miles with no other intentions but to lose weight. Since then running has become a passion and an annual tradition for my dad, my uncle and myself. We’ve run several races in Louisville since 2015, including the Derby Festival races.

Contact info:

email: sumata.b@gmail.com

Instagram: @sumatabhimani

I’m a gluten free runner from California. I love being a mom, wife and I live for coffee. I’m excited to represent a race that has been such an important part of my life.

When I decided to start running, I could barely run to the mailbox, but wanted to prove myself that I could run a half marathon. I’ve completed three half marathons now, including the Derby Festival miniMarathon in 2017 and then the Marathon in 2018. I want to share my love of running with others to encourage them to take a chance.

Contact info:

email: michelle5578@gmail.com

I’m a Louisville native with a passion for running, UofL sports, Italian food and raising funds for cancer patients and research! Running has taught me more about myself than anything else. It’s taught me to be determined, passionate, and resilient in all aspects of my life. I want others to experience that.

2018 was my first year running in the KDF miniMarathon and the course is my favorite so far!

Contact info:

email: Krissy@firstky.com

Facebook: @Krissy.m.daugherty

Instagram: @Kris10daugherty

I’m a Kentucky native. I wasn’t born in Louisville, but have spent the last 16 years here. My husband and I have a 14-year-old daughter, as well as adult children.  I’ve always been physically active in some capacity.  I don’t love running, BUT I LOVE training cycles and earning medals.

I ran my first KDF miniMarathon in 2004, a few months after my daughter was born. I ran again in 2017 and 2018 and still get goosebumps when I cross the finish.

Constact info: 

email: diamondkim502@gmail.com

Facebook: @kimdiamond502

Instagram: @kdiamond502


I ran my first KDF mini-Marathon, also my first ever half marathon, this year at the age of 12. It was fun training with the Norton’s Training program! I also play violin and soccer. My goal one day is to be a veterinarian.

I’m excited to be training for my second KDF Marathon! You can often find me running at Cherokee Park or adventuring on the weekends with my husband and dog. I hope to meet many of you at the Norton Sports Health Training Program runs!

Contact info:

Email: sherry.boesch@gmail.com

Instagram: @sherrytboesch

I ran my first half marathon seven years ago and I’ve now I’m addicted to collecting race medals! I have thirteen medals so far and I’m already signed up to receive four more medals this year. One of my goals in life is to run at least one half marathon every year!

I’ve run the KDF miniMarathon three times and the KDF Marathon once, along with many others. I want to help motivate and inspire others to achieve their running goals.

Contact info:

email: crkolder@aol.com

Facebook: @cassie.kolder

Instagram: @cassiekolder


I’m married with two children. My oldest is a college freshman and youngest is in 7th grade. I’m a board member and community volunteer for Develop New Albany. I’m pretty new two running and currently training for my next marathon.

Running saved my life. I love the change to engage other people and make them believers of running too, and how beneficial it can be to your health.

Contact info:

email: Kellylorch@gmail.com

I’m a 44-year-old runner from the North Cincinnati area who started running late in life, at age 37. Since then, I’ve run 15 marathons and multiple other distances (250k’s). This year, I started a running group called “Cin City Running” (@cincityrun).

I’ve run the Derby Festival Marathon twice and love it! The trip through Downtown and around Churchill Downs are worth it alone, but the addition of the parks and hills make it a challenging race every time.

Contact info:

email: lauchlinmac@gmail.com

Facebook: @lauchlin.macgregor and @cincityrun

Instagram: @cincityrun

Twitter: @lauch and @cincityrun

I’m 25-years-old and from Louisville. I run everything from dry roads in Cherokee Park to muddy trails in the Parklands. If you run with me and it will probably turn into a race!

I love running and the Louisville running scene. I’ve run both the Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon, as well as other races around the city. My goal as an ambassador is to promote the sport to as many Louisvillians, Kentuckians, and others as possible!

Contact info:

email: daniel.perkins99@gmail.com

Facebook: @daniel.perkinsii

Instagram: @93dannyp

“I would love to receive my finisher medal from my husband Rob Shoaf, who won the 1994 Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. He’s an inspiration not only to myself, but to our daughter’s with his support and enthusiasm for life.”

Contact info: amyjobarbour@gmail.com

Twitter link: @amybarbourshoaf

Instagram: AmyBarbourshoaf

I’m 35-years-old, a military spouse and a mother of two toddlers! I have been running for over 13 years now, including the KDF mini for many years. I do most of my running pushing a double stroller! The example I set for my kids is important to me.

I ran my first Derby Festival mini in 2006 and have been hooked ever since. I want to share my enthusiasm with others and show them than 13.1 or 26.2 miles CAN be accomplished without a doubt!

Contact info:

email: tarajothomas14@gmail.com

Facebook: @tarajo.thomas.3

Instagram: @TaraJo4UofL

Twitter: @TaraJo4UofL

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