Race Recap | The Kentucky Derby Marathon

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My plan is to run a marathon in all 50 States. I’m always looking to add a new state to my collection. I had my eyes on the Kentucky Derby Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky for some time hoping I could work it in on my calendar.

This is a large event with almost 18,000 runners –most are participating in the half or “mini” marathon.

Every marathon has its own personality. We found this race to be fun, well organized and able to capture the personality of the city. Here is my race recap:

The Course
We had ideal springtime weather. It was slightly cool and overcast. The course went through some beautiful areas in Louisville like Churchhill Downs (racetrack of the Kentucky Derby). We entered through a tunnel onto the infield and got to see a few race horses warming up. Even going at an easy pace the horses appeared so fast and graceful. I also enjoyed running through a lovely historic neighborhood.

In miles 11-14 we went through Iroquois Park. There wasn’t any vehicular traffic there and it was beautiful and shaded. This section did have a series of challenging hills. I had one man ask me, “How much farther do these hills go?” The course flattened out again until we hit another series of hills from miles 21-24.

The only things I didn’t like about the course was the later set of hills and when the half marathon and marathon course merged again at miles 18-21. They didn’t have the road divided very well and at times there were walkers migrating into the marathon lane.

Support along the course was good. There were plenty of aid and water stations. At some water stations they handed out water in these inflexible plastic cups. Since you couldn’t squeeze the top together to form a lip I ended up getting as much water on myself as I drank. However they did pass out mini-water bottles at some stations. I like these the best because you don’t have to drink it all right away and can save some for later.

Setting a PR!
I managed to run my fastest marathon yet (3:35:41). I missed qualifying for Boston by 41 seconds! I finished 35 out of 786 female marathon runners. Even though I missed my BQ I still have the satisfaction of knowing that I gave it my all. Trevor also set a PR running his half marathon in 1:47:43. He finished 1,350 out of 12,092 half marathoners.

Winning the Mental Battle
During this race I had thoughts like “I should just walk these hills because I’m not going to BQ”. But then I reminded myself that if I quit I will always look back on this race with regret. Reminding myself of that reality helped me give it my all.

Don’t go into a marathon thinking that it will be easy. You have to be prepared to fight back against thoughts of quitting. Your mind will try to rationalize its way into slowing down and walking. Stick to your strategy.

Quick Tip: Race Ready Shorts
During this marathon I carried a tube of electrolytes, three gels, and a bottle of concentrated Perpetuem. My new Race Ready shorts worked perfectly. In my opinion these are the best shorts out there. They come in a variety of lengths and colors and have a comfortable brief inside. The best thing about them is that as the name says, you will be race ready. They have two velcro front pockets and 5 mesh pockets in the back for storing gels, fuel bottles, electrolytes and keys.



Rocking the 2012 Kentucky Derby Marathon and Mini Marathon Finishing Medal and T-shirt.

Have you run a marathon recently? Leave a comment below.

10 Responses to Race Recap | The Kentucky Derby Marathon

  1. Sam May 4, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Congrats on your finishes guys!! I was supposed to run a half this Sunday but I’m just getting over a case of ITBS 🙁 I did 5k this morning and no pain for the first time in over a month. Thanks for all your great advice.

    Can’t wait to listen to the podcast.

    • Angie May 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

      Hi Sam. I’m sorry that you’ve been dealing with ITBS. Maybe you’ll be able to do this race next year. Great job with the 5k. All the best!

  2. Aron May 6, 2012 at 5:14 am #

    Hi Trevor and Angie. I’ve been listening to your podcast since December ’11 when I decided that I wanted to run a marathon. I quit smoking and drinking almost two years ago and wanted to push myself to achieve more physically now that I’m healthier. I also want to prove to myself that I can finish a difficult task that I set for myself. This past Sunday I ran my first ever half marathon in Kenosha, WI with a time of 2:29. I know I’m not setting any land speed records with this time but for me it was a triumph and I wanted to thank you both for giving me the encouragement, information and inspiration to complete this step of my journey to a full marathon.I found myself using “Unleash the Kraken” and “I eat hills for breakfast” as I ran the last few miles. This made me smile and kept me moving. Thank you both so very much and congratulations on your Kentucky Derby finishes.

    • Angie May 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Hi Aron. Congratulations on finishing your first half marathon and for all the positive health choices that you’ve made over the last 2 years. You are definitely well on your way to running a marathon and living life to its fullest. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. Tom May 8, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Congratulations to Trevor and Angie on your most recent race. Both of you had great times. I think the hilly course cost Angie her Boston qualifying time but that goal will surely be achieved later this year. I have come with 30 seconds of qualifying for Boston and hope to make it over the qualifying hump in July at the Light at the End of the Tunnel marathon near Seattle in July. The Boston marathon will be on my birthday in 2013 so I have extra incentive to make my goal. Good luck to both in future races and thanks for your entertaining and helpful podcasts.

    • Angie May 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Tom. Thanks for all your kind comments. I guess we’re both very close to our BQ times. All the best as you give it another shot in July. It would be awesome for you to be able to run Boston on your b-day in 2013. You can do it!

      • Tom May 9, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        I think you are one race from qualifying for Boston. You have made great progress in reducing your PR since you began your podcast site. You are proof that your advice truely works! If you will run a race before the September deadline to qualify for the 2013 Boston marathon we may meet there. Keep up the good work!

        • Angie May 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

          Thanks for your vote of confidence Tom. I hope that your next marathon is full of mental and physical strength and a BQ!

  4. Allen May 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I ran this marathon as my first marathon ever. My goal was to simply finish, which I did…in 3:57:52. Excited doesn’t begin to explain how I felt at the end. Now I’ve got the marathon bug. Even though I have no experience in the area, I had some similar thoughts to yours regarding the race. The race could have been divided a little better. Also, the later part of the course for me kept going and going, but then again, it’s the later part of the course. That hill around mile 23 by the cemetary was a bit unexpected. I enjoy listening to your podcast and am looking forward to my next marathon. I’m setting a goal time on this one, so we’ll see how I do!

    • Angie May 18, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      Hi Allen,

      Congratulations on finishing your first marathon AND breaking the 4 hour barrier. It sounds like you had a great race. All the best as you pursue your running goals.

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