Kentucky’s two largest half-marathons have joined forces again in 2016. The Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon presented by Walmart and Humana in Louisville and Lexington’s RunTheBluegrass Half-Marathon presented by Papa John’s have partnered since 2014 to create the Kentucky Half Classic, encouraging runners to participate in both events.
“It’s a unique partnership between both races and participation continues to grow,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. ““It’s a great opportunity to run two very different races with dramatically different landscapes and see a lot of what Kentucky has to offer.”
Lexington’s RunTheBluegrass, set for Saturday, April 2, starts and finishes on Keeneland Race Course and takes runners through picturesque thoroughbred farms like Donamire Farm, Stonestreet Farm and Calumet. The Derby Festival’s mini-marathon scheduled for April 30, takes runners past landmarks like Louisville Slugger and Museum Row on Main, as well as through historic Churchill Downs.
Runners who complete both races will not only receive a commemorative finisher’s medal, but will also have exclusive access to Half Classic photo opportunities and designated food and beverage areas after each race.
“The Kentucky Half Classic, in our two very unique regions of the Commonwealth, gives runners the best of both worlds!” said Eric Patrick Marr, RunTheBluegrass Race Director. “Keeneland, Churchill Downs, famous Thoroughbred Farms and Louisville’s many legendary sights all add up to two of the best experiential road races in the country.”
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single-attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.
RunTheBluegrass is organized by The LeXenomics Group in Lexington, established in 2010. LeXenomics regularly hosts events to help new ideas spread throughout Central Kentucky.