KY Derby Half Marathon 2011 Race Recap

Last Saturday, I ran the 2011 KY Derby mini (half) marathon that’s 13.1 miles! This was my 2nd time doing it and my 2nd half marathon. My training was different from last year (all by myself and in a different location) and the course was different (no hills), but I was curious how I would do. I also traveled 3 days before hand, had been fighting a cough for a week, and had gotten up at 4am the morning before to watch the Royal Wedding.

Here was my pre-race (night before) meal. Whole wheat pasta with meat sauce! Thanks Mom and Benjamin for driving around to find me a place listening to me ramble on about needing to eat something simple and that I needed to get to bed early.

Most runners have a pre-race ritual of organizing their race day attire the night before. Here’s mine:

Hat, sunglasses, tank, top, shorts, socks, shoes, watch, ear buds, iPhone case, goody bag with safety pins for my bib (race number), advil, sunblock, 3 Gu packets, and Body Glide, and then my bib: 11141.

I met up with some co-workers at 7am. We walked to the starting line area, and then we all got separated when the National Anthem ended-ack! That will happen when you have 15,000 runners all in a 2 block span!

Benjamin found me at the starting line while I was walking/waiting for it to start! He then walked around for while.

The race started at Slugger Field on Main Street and we followed it by the Yum Center, all the way to 20th street, weaved to Market Street, and then to 4th and Broadway. 

Benjamin was between miles 4 and 5. I could easily find him in his bright green Boston Celtics jacket!

Here are what the mile markers looked like (I took the picture after the race trying to get to lunch):

My mom was staked out around mile 6 near Central Park. This year, I decided to run with my iPhone. I used the ear buds that had a microphone on them, so I could easily take phone calls and so I asked Benjamin to call me every 15-20 minutes. We used this to help me pass the time and to figure out where people were and which side of the street to look for them on. I’m not sure if I would have been able to find them otherwise.

KY Derby Mini Marathon 2011

Mile 8 was right before we turned into Churchill Downs. It was pretty neat. We got some shade before entering the infield. It had gotten warmer since the 7:30am 52 degrees! We went in the tunnels and that was a little difficult because it got narrow, dark, and downhill (my knees hurt at this point because you have to slow down a little bit)…. and then UPHILL- ugg! But then I could see the track and some horses in the back. Yay!

KY Derby Mini Marathon 2011

Thumbs up still!

Leaving Churchill, we had to use another set of tunnels, so it was the same narrow, dark, down hill and then up hill as before. Then came the marathon split, where the marathoners (I only knew 1 person doing it) turned down and went to Iroquois park (HILLS) and back.

We then were on 3rd street.

Things get to be a little blurry around here. I think we ran by the University of Louisville campus first, before mile 9 and I remember picking up a cup with blue powerade and then realizing I probably shouldn’t have done that since I was wearing a WHITE shirt. So I was really careful.

My mom walked to this route and saw me around mile 10. My stomach had gotten a little upset and I was just hoping that nothing crazy would happen with that, so I let it settle a little and then took the 3rd Gu packet (because I had taken the 1st one 15 minutes before starting and the 2nd around 5.5 miles).

Finally mile 11 and Benjamin got a picture of me!!

I never saw the 12th mile marker (which was really frustrating!!!!)

At about 12.5, we turned from 3rd street to Main Street. I thought that the finish was on Main Street where we started, so I kept looking to see the line- but then we turned by Slugger field and you could finally see the finish line! This time, I decided that I would put up my arms when I crossed for the photographs!!
KY Derby Mini Marathon 2011

Around mile 10, I realized that I was going to beat my time from last year, even if I ended up slowing down the last 3 miles, but then I was trying to calculate in my head how much I could beat the time, but it’s kind of hard to think straight and look for mile markers, get water, and look for friends on the route and in the race- and do math! I did get tired at the end, but not as much as last year. My time was 2:17:47. This was 12 and a half minutes faster than last year (granted there weren’t any hills this year).

My pace averaged 10:32. That means that it takes me 10 minutes and 32 seconds to run a mile.

After you finish, they put the medal around you. Then you walk through the line to pick up water, powerade, bagels, and other snacks. Something that I didn’t see last year were the “Finisher” backgrounds with photographers!

KY Derby Mini Marathon 2011

I left the area and immediately found Benjamin and my aunt Pam. We chatted for a while and it was great to talk with Pam. She was bummed that she didn’t get to see me run, but it’s difficult to time it- but I was so glad that we saw each afterward and she got to see my metal.


After the race, we went to Cracker Barrel to have lunch with Benjamin’s uncle David who also ran. It was fun to compare stories and he was pleased with his time too!

Here was what I ordered:

2 scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, biscuits, gravy, grits, and apples!

And I ate most of it:


Wow, I just realized that I never posted a BAA 5K race recap or post about spectating the Boston Marathon- shame on me!



  1. WOW!! I’m really impressed!!! I’ve never been in a race but this blog certainly put me in your race!!! You’re fantastic!!! Thank you so much for doing this!!


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