February 25, 2021, Louisville, KY. – The modified course for the 2021 Humana miniMarathon and Marathon will include two states and four cities, to allow participants to be socially distanced and comply with COVID-19 guidelines. For this year’s event, the Derby Festival developed plans for both a virtual and an in-person (socially distanced) race option. The in-person race will start and finish at Lynn Family Stadium, home of Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC. Participants will run a looped course including the Big Four Bridge, Ohio River Greenway and parts of the Louisville Loop.

“The Derby Festival is lucky to have great partners on both sides of the river – the City of Jeffersonville, the City of New Albany, the Town of Clarksville and Metro Louisville – helping us produce the event this year,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “We want to ensure participants have both a safe and a memorable experience.”

From the start at the stadium, participants will cross the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River and continue along the developing Ohio River Greenway. The Greenway will take runners through Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany, before returning to the Big Four Bridge and completing their run on the Louisville side of the river.

Mini and Marathon runners will both run across the Big Four Bridge and along the Ohio River Greenway, but Marathon runners will also run a portion of the Louisville loop along the Riverwalk before finishing at Lynn Family Stadium.

The routes for both the mini and marathon were changed this year to allow for safety and social distancing of participants, to create a course that could be open for multiple days and that would not require road closures. The miniMarathon (13.1 miles) will take place over four days, from April 22-25, while the Marathon (26.2 miles) will take place on April 24 only.

“We have created a unique open course this year, utilizing bike lanes, as well as walking and running paths,” said Chris Martini, Race Director. “The modifications to the course help us ensure social distancing, but also limit the streets closures and impact to the community during the days of the event.”

The park areas of the course will still be open to the public as the event is going on. Start times will be staggered from 6:30 AM to 11:30 AM each day, with finishers expected to be completed in the early afternoon hours. Signage will also be set up to alert the public of the event, and spectators will be discouraged.

Additional changes to this year’s miniMarathon and Marathon to comply with COVID-19 guidelines include:

  • Temperature checks at the start
  • Masks required at the start and finish line areas, as well as throughout the event venue. (Participants are allowed to remove masks while running the course.)
  • Staggered start times that are pre-scheduled, to allow runners to socially distance.
  • Self-start course, utilizing bib timing chips and timing mats so participants don’t have to wait in a corral.
  • Course time limits for both miniMarathon & Marathon, to ensure social distancing.
  • Self-serve water stops provided by Louisville Water Company.
  • Participants encouraged to bring their own nutrition, as it is not able to be provided along the course due to COVID-19 precautions.

While race slots are filling up, there are still spots available for the in-person miniMarathon. There is currently a wait list for the Marathon. Registration is open online at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.

The Kentucky Derby Festival will be implementing COVID-19 safety precautions recommended by federal, state and local health officials at all events in 2021 to ensure the safety of organizers, volunteers and participants. Plans for any in-person events in 2021 are being submitted for approval at state and local levels.

2021 marks the 48th annual miniMarathon and 20th annual Marathon. More details on both race options are available on the race website, along with FAQs to help answer questions about the 2021 races.

Humana is Title Sponsor of the miniMarathon and Marathon. The Official Race Medical Provider & Training Partner is Norton Sports Health. Contributing Sponsors are Churchill Downs, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kentucky Department of Tourism, Louisville Water Company, Powerade, and The Outlet Powered by Zappos. Official Credit Union: Commonwealth Credit Union. Official Finish Line Sponsor: Louisville City FC/Racing Louisville FC. Official Hotel: The Galt House. Official Tequila: Don Julio. Official Beer: Goodwood Brewing. Official Refuel Partner: Prairie Farms.

June 21 - June 21