Reunion is planned for those who participated in inaugural race
LOUISVILLE, KY (April 17, 2023) – If you, or someone you know, ran in the first Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in 1974, Deloitte and the Kentucky Derby Festival want to hear from you. A lunchtime reunion and celebration for all participants of that inaugural race 50 years ago is planned for Friday, April 28, (one day prior to the 2023 race) at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The public’s help is needed in locating as many runners as possible.
There were 301 runners in that first race. This year 10,000 are expected.
Deloitte client relationship executive Jordan Harris said those 301 runners, as well as those who organized the first race, were visionaries.
“We want to bring them together and say ‘thank you’ for what they started 50 years ago,” Harris said. “Today, Louisville is a hotbed of distance running events, with people coming from throughout North America to participate in the GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon. And Louisville now hosts a variety of distance runs throughout the year. That race 50 years ago was the catalyst.”
Deloitte, with about 500 Kentucky team members, is the official IT sponsor of the GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon.
“The GE Appliances miniMarathon and Marathon are a highlight of every Kentucky Derby Festival,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “The race has evolved from a home-grown event in which a few hundred runners competed to a 10,000-plus racer event and one of the top in the country. We are excited to reunite with those who got it started.”
Anyone who ran in the first race is encouraged to get more information about the reunion at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com/runnerreunion. Or call 502-741-0969.
Old pictures, memories, stories (embellished or not) are welcome
The date and location for the reunion coincides with runners going to Freedom Hall to obtain their race packets for this year’s race.
“Like any reunion, we hope attendees will simply come and enjoy memories of that day,” Harris said. “Bring some old pictures or souvenirs if you have them. And share stories about what it was like running the streets of Louisville 50 years ago. And if you want to embellish your time for that race, feel free. Embellishments are welcome. On this day, it’s not about how you finished. It’s about how you started something great.”
To date, Deloitte and the Kentucky Derby Festival have located and contacted a few of the original runners. With help from the public, they hope to contact many more.
The GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon is set for Saturday, April 29, 2023. Registration is more than 80 percent capacity. Runners can still sign up while spots are open at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.
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About Kentucky Derby Festival
2023 marks the 68th year for the Kentucky Derby Festival. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, more than 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people every spring and has a local economic impact of more than $127 million. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.