Joanne Blatchley (HF14845) – I walked the Mini Derby this weekend. Yes I said walked. A few of us have the Indy 500 next weekend so we took it easy with this race. This was my 50th lifetime half marathon celebrated on my 50th birthday weekend.
We decided to avoid the rush and pick up our packets on Thursday evening. The Expo definitely needed better signage. There was nothing telling anyone which doors to use and FYU, there are doors all around the building but most were locked. Even once you found your way inside, the floor signs they had which said Registration were off to the side out of line of vision as you walked the hallway.
The Expo itself was very small. I really don’t understand why non-running related vendors show up to these things. No thank you, my gutters are good. No thank you, I don’t want solar panels.
Bib pick up was so simple. Have your QR code and beep, here is your bib. Getting your shirt was a different story. Bib pick up was separate to the shirt pick up which isn’t unusual BUT the line was crazy and they seemed very unorganized. The Mini Derby shirt at least is very nice. It’s well made and has color panels on the side for a slimmer look. Surprisingly, the sizing seemed to be true to size vs. the normal running way too small.
They had festival pins which you could pre-order or buy there and they stuck the poor lady far away from everything. I mean c’mon, at least put her by the info booth or better yet, by the bib pick up.
As I said, the Expo was small. Maybe 20-25 vendors and most didn’t have anything special. What I did like was that you could get a shirt or tank made with a choice of running festival screen print designs.
I was surprised there was nothing race related at Expo to take your photo with; not even a backdrop.
On race morning we headed to the start with Corals A-G on Main Street. There were more than enough port-o-potties but they didn’t plan placement very well. They were placed on the sidewalk by the corral fencing leaving very little to no room for people to walk by.
They had a gear check BUT again with lack of signage, very hard to find. I mean c’mon, get a sign so people can see where the tables are.
The course was decent and pretty flat which was a nice change of pace for me. We ran by the University of Louisville and through Churchill Downs. What was nice about that was since it’s Derby Season, the horses and riders were out warming up. Crowd support wasn’t crazy plentiful (until the finish area of course) but the people that were on the sidelines cheering us on along the way were wonderful.
The water stops were well planned; 9 total on the half marathon course.
We finished outside of Lynn Family Stadium (soccer). The finish line, at least to me, was very lackluster. You got your medal and then they were handing out cups of water and Powerade but no bottled water to be found which I though strange. Their snack boxes consisted of a bag of potato chips, peanut butter crackers and a granola bar. As you walked down further, they had apples and bananas on the tables. They opened the stadium so you could sit and rest which was nice. Outside of the stadium vendor tents were set up to include a beer tent which your bib had a free beer ticket for.
The down side was the finish line was about a mile+ to where the start was and maybe close to 1.5 miles to the host hotel. I was not thrilled about the walk..lol
Downtown Louisville although nice, doesn’t have much to offer other as far as things to do, except for distillery tours, bourbon tastings, restaurants, bars and the Louisville Slugger Factory.
Overall it was a good race but it’s definitely a one and done for me.
Photo and Post Credit Joanne Blatchley