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Chicago Athlete’s Weekend in Louisville

On Saturday, April thirtieth I participated within the Kentucky Derby Marathon. This annual occasion brings 8,000 runners from over 40 states and 10 nations to run this interstate occasion. Providing a marathon, half marathon, and relay possibility, together with a six-hour lower off, this race offers choices for all runners.

The race started at 7 AM in downtown Louisville. Simply exterior of the Little Slugger stadium, runners gathered anxiously to attend for the beginning gun. To kick issues off, the bugler from Churchill Downs performed “Name to Publish”. After the Nationwide Anthem and a cheerful rendition of “My Outdated Kentucky Dwelling”, the wheelchair division started adopted by the marathon and half marathon runners.

The temps had been within the low 60’s and the skies had been cloud coated, offering runners a cooler begin to the day. The race wound by means of downtown Louisville taking within the historic website and landmarks. I used to be impressed with what number of turns had been included within the course. Legislation-enforcement officers closed numerous streets, as spectators lined the primary half of the course.

The fixed turns stored runners engaged and the surroundings ever-changing. Round mile 10, runners entered Churchill Down the place they had been capable of run alongside the horses practising for the Kentucky Derby. Runners circled by means of the monitor earlier than exiting again onto the streets and coming into the College of Louisville campus space. A school band greeted runners as we had been stuffed with the faculty spirit.

At mile 12.5 we had been introduced again into downtown Louisville and the half marathoners break up from the complete marathon. The total marathoners crossed the Massive 4 Bridge, is a six-span former railroad truss bridge that crosses the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Any marathon that features two states is a winner in my ebook. The sheer technicalities for the Race Director and assist workers are intense. Working with a number of law-enforcement businesses and municipalities to safe permits and supply Runner safety is a monstrous process. Guaranteeing that volunteer stations are adequately positioned whereas following that state’s Covid protocol can also be extremely troublesome. And but, Chris Martini, RD of the Kentucky Marathon, and the unimaginable workers and volunteer staff did this seamlessly.

Essentially the most troublesome a part of the race was the spiral incline main as much as this bridge. It felt by no means ending, particularly through the second half of a marathon. The views from the bridge had been lovely and provided runners the chance to absorb the Louisville skyline and Ohio River.

After crossing into Indiana, runners loved a flat, paved, path that led right into a residential space of the state. It was an out and again from the bridge, which challenged runners because the solar started to peek by means of clouds round mile 15 for me. There was little to no tree masking so the problem of accelerating temperatures hit me, particularly as a non-heat acclimated Chicagoan who noticed snow just some days in the past!

We circled again to the bridge and had been once more challenged with the incline, this time extra intensely, because it was miles 24 to 25. The course then led runners again into downtown Louisville the place we completed on the Lynn Household Stadium and had been greeted with a big celebration.

I used to be extremely impressed with the considerate course and unimaginable course assist all through this occasion. There was an lively tempo staff from Dick’s Sporting Items (Sure, I’m positive this time 🙂 – If you understand, you understand) and several other locations for spectators to catch their runners.

The expo was held on the Louisville Conference Middle. It was medium sized, with a number of distributors and details about the course. It was simple to entry and even had a bourbon tasting truck!

I made a weekend of this occasion with my household and would extremely encourage our Chicago space runners to do the identical. It’s a couple of 5 hour drive and about 20 levels hotter than our Chicago spring. Held on the finish of April, it’s simply the time we want a break from our by no means ending winter!

We stayed downtown, simply blocks from the beginning line and had numerous eating places, bourbon bars, and occasional outlets inside strolling distance. The town of Louisville holds an enormous pageant and many various occasions the 2 weeks previous to the Kentucky Derby so there may be a lot to do within the downtown space.

We had the chance to go to the Louisville Zoo, which was a couple of 10 minute drive from the downtown space. This can be a nice, household pleasant zoo with a number of animal displays and reveals. We visited within the night and had been enchanted by the Wildlight exhibit. The exhibit spans a 1.4 mile walkway and showcases lit up, hand crafted animals, bugs, and flowers in vibrant colours.

It transports you to a magical land of magnificence as you stroll by means of the displays. And in contrast to Chicago, the temperatures had been heat sufficient that we had been snug strolling within the night with shorts and T-shirts. A lot of the animals had been put away for the night time, so in case you are curious about seeing the animals, I’d advocate a day journey.

However, the Wildlights had been the proper technique to finish the day after the marathon. A sluggish stroll this magical wonderland was peaceable and delightful, as I took in the entire magic of the Louisville Zoo.

One other nice possibility for energetic households is the Louisville Mega Cavern underground zip line. Ranked because the primary attraction within the state of Kentucky by TripAdvisor, this exercise is one you positively shouldn’t miss in your journey to Louisville. Positioned about 10 minutes from downtown, it’s simple to get to and provides free parking for visitors. The underground journey Park showcases a mega zip line tour, ariel ropes problem course, mega tram historic tour, and mega bike electrical bike tour. It’s the excellent addition to a weekend getaway for energetic households.


It’s the world’s solely underground zip line and is a real journey. Included within the tour are 5 underground zip strains and two problem bridges, together with the world report holder because the longest suspension bridge on the earth.

Members go as much as 45 mph and as excessive as 90 ft off the bottom on the zip strains which weave by means of the underground cave system. Every tour group is stored small and led by a set of tour guides.

Our tour guides, Charlie and Drew, stored us secure and having enjoyable all the time. They prepped us for every zip line and we’re particularly reassuring to me, as a nervous mother with my youngsters taking part. They had been extremely expert in maneuvering every visitor by means of the extreme 2.5 hour expertise. I cant communicate extremely sufficient concerning the particular care they gave to every member of the group, ensuring that our expertise was enjoyable, memorable, and secure.

It was evident that Charlie and Drew knew each inch of the zip line tour and that nothing caught them off guard. They wove in humor to ease our nervous pleasure as we stood 100 ft within the air ready to step off the platform into the cave stuffed darkness and zip throughout the cavernous trench beneath.

The expertise was unimaginable and the tour guides are largely to thank for the distinctive and enjoyable expertise. I do know my daughter will always remember rolling herself right into a ball and being given an additional push to make sure her mild body made it the complete size of the zip line!

Whereas the marathon was the occasion driving our journey to Louisville, my household loved each second spent on this unimaginable metropolis. This spring, I urge you to make the most of an out of state race and the entire “further’s” you’ll be able to get pleasure from whereas there. Make it a run-cation and tell us about your expertise! And ensure to verify again in right here for our subsequent “On the Highway” expertise for Chicago Athletes!



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