Latest reviews by Jennifer Jones

(2019)
"A fabulous way to kick off the 4th of July!"
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Normally I participate in a different race for the 4th, but it wasn't available. I heard about this race briefly from a friend, but this is a hidden gem and I will definitely be back next year! The 5k takes you around the Buffalo Trace Distillery compound. It is a gorgeous place to run/walk, and seeing the buildings where the bourbon is made is a treat. The shirts are the really nice tech shirts with M/F cut, the course was in great shape, and it did provide some elevation changes.

After the race, you also get a complimentary tour of the compound, learning about the history of Buffalo Trace, bourbon, see where the barrels are stored, and get to sample some of the bourbon products! They also have bourbon balls to demo, and those are downright delicious. A great and very inexpensive way to begin the 4th of July. Cannot wait to do this again next year!

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(2019)
"A great way to get miles in and test your limits"
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RUTS events aren't about a certain mileage to complete. These events are about what can you and what do you want to accomplish in the time registered for. You can register for the 3HR, 6HR, or 12HR individual, or the 12HR relay team. This was going to be my first race going over 13 miles, so I signed up for the 6HR.

The swag you get first off is pretty nice. You have your choice of T shirt or tank, a nice drawstring bag with pockets, and your choice of hat or visor. The medal you receive is a nice heavy one and lights up! (more on the medal in a bit)

The course is a 1/2 mile loop horse track. It is flat and does get mildly redundant, but they do switch your direction every few hours. It is nice seeing runners/walkers you would never get to interact with at other races, and having them encourage you is really nice. You can jump on and off the course as needed to relax a bit, use restroom, hydrate, etc. A lot of us either brought tents with chairs next to the track or some even brought campers to set up shop for the night.

The available food and fuel was unreal. Lots of cut up fruit, cold Popsicles, pickle juice, cookies, pretzels, cold water, Sword, and so much more. At 10pm they brought out pizza and midnight was grilled cheese. (I passed on those options since I'm lactose intolerant, but was grateful they had them for the other runners!)

Once your time limit is up or you decide to end, (again, you could end whenever you wanted to) you would get a medal custom with your mileage on it. You are free to sit there as long as you need to, camp out and sleep to make sure you're rested up before leaving.

The one part that was a little rough was starting it at 6pm when it was miserably hot. Those that did it in the past mentioned they always started it at 8pm and moved it up 2 hours to make a 12 HR event instead of the usual 10. The heat is no fault of the race itself, but be prepared to hydrate well before and during, and bring anything else you may want to have with you. The race directors are wonderful about keep an eye on cold water for everyone, so there is no worry about if there is any.

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(2019)
"Race was ok, would like more communication going forward"
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I paced the 2:45 group for this half marathon. For the price and area, it wasn't a bad race. There wasn't really an expo to pick up packet, just a spot in the park the day before or day of event. The race was a smaller one, and not a lot of communication on race day to get to start line, etc. I didn't feel like there was a lot of email communication leading up to the event, especially as a pacer. Aid stations were good, parking was good, but only two porta potties to start the race. The half course was the 6.55 mile course looped twice, so if you like those kind of courses this is your race. It was helpful to gauge when the downhills were to gain some time to go back uphill again.

If you're in the area and want a small, easy going half- I say do this one. If you're wanting a more intense event and swag- this event is not for you.

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(2019)
"Great in theory, but not really that spectacular "
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Running through the zoo sounds like a fun magical thing to do, and maybe some day this one will be more fun. I really wanted to enjoy this, but for me it was a headache.

No expo for the 5k which was fine. Shirt and packet pickup was the day before or day of. Race management warned about potential traffic issues, but man was it bad! We were a mile away from the start at 7am and ended up parking and walking because if we waited to park at the zoo, we would have missed the 8am gun.

There were a lot of people ready to start at 8am in the corral, but so many folks were still getting packets and trying to park. So unannounced they held us in the corral. About 8:10am, they announced they were letting more people get registered, parked, etc. We ended up gunning off after 820. I was in corral B as marked by my bib, but lots of younger kids and strollers started in front of us.

Once entering into the zoo, it becomes a dodging event on sidewalks and narrow roads, with runners, walkers, strollers, and kids in a VERY crowded area. It does finally thin out around mile 1.5. There are hills on the course-surprise! It was a nice change besides the flat and crowded sidewalks.

At the end was your medal and a decent amount of snacks and goodies. Getting out of the race wasn't an issue for me because I parked almost a mile away, but I know many struggled trying to get out of zoo parking.

During the event, folks were taking pictures and there was a picture station taking photos. The race website keeps saying pictures will be available "next week," but we have still yet to see any!! This is really disheartening for those running with their kids in costumes.

I don't recommend this race until they figure out the logistics of parking and course in the zoo. There is a race later on that runs the zoo in the fall that is less crowded and much more organized.

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(2019)
"A great Kentucky tradition "
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I ran this half in 2018 and 2019. This is a local favorite and great for those coming into town for the Derby festivities. From being called to the post with the trumpet, to running through Churchill Downs, and ending down by waterfront- you get to experience such great aspects of Louisville.

The half course is pretty much flat- nothing really exciting about that. There are so many types and groups of people supporting you on your run it makes you appreciate the flat boring course so you can focus on them. The scenery passing by Louisville Slugger, Old Louisville and Churchill Downs is great for those of us that live here, as well as those new to the city.

One of my favorite parts is seeing the horses out with the trainers while you're running through Churchill. It makes me feel powerful like a racehorse, and gives me a little boost coming out into mile 9.

There rest of the course is flat going back into downtown. The volunteers between miles 10 and 12 give out cold orange slices, and those are like a gift from the running gods! The very last stretch to the finish is downhill and its a nice way to finish strong.

Post race is Mylar blanket, usual race snacks, picture area, free beer. They also have food trucks there for Derby but open if you want a different kind of after race food.

You can also purchase an optional bourbon bottle limited to the event with the Ky Derby Festival logo on it with your name, time and bib. It's a really nice keepsake besides the usual medal, bib, and t-shirt. (which all VERY nice for this event BTW)

Highly recommend this race as a gem to what Kentucky has to offer.

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