Running legend to participate in LouisvilleKY’s Derby Marathon

kentucky derby marathon

Louisville, KY.   – One of running’s most iconic figures, Kathrine Switzer will participate in her first ever Derby Festival race. Switzer was the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon in 1967, and recently ran it again 50 years later in 2017. (The run was only 24 minutes slower than she did in her first marathon at age 20.) On Saturday, April 27, Switzer will run the Derby Festival’s Marathon Relay as member of the Humana Relay Team.

“I’m thrilled to team up with Humana to continue spreading awareness about the importance of active aging and the pursuit of healthy social, emotional, and physical habits,” said Kathrine Switzer. “With the relay you can train for as little as a 5K or 10K. Whether you’re an experienced runner or trying something new, I encourage everyone to come out and run with us.”

A woman, listed only as K. Switzer of Syracuse, found herself about to be thrown out of the normally all-male Boston Marathon when a husky companion, Thomas Miller of Syracuse, threw a block that tossed a race official out of the running instead, April 19, 1967 in Hopkinton, Mass.(AP PHOTO)

A woman, listed only as K. Switzer of Syracuse, found herself about to be thrown out of the normally all-male Boston Marathon when a husky companion, Thomas Miller of Syracuse, threw a block that tossed a race official out of the running instead, April 19, 1967 in Hopkinton, Mass.(AP PHOTO)

Humana is the title sponsor of the Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon, which mark the largest day of road racing in Kentucky. 2019 will be the 46th year for the miniMarathon and 18th year for the Marathon.

 Switzer is an athlete, author, spokeswoman, commentator, and advocate. She will always be best known as the woman who challenged the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and became the first woman to officially enter and run the event in 1967. Throughout her career, Switzer has run 41 marathons. In 1975, her two-hour and 51-minute marathon in Boston was ranked sixth in the world and third in the United States. She won the New York City Marathon in 1974 and then, 43 years later, in 2017, she ran through the streets again and finished 2nd in her age group. She has run for 59 years. Switzer also advocates for women’s sports participation throughout the world and continues today with the creation of “261 Fearless”, a global non-profit movement that empowers women through running.

Kathrine Switzer poses with a replica of her first Boston Marathon bib number 261, Friday 24 February 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.

Kathrine Switzer poses with a replica of her first Boston Marathon bib number 261, Friday 24 February 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.

“We’re honored to have Kathrine Switzer, who has paved the way for so many female athletes, running with us in April,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Women have been participating in the Kentucky Derby Festival’s races since the mini started in 1974, and now make up more than 50% of our running field.”

The mini, Marathon and Relay all start simultaneously on April 27th at 7:30 am on Main Street near Slugger Field and will finish at Preston and Witherspoon streets. Registration is still open online at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.

Humana is Title Sponsor of the miniMarathon and Marathon. The Official Race Medical Provider & Training Partner is Norton Sports Health. Official IT Partner: Deloitte. Contributing Sponsors are Churchill Downs, Dean’s Milk, Louisville Water Company, Powerade, and The Courier-Journal. Official Finish Line Nutrition: Meijer. Official Bourbon: Jim Beam®. Official Hotel: The Galt House. Official Pace Team: Dick’s Sporting Goods. Official Pace Car: Bachman Subaru. Official Beer: Goodwood Brewing.

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