KDF had some big winners in two major LouisvilleKY races this weekend


 Louisville, KY.  – With near perfect weather conditions, 25 balloons lifted off from Bowman Field Saturday morning in the BB&T Great Balloon Race. The race got underway just after 7 AM, as light wind took the balloons east toward Shelbyville Road. The event was the last of four ballooning events in the 2019 BB&T Kentucky Derby Festival Great BalloonFest.

 “The conditions for this morning’s race were as close to perfect as you could get,” said George Troutman, Balloonmeister for the Kentucky Derby Festival’s balloon events.

 The 24 “Hound” balloons took off from Bowman Field in “chase” of the “Hare” – the BB&T Bank balloon, piloted by Scott McClinton. McClinton flew for about 50 minutes before landing at UofL’s Shelby Campus. 22 of 24 pilots made a measurable toss of their bag of Kentucky bluegrass seed near the target, a giant vinyl “X.”

great balloon race

 The winner of this year’s BB&T Great Balloon Race and BalloonFest is the SULLAIR balloon, piloted by Shawn Raya. He came within 5” of the target and won a free entry for the 2020 BB&T Great BalloonFest.

PLACE                        BALLOON                                                                       PILOT                                    DISTANCE

FIRST                    SULLAIR                                                                               Shawn Raya                         5  inches

SECOND              Berry Delightful (Strawberry)                                             Michael Montgomery          11.5 inches

THIRD                   IMTS                                                                                      Patrick Fogue                       14 inches

FOURTH              Zaxby’s                                                                                  Bill Smith                               5 ft, 10 inches

FIFTH                    Mortenson Family Dental                                                   David Troutman                   8 ft, ½ inches

At today’s Awards Luncheon, pilots were honored for their years of consecutive participation in the Festival’s balloon events. Pilot Peyton Hogue was honored for his participation for 20 straight years. In addition, the balloon sponsors were also honored for their consecutive years of participation. Mortenson Family Dental was honored for 15 years of participation and Kroger received a 10-year award.

 Last night, a huge crowd filled the balloon field at the Kentucky exposition Center for the BB&T Great Balloon Glow. Friday morning’s BB&T Great Balloon Rush Hour Race and the BB&T Great Balloon Glimmer on Thursday night were both cancelled due to inclement weather.

 Since the first Great Balloon Race was held in 1973, the Derby Festival’s balloon events have been considered among the best in the country by pilots from all around the world. BalloonFest attractions are annually among the most popular family-friendly events on the Derby Festival schedule.

 The Kentucky Derby Festival Great BalloonFest is sponsored by BB&T with Contributing Sponsor Amazon. Official Charity Partner is Kosair Charities. Q103.1 is the Media Sponsor of the Balloon Glimmer. 102.3 Jack FM is Media Sponsor of the Rush Hour Race and Great Balloon Race. 106.9 PLAY is Media Sponsor of the Great Balloon Glow.  WLKY TV is the TV broadcast partner for the Glow.


And the miniMarathon and Marathon winners are…


Louisville, KY.   – The Humana Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon kicked off this morning with brisk and beautiful running conditions. More than 12,000 runners registered for this year’s race. 2019 marks the 46th annual miniMarathon and 18th annual Marathon.

John (Kosgei) Korir from Kenya is following in his big brother’s running shoes, and won his second miniMarathon in a row. He also won the mini last year, which was his first ever American race. Korir’s older brother, Wesley, is a four-time winner of the miniMarathon.

2019 mini & Marathon Medals

Jose Pulido of Clarkesville, GA, won his first miniMarathon in the Men’s Wheelchair Division, with a time of 50:17. Pulido placed second in 2018. Gisela Granados from Nashville, TN, won the Women’s Division with a time of 1:17:46.

Benjamin Price, of Louisville, won his first full Marathon in the Men’s Division with a time of 2:40:38.  Adrienne Zwijacz of Land O Lakes, FL, won the Women’s Division in the Marathon with a time of 2:54:22. This was Zwijacz’s her first marathon.

The top finishers in the 2019:




PLACE             FINISHER                     TIME                            HOMETOWN   

First                  Jose Pulido                   0:50:17                          Clarkesville, GA

Second             Matthew Porterfield       1:00:12                         Knoxville, TN

Third                 Matt Davis                    1:02:12                         Bowling Green, KY

miniMarathon MEN’s Division

PLACE             FINISHER                     TIME                            HOMETOWN   

First                  John Korir                     1:03:01                         Kenya

Second             Michael Eaton               1:04:36                         Seattle, WA

Third                 Denis Koech                 1:06:13                         Grand Prairie, TX


miniMarathon Women’s Division

PLACE             FINISHER                     TIME                            HOMETOWN   

First                  Gisela Granados           1:17:46                         Nashville, TN

Second             Sarah Bishop                1:21:33                         Dayton, OH

Third                 Molly Sensenbrenner     1:23:33                         Prospect, KY



Marathon MEN’s Division


PLACE             FINISHER                     TIME                            HOMETOWN   

First                  Benjamin Price              2:40:38                          Louisville, KY

Second             Isaac Schuetz               2:41:38                         Louisville, KY

Third                 David Grieshaber          2:43:00                         Louisville, KY



Marathon WOMEN’s Division


PLACE             FINISHER                     TIME                            HOMETOWN   

First                  Adrienne Zwijacz           2:54:22                          Land O Lakes, FL

Second             Rhonda Schilawski        2:58:53                         Wilmington, NC

Third                 Angela Musk                 3:03:10                         Louisville, KY

For additional times and place information, visit http://results.xacte.com/?kw=kdf.

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.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.