I am super excited to see a number of fast folks staying in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon this year! I wanted spectators to know which hometown runners they should be rooting for, so I trolled around and sent out a mini-survey. That said, I basically had no women reply, and this is all self-reported. If you know someone who should be on this list, please let me know! (Lives in Louisville or metro area, and is planning to run 1:10/2:45 (men) or 1:28/3:05 (women).)
Also, can I just point out all the guys who replied are all math/engineering people? Ha!
Mike Deren, 29.
Recent race performance: Ran 1:07:45 at the Monumental Half Marathon last November. (And 2:38 at Chicago, but he left that out.)
Why Derby? The opportunity for your best friends to walk out their door and cheer for you at 8:00 am is second to none.
Running bio: I started running when I was 14, progressing through high school ultimately winning the New York State 3200m my senior year. In college, I made the Division 1 All-South region team for ETSU. I’m currently chasing my marathon PR of 2:24:38, which was good enough for 3rd at the 2011 Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama.
Not-running bio: I’m an actuary for Humana in downtown Louisville. I enjoy spending time with my wife Stacy, and walking our dog Oliver. Although I’m not very good at it, I enjoy building yard games; my most recent, giant connect four.
Zack Beavin, 22.
Recent race performance: Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon champion. 1:09:52. (Debut marathon.)
Why Derby? The KDF mini marathon was what really got me into running during my formative years. I loved the atmosphere when I ran the mini as an 11 and 12 year old. It only seemed appropriate for my first marathon to be this race…a homecoming of sorts.
Running bio: I was a St. X runner who went on to compete for the University of Belmont for a year before transferring and finishing out my 3 remaining years of eligibility at UK. I ran 14:33 (5k), 30:31 (10k), and 24:10 (8k XC) while in college, but I always itched to run the longer races. I’m currently testing the marathon waters and taking a crack at a marathon OT qualifying time before moving to my real calling in the trail/ultra world.
Not-running bio: I work at John’s Run/Walk Shop in Lexington and am pursuing my MBA at UK. I also like to eat and sleep. A lot.
Sean Robison, 22.
Recent race performance: 56:29 at the Papa Johns 10 miler. (Debut marathon.)
Why Derby? What better place to debut for the marathon than the city who made me who I am. As well as being a part of the largest horse racing festival in the world.
Running bio: Ran for Oldham County High School and then Bellarmine University, where he ran the 1500, 5000, and 10000. Started road racing a couple of years ago. (Editor’s note: he might be embarrassed by this, but oh well. Sean’s parents are the best super-fans ever!)
Non-running bio: When I’m not running, I enjoy biking and swimming. On the more relaxing side, being with friends, listening to music or reading a book. I work as a client analyst at Mercer consulting.
Brian Lindsey, 35.
Brian didn’t answer my survey, but last I heard he was planning on running. If he is, look for him to be near the front. Brian ran 2:46 at Boston last year, and I’d expect him to chase a sub-2:40 in the near future.
Alex Beruscha, 26.
Recent race performance: 55:17 at Papa John’s 10 miler.
Why Derby? I decided to run the Derby as Louisville has become my new home after I graduated college 4 years ago.
Running bio: I have primarily raced in 5ks and track meets throughout my career. I have completed 2 marathons in my life: Athens (Greece) and Chicago. The aspect of my racing I pride myself on is my end-of-race kick, so if it’s down to the wire I’m primed to make a move.
Non-running bio: I am an actuary at Humana. When I’m not busy with work or professional exams, I enjoy playing sand volleyball as well as board game nights with friends.
Tracy Green, 32. (Put up or shut up, right?)
Recent race performance: 2:57:03 at Monumental Marathon
Why Derby? I wanted to run a fast half this spring and Derby’s course is perfect. Plus I’m excited to represent my hometown and try to fight to be amongst the top finishers.
Running bio: Started with couch-to-5k 10 years ago. Ran my first marathon 15 months later and qualified for Boston. Finally broke 3 hours at marathon #12.
Non-running bio: Director of Development for the Library Foundation and a Pilates instructor at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center.