Cinco de Derby

Yesterday’s 138th running of the Kentucky Derby marked the end of a two-week long celebration here in Louisville.

So on race day, as a way of participating in the partying without getting in the thick of things, I woke up early and met Eileen for a quick six five miles to and from Churchill Downs. It was my first run since the mini, and I quickly realized I shouldn’t have taken so much time off. My quads were tight, even though we were taking our time. The soreness after the race wore off after a few days, but I regret not running at least a few miles in the week after. Lesson learned.

This was supposed to be six miles. It’s only five.

We took off toward the University of Louisville, retracing a small portion of the mini route. As soon as we neared Churchill Downs, people started popping up in their yards offering premium parking spots. The closer we got, the more expensive the lawns. When we arrived at Central Avenue, the crowds entering the infield were thick. You have to hand it to these people – arriving at the track almost 12 hours before the actual race takes dedication…or something.

It’s 7:30 in the morning, and these people are waiting to get into the infield.

Eileen and I took a break to snap a few pics at the main gate to the track. Everyone seemed to be civil and the lines were orderly. Then again, they still had a whole day of celebrating on the schedule.

Eileen and I looked like a hot mess compared to the people going through the main gate.

Memorial to Barbaro outside the main gate

We bid adieu to the track and returned to our meeting point. It was a little weird running a route that wasn’t part of any training, but it freed up some of the stress to just relax and jog at a comfortable pace.

On a side note, I was able to pick up my Louisville Triple Crown of Running FINISHER shirt this weekend, too. Funny story – the first run of shirts said FINSHER. I wonder where those shirts are now. My guess – the same place those 2012 University of Louisville NCAA Champions shirts are.

Free shirt! After the $75 in entry fees.

Keep running, friends.

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