Great news. Kentucky State government has given the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) approval to hold its annual half marathon live and in-person on Oct 17, and our team has put together what we believe will be an amazing and safe experience for participants given the challenges with COVID 19. However, as a non-profit organization, the LSC cannot afford to lose money on an event, so the running community will decide if the 2020 subUrban Bourbon Half presented by Jim Jim Beam® takes place. To break even, we need 1,900 paid registrations, and if we don’t reach that milestone by Sept. 26, the event will be canceled. If we cancel the event for any reason, anyone who has registered will be offered a full refund (minus credit card fees) or will have the option to defer to 2021.
The Parklands of Floyds Fork – site of our 2020 half marathon – is one of the nation’s largest, newest metropolitan parks. Guided by a 100-year environmental plan, The Parklands maintains nearly 4,000 acres to encourage healthy forests, increased wildlife habitat and improved water quality. As a show of respect for our temporary home, we renamed the 2020 edition of the event the subUrban Bourbon Half presented by Jim Beam®.
Turn-around area at 6.5 mile
In order to receive approval from Kentucky State Government for our COVID-19 safety plan, we had to make a number of adjustments. One of those adjustments was reducing the number of participants to 2,300, which forced a move from an urban course with numerous street closures to one that is self-contained. That’s how we landed in The Parklands with an out-and-back course along the Louisville Loop, a 10-foot-wide paved path that follows a traditional Kentucky watershed through amazing natural scenery in a rural setting. The smaller participant field, two-hour rolling start and numerous shoulders along the Loop will allow for social distancing during the race. The course does narrow for about 100 yards at the 3.3-mile marker going out and the 9.7-mile marker coming back as the course goes under a bridge and is suspended just above Floyds Fork. For this short span, the path will be one lane each way and participants will be required to wear face coverings.
As our operations team continues to refine plans for the event, we determined it makes sense to place the fastest runners in the front so they can go for time and the rest of us can enjoy a more leisurely pace and take in The Parklands’ natural beauty. Also, putting fast runners up front will help reduce slowdowns at the bridge. For those who registered before Aug. 15, we reassigned the faster runners to an earlier start time. Those who register from this point forward will be placed in a corral based on anticipated finish times.
You can still count on a bourbon experience with this year’s event. Finishers will receive a medal that celebrates 225 years of Jim Beam distilling bourbon in Kentucky, a bottle of bourbon with a special label commemorating Jim Beam’s 225th anniversary and a branded gaiter. While our post-race bash is suspended this year due to COVID, we’re working on food and beverage discounts with numerous bars and restaurants that are perfect gathering spots for small groups of friends and travel companions. Our partners at the Galt House have special packages for travelers and locals looking for a get-away weekend, and medal engravers will be set up in the hotel lobby bar area Saturday after the race. And a few days following the subUrban Bourbon Half, we will produce a virtual bourbon experience – just for participants – that will include tutorials on the history of bourbon, bourbon tasting, making bourbon cocktails and how to throw the best bourbon parties for your friends.
Please contact us a with any questions you have about the 2020 subUrban Bourbon Half presented by Jim Beam®.
So, who's ready to run! Registration is open, and we still have our price increase on pause. So, you can sign up for only $75
Please note that if circumstances regarding the reopening of events in Kentucky should change, we may need to make additional adjustments to our race plans.
401 West Main Street,
Louisville, KY 40202