In Louisville, Kentucky, and in much of the rest of the United States, the first Saturday in May means only one thing: it's Kentucky Derby time.
The legendary 10-furlong race at Churchill Downs is the biggest event in American racing, and fittingly, it is preceded by the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, which includes the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.
This year's Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, with the marathon taking place a week earlier on Saturday, April 27.
Here is the schedule for the day:
6 a.m. ET: Gear check drop off begins at Louisville Slugger Field (corner of Floyd St. & Main St.)
7:25 a.m. ET: Wheelchair division start time (corner of Brook St. & Main St.)
7:30 a.m. ET: Marathon and miniMarathon start time (corner of Brook St. & Main St.)
1:30 p.m. ET: Course closes (six-hour time limit)
Beginning a stone's throw from the Ohio River, the 26.2-mile course of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon snakes through Louisville before heading south for Churchill Downs.
After a lap of one of the most famous horse racing venues on the planet, runners then circle the 739-acre Iroquois Park before heading back downtown for the finish.
Here is a look at the course map:
The full details of the course, including restrictions and highlights, can be found at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.
While the Kentucky Derby is regularly dubbed "the fastest two minutes in sports," the competitors in the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon will be pounding the streets for significantly longer.
Mercifully, though, it is a largely flat course, except for a hilly stretch in Iroquois Park.
With thousands of runners involved, and thousands more lining the streets, 2019's Derby Festival Marathon should, once again, be an occasion worthy of the horse-racing spectacular it precedes.