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About Us

RunTheBluegrass launched in April 2011 at the Kentucky Horse Park, then moved to historic Keeneland Race Course later that summer in preparations for 2012. Keeneland has been our forever home since March 31, 2012.

RTB has grown from 934 total registrants from twenty-seven states in our first year, to now 48-50 states every year plus a handful of countries totaling 5000 registrants in three of our last four years.

We’ve been named by Runner’s World as one of America’s “standout, must-do Half Marathons” and are annually ranked among BibRave’s top events. In 2014, we won Sporting Event magazine’s Éclat Award for excellence.

We race along some of the most historic properties in all of America -- the world even -- with so much international investment into Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry. Iconic farm names like Calumet and Stonestreet dot our landscape, plus nearly forty smaller farms along your way. Some of these farms have been owned and managed in the same family for generations and generations.

Every year we feature and pay homage to one of our famous Thoroughbred Farms and one of its most legendary racers. In addition, we partner with a different Kentucky Bourbon Distillery to bring you commemorative, limited edition bottles in that year’s theme.


Our Race Team

Eric Patrick Marr

Race Director and Social Media Playtime Coordinator! Look for our ongoing, year-round conversations on Facebook and Twitter, and on our brand new custom mobile app!

Also, be sure to give Eric a high five at the Finish Line!

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Rachel Crabtree

Assistant Race Director and Expo Coordinator.

Rachel loves all things Kentucky and sharing them with our family of runners each year! Combining this with her affection for fitness makes her look forward to "work" every day!

In addition to overseeing our annual Race Expo, Rachel’s main focal points are Race Week Logistics plus assembling all twenty of our extracurricular Race Week Tours, Parties and Special Events. She also loves managing our Instagram feed!

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Lia Davidson

Managing Editor and Data Support

Lia is a professional word nerd (when she’s not running, reading or painting). She stays busy with her two teenagers and has been very active with the Meg’s Miles group since it started. With the racing industry’s reliance on technology, Lia is a huge help!

Jill Huffman

Runner Services Coordinator

Jill has been a distance runner for years and strangely loves the Marathon distance, best. When not running and answering your emails, she teaches water fitness classes, is a personal trainer, and Chief Exercise Officer of HydroRunning with Jill, in Cincinnati. Jill is also the Buddy Relations Co-Coordinator for the international running group, IRUN4. With two crazy kids and an even crazier dog, she is never idle. 

Melynda Jamison

Melynda Jamison

Volunteer Coordinator

Melynda has been serving Central Kentucky in a number of selfless roles for many years, and when she isn’t helping RunTheBluegrass, she leads CASA of Lexington's charge to help Bluegrass area children, even to the point of recently being named National Executive Director of the Year!

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Vanessa Seitz

Farm Liaison

Race Week Concierge and Group Hospitality Coordinator

Vanessa, our British import, is a busy mama of four and works in Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry. She loves running and writing about our local farms for our blog.

Lakeshore Athletic Services

Course Management

Lakeshore Athletic Services provides professional race management, logistics, timing services and race equipment to road races and multi-sport events throughout the United States. Lakeshore Athletic Services is headquartered just outside of Chicago.

APTiming

Ricky Campbell, Bethany Williams, Zeke Smith, Caren Craigo

In business for over five years now, APTiming is made up of local runners in the Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia tri-state area and provides excellent race timing services.

 

Located in the heart of Kentucky’s famed Bluegrass region, Keeneland Race Course, a National Historic Landmark, plays an important role in both Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

From its inception in 1936, Keeneland’s founders, led by respected horsemen Hal Price Headley and Major Louis Beard, intended it to be a special place—one that symbolizes the best in Thoroughbred racing. Today, Keeneland continues to be guided by that original mission, taking a leadership role in the industry to improve safety, promote integrity and preserve racing’s storied history.

Each April and October, the nation’s best Thoroughbred owners, trainers and jockeys converge at Keeneland to compete for some of North America’s richest purse money. The Spring Meet meeting is anchored by the Toyota Blue Grass and Central Bank Ashland Stakes, Grade 1 prep races for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively. Keeneland’s Fall Meet opens with Fall Stars Weekend, featuring nine graded stakes, led by the Shadwell Turf Mile, Darley Alcibiades, Juddmonte Spinster, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and First Lady, all Grade 1 stakes that have served as a springboard to Breeders’ Cup success for many horses.

As the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company, including 83 Breeders’ Cup World Championship winners; 19 Kentucky Derby winners; 21 Preakness winners; 18 Belmont winners; 11 recipients of the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year; and five Epsom Derby winners. Keeneland’s global brand attracts a diverse international clientele, with buyers representing nearly every U.S. state and 50 countries attending its four annual sales.

Keeneland is a National Historic Landmark, and its beautiful, park-like grounds are open to the public every day. Fans also are welcome to visit the Keeneland Library, one of the world’s largest repositories of information and photographs related to Thoroughbred racing.


Home of 2015’s and 2020’s Breeders' Cup

The famed Breeders' Cup was held at Keeneland here in Lexington, the cradle of the breeding industry and the heart of the Bluegrass state, where the very idea of the Breeders’ Cup was conceived, for the first time in 2015,

It was here that American Pharoah made history and broke the Keeneland track record, becoming the first ever “Grand Slam Champion” with his Classic victory on top of his Triple Crown that spring.

The Breeder’s Cup is coming back to Keeneland in 2020!

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RunTheBluegrass is organized by the 501(c)3 LeXenomics Group in Lexington.

Our aim is to spawn and spread good ideas throughout the Bluegrass by investing in entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and changemakers. Below are our numbers as of 2018:

$5.5M

Direct, new economic impact since 2012

$900,000

Reinvested into local Bluegrass businesses

$510,000

Invested into full and part-time jobs

$38,300

Donated to other charities

$10,000

Invested into local artists


Additional Non-Profit Beneficiaries

Every year we donate a segment of your registration fees back to various other non-profit organizations around Central Kentucky who help you enjoy your RunTheBluegrass Weekend!

24000.org     A Running Start     American Cancer Society     Broke Spoke     CASA of Lexington     Childcare Council of Kentucky's Backpack Program     Dunbar Swim & Dive     Fayette Alliance     Flat Parker     Georgetown Baptist Church     Girls On The Run     God's Pantry      Heather Abbott's Medical Relief Fund       Lighthouse Ministries     Manchester Bidwell     Radio Eye     Susan G. Komen     Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance     Thoroughbred Skating Club     Volunteers of America     YMCA of Central Kentucky

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The non-profit LeXenomics Group was founded in 2010 by Lexington, Kentucky native Eric Marr - and exists specifically to help people more easily and successfully pursue their dreams.

In an economy with 60-80% of Americans dispassionate about their careers… in an economy where income growth has stagnated for 1-2 generations… we obviously need a new way.

And that way fundamentally revolves around about bringing out each person’s individual talents to the max, not only yielding personal fulfillment, but likewise creating a more successful and prosperous outward economy for all.

We achieve our goals with a three-pronged approach:

  1. We connect smart, driven people who haven’t yet connected

  2. We raise the level of consciousness inside and outside of Lexington, branding (educating) citizens about opportunities and cool, new developments happening right here in Central Kentucky

  3. We raise money and reinvest that money into local, new, innovative pursuits. Local entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, ideators and risk takers.

Besides RunTheBluegrass, our other projects include DreamFuel, our grant-giving arm for dreamers, pursuers and makers and our annual Best of the Bluegrass Awards, an annual party celebrating those Kentuckians who inspire the rest of us!

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Our Major Sponsors