Join me for the Iron Horse Half! It’s an amazing, fun, scenic half marathon. How often do you get to run with thoroughbreds by your side?
I ran my first half marathon back in 2014. It was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon half marathon. I was super nervous but ended up having a great time. I received my virtual race bag and of course it was filled with race flyers and discounts. One caught my eye, though. The Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, KY. I don’t know why I was initially so drawn to it but I was. I honestly didn’t know anything about this particular race but from the brief Internet search and the inexpensive race entry, I decided to sign up.
After a few months of training, race weekend finally arrived. My friend, Julie, and I hopped in the car and drove south to Midway, KY. When we arrived in town we were a little unsure of ourselves but after we checked in to our hotel and went into town for dinner, we realized what a fun experience it was going to be. Instead of telling you about all the amazing food, great restaurants, and all the fun we had, today I’d rather focus on what makes this race one of the best half marathons I’ve run: the course. It’s fitting since today the Running Coaches Corner hosts (including yours truly) have chosen “favorite routes” as our theme.
Check out my race recap here and then read on below for more about this amazing race!
Yes, you read that right. The second Wednesday of every month we’re going to have a theme. You can play along and use the topic in your posts, too, if you’d like but you don’t have to.
Looking for a Scenic Half Marathon? Run the Iron Horse!
The course for the Iron Horse Half Marathon is essentially two out-and-backs. Some people like this while some people don’t. I have to admit, I don’t really think I thought much of it when I was running back in 2014. I was far too concerned with the beauty of the area — both nature and wildlife. So for me, two out-and-backs really made no difference. But for others who pay attention to running instead of horses it might matter.
The first out-and-back is gorgeous and really interesting, especially if you aren’t from the area. I remember seeing what I can only assume were tobacco plants being harvested on one farm. They were these huge broad leaf plants and there were so many workers in the field. It was really interesting to watch. This is also the same stretch where we saw lots of horses. Just breathtaking. My photos don’t even do it justice.
The second out-and-back was much less entertaining when it came to horses but that’s because they weren’t out the year I ran. Fingers crossed they’re out to pasture this year because I would love to see them.
Overall, Iron Horse is a very scenic half marathon — a feast for the eyes!
The Race Course
The course itself is a narrow, country road. It’s wide enough for two cars and that’s it. It’s closed to traffic for the duration of the race but runners need to maintain a 14 minute/mile pace or risk being swept. This isn’t because the folks at Iron Horse don’t love runners — it’s because they love runners and don’t want them to become injured when the roads reopen to traffic!
This race is not flat. If you need a flat race, this isn’t the one for you. But if you like variety in your running routes and you’re used to running on hills, you’ll really enjoy this course. There is one sizable hill, though. I can’t sugarcoat that one bit. I run hills and it’s definitely a hill. But it’s totally worth it on the way back down!
Thinking about signing up? Check out the course map here.
There’s a 12K!
For those of you that want to experience the Iron Horse but don’t want to run a half, there’s a 12K as well! The 12K route is the first out-and-back of the half marathon course. You still get to see all the same scenery as the half marathon with half the distance.
Now that you know about this scenic half marathon and a bit about the race course, here are the other details you might care about:
When: October 14, 2018 @8:00 am
Where: Midway, KY
And, one of the best parts of this race? FREE race photos! Yes, that’s right. Horses AND free races photos!
Ready to register? Click here to sign up. Make sure you use code 18RACHEL5 for $5 off.
Do you have more questions? Check out this comprehensive FAQ:
Where is Midway, KY? Midway is located “midway” between Lexington and Frankfort and is just off I-64. It is approximately 15 miles from Lexington, 65 miles from Louisville, and 90 miles from Cincinnati. Midway is surrounded by thoroughbred farms and is near the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Is the course difficult? The course is typical rolling Bluegrass horse farm country so it is not flat. It is challenging with the hills mostly occurring closer to the turnarounds on the east and west ends of the course.
What kind of weather can I expect? The average high for mid October in Midway is 62 degrees and the average low is 42 degrees. October is the driest month of the year in central Kentucky.
What type of aid will be offered on the course? Water stations will be positioned approximately every 2 miles. Sports drink will be provided on the course during the second half of the race. Gels in caffeinated and non-caffeinated flavors will be available at approximately mile 10. Please don’t throw your empty gel packets on the ground. We will also have port-a-johns approximately every 2.5 miles and roving first aid along the course.
Is there a post race party? Food, drink and music will be available in front of Darlin’ Jeans’ Restaurant immediately following the race. Note the post-race food, drink and music is NOT by the immediate finish line area.
Sign up and use code 18RACHEL5 for $5 off! Click here to register today!
Sounds amazing, right? I hope you’ll consider joining me for this amazing, fun, and scenic half marathon. How often do you get to run with thoroughbreds by your side?
So what do you think? Wanna join the fun?
See you in Kentucky!!