Guest Destination Race Preview: the Inaugural Horse Capital Marathon and Half Marathon

This preview  was submitted by Run Oregon reader Martrese White. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.

The Pacific Northwest isn’t just a paradise for runners. . .there’s also a plethora of equine resources here, too. Chances are you’re not far from a dressage court, rodeo fairground, or hunter/jumper barn. An avid marathon runner, I also ride hunter/jumper at Sherwood Forest Equestrian center, so when I heard about a new destination race that combines horse country AND running, I had to register. The Horse Capital Marathon and Half Marathon will make its debut in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 16, 2015.


This stunning, gently rolling course has an elevation change of 719 feet for the half marathon and 1,563 feet for the full marathon, and passes 40 beautiful horse farms during this race. The Half Marathon course is a closed loop beginning and ending at Fasig Tipton, North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction company, in Lexington, KY. The full marathon course incorporates a second shorter loop plus an out-and-back on scenic Old Lemmons Mill Road.

The organizer will be certifying the course and submitting paperwork to the Boston Athletic Association to make this a Boston Marathon Qualifying Event. (Though I’m not sure how fast I’ll be – I’m sure my urge to pet the ponies and take photos of the scenery will add significantly to my race time.)

The race medals were unveiled recently and incorporate a bottle opener and the horse head race logo.

HCM is very active on Facebook, with posts on the latest registrants, race swag, sponsor promos, impending price increases, course photos, etc. It’s easy to get excited about this event with each update.

Airfare into Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG), may be less expensive – it’s only 80 miles north of Lexington. Check all options before booking.

Use discount code LEX10 to get 10% off race entries. Prices go up December 1. Register here:

Check the HCM facebook page for special rates on hotels near the finish line (some offering late checkout on race day and runner goodie bags!).

While in the area, why not check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?

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