Behind the scenes: Marathon preps - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Behind the scenes: Marathon preps

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Thousands of runners will fill the streets early Saturday morning for the Kentucky Derby Festival marathon and mini-marathon, and it's taken thousands of volunteers to get everything ready.

Over 16 tons of supplies are flown into UPS Headquarters for the marathon.

All that stuff you'll see along the race route is unloaded and reloaded there, everything from water, to powerade, even cups and tables.

"Kentucky Derby Festival about ten years ago came to UPS and needed some logistics help delivering all the supplies to the water stop," said Patrick O'Leary, Employee Relations Manager.

UPS then brings in students from Eastern High School's JROTC program to do the heavy lifting.

"Here's a bunch of teenagers that gave up part of their Friday night to load a bunch of trucks," said O'Leary.

While those volunteers are taking care of supplies, others are supplying the runners with what they need.

The Marathon Expo is a one stop shop where runners get their packets, T-shirts and even have the chance to buy last minute necessities.

Sandy Griffiths is the volunteer coordinator for the race.

She says she recruits only the best.

"The derby festival can't put on the events without the volunteers. There's just so many events. We have over 4,000 volunteers," said Griffiths.

Security is on everyone's mind. Even bags are being checked before people enter the expo.

"It's a safety precaution we've implemented. We just want everybody to be safe. That's our number one goal is for everyone to be safe," Griffiths said WDRB.

Most runners we talked to say they feel the Kentucky Derby Festival has a hand on security.

They plan to cross the finish line with confidence.

"Whatever you spread out there is what returns so run with peace," said Kathleen Gianosa.

Gianosa is a return runner. She ran this very race years ago and is back to re-live it all.

She was even sporting her KDF tee from 1996.

She also has her Pegasus pin from that year.

After all the pre-race preps and the registration, all that's left to do is run.

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