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We've just finished the first weekend in January, and it’s time to think about training for Derby. No, not the horses—you.

If you’ve thought of running in the 26.2-mile Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon or 13.1-mile miniMarthon in April, there’s a free program designed to get you back on your feet and ready for the starting gate. This coming Thursday, January 6 at 6 p.m., the Jewish Sports Medicine Healthy Lifestyle Training Program will kick off at Frazier Hall at Bellarmine University in the Highlands.

Both races will take place on April 30, 2011 and start at 7:30 a.m., and include a lap around the infield at Churchill Downs. This is the 38th year for the mini and the tenth for the full marathon.

The free training program, which lasts 16 weeks, will teach runners how to stay in shape and avoid injuries in the months, weeks and even hours leading up to the big day. Each registration includes a free training packet; introduction to the races’ doctor, athletic trainers and nutritionists; an overview of the miniMarathon and Marathon; guest speakers and a question-and-answer session. The first 700 registrants will receive a t-shirt. Saturday morning runs will round out the ongoing program.

Runners can register for program at www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com. Registration for the races is open now at www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com, with discounted registration fees available to those who enter by Jan. 31, 2011.

Contact the author at [email protected] or www.leecopywriting.com.

Photo: Flickr/ibm4381

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