Monday, October 10, 2011

Bourbon Chase BABY!!!

This race has been months in the planning - reserving vans, ordering shirts, finding team members, etc. And now it's over....

The race was a lot of fun!  There were definitely ups and downs to it.  It was awesome to see so many runners in the state of KY. 260 teams of 12 runners each = over 3,000 runners!! each runner runs 3 legs with about 11 hours in between each one, driving from exchange point to exchange point, waiting on one runner to finish so the next one can take off.  it's pretty exciting.

we had 2 vans, with 6 people each plus 1 driver for each van that wasn't running.  one van was "active" while the other was "inactive".
van 1

van 2

we were lucky that when we (van 1) were inactive we were actually close to our hometown.  one of the guy's parents lived a couple miles from where we ended our first active part and about a block from where we finished our second active part, so we were able to go to his parents house both times in between and use a REAL bathroom (NOT a porta potty)!  They also fed us each time and we got to lay down in a bed for a couple hours.  After we finished our third active leg we drove back to our hometown and all went to our houses to shower and clean up so we could meet our team at the finish line in downtown Lexington.

LEG 1:
Last week the temperature was cold, in the 30's for lows, 50-60's for highs.  Not this week though. low's in the 50's, highs in the mid 80's.  when you start running at 1pm it makes for a very hot run.  I had one of the easiest legs of the whole team but there was an atrocious hill right at the end.  :(

no one was running up this thing! :( i was ahead of the pace i was supposed to maintain until that stinking hill!  that put my about 2 minutes slower than i was projected to go.  my parents had driven to watch and were parked at the end of the course. as i ran by asked how i was.... my response was "did you see that hill???"  i was so happy to see the van and the rest of my team at the end.  orange gatorade has never tasted so good!!

finishing my first leg

ready to be done!

my team waiting for me at the end of my leg at one of the distilleries

Leg 2:
After eating and laying down for a bit, we were all ready for our second leg.  this one was by far everyone's favorite.  it was at night and the weather was COOL!!  we were in our hometown and i started on main street in danville.  my mom had volunteered to work and was at the transition point where i took off from.  she was so worried about me running in the dark, she was about in tears.  we had to wear a head lamp, vest and a taillight on the night legs.  i also wore some knuckle lights.  if you run in the dark, i highly recommend these things!!! the head lamp helped me see my garmin in the dark but that was about it.  i ran about 2 miles out of town and there were no street lamps at all.  it was pitch black.  the only thing that helped me see was the knuckle lights.  the best part about this leg was the street that i ran on was the street where i drove for the first time, it is the road that goes towards my parents house.  very sentimental to me when running it.
On this run i was on fire.  i ran 6 minutes faster than i was projected to finish!! 
getting the baton aka slap bracelet from lesley and heading off

LEG 3:
after going back to our home away from home, eating and sleeping for 2 hours, our van was not very awake, excited, etc. we were all pretty cranky and were ready to be done.  my third leg was going to be another hard one.  it wasn't going to be as hot as the first one but it was still going to be warm.  i had another horrible hill on this one, not as bad as the first one but this one was at the beginning.  i knew i wasn't going to be able to do well on this run and just tried to walk uphill and run downhill and the straightaways as much as possible.  i did stop and take some pictures during this leg because it was a beautiful road.  i ran over a bridge that was next to High Bridge which was once the highest railroad bridge in the U.S.  

the part on the right is the bridge i ran on

High Bridge - once the highest railroad bridge in the u.s.

turning on a little country road

I unfortunately was about 4 minutes slow on this leg.  so my average was right on what it was supposed to be since i lost 6 minutes and gained 6 minutes.

Some runners/vans had problems on the course.  One of our runners had developed a blister after his first run, and after his second run had a blister plus one side of his foot was in pain.  on his third and final leg he was hurting pretty bad.  he had a 6 mile run and after 2 miles during which he had stopped to take his shoe on and off, retie it, etc, he finally took his shoes off and started running in carrying them.  another team's van stopped to see if he needed help. he said to take his shoes and he would run on in.  the van found our team and dropped off his shoes. we were all worried about him and sent out two of our runners to help him run in.  they found him and said he was running but just not at the pace he was anticipated to run at. we were glad though bc we were afraid he was on the side of the road somewhere. but this set us back about 30 minutes :(  there was a cut off that everyone had to finish by 9pm.  we knew we would be under that so we weren't too worried about being a little late. after he finished all he wanted was some bourbon!!  so went to the gift shop where they were giving out free shots/glasses!

horse made out of bourbon barrels

after van 1 had finished running - happy to be done

Finish Line:

After having gone home, showered, and taken a super quick nap we headed to Lexington for the Finish Line Celebration.  We ran in with our team across the finish line, got our medals, and got a group picture taken!  They had music and food set up and bourbon tasting.  By that point though we were so tired we just wanted to get our medals, eat, and go home.  :)  We got home at 9:30pm, were in bed by 10pm and slept for 11 1/2 hours!  I am a little sore today. my quads are hurting me. which is better than jeremy who says everything below his waist hurts.  :(

Other Bourbon Chase Stuff:

Other vans/teams had much more serious problems: one guy was bit by a dog, a van had a flat tire, a van's battery died, someone had a seizure in a porta potty,several vans got lost so that when their runner finished, the next runner wasn't there to take off.

we ran by 6 different bourbon distilleries.  each one was open so you could go and tour while you were waiting on your runners.

before the race started our youngest two had a sip to start off the race

live bluegrass music at the starting line

at maker's mark distillery

All in all it was a great race. I'm not sure if i want to do it again though.  out of my team of 12 though i'm in the minority for being not sure or knowing they wont do it again.  at least 9-10 of the others are sure they want to do it again next year!  as for me..... i'll have to wait a few weeks or months before i decide to do it again.  if i do, i will definitely run hills to train for it.  although i much prefer to stay flat!


  1. That first leg does have a killer hill at the end! Sounds like a fun race with all the bourbon!

  2. That sounds like a fun race! A lot of work, too! Great job. :)

  3. What an amazing adventure!!!

    Great recap, and great job!!

  4. My favorite quote from the weekend was from you after your first leg: "DON'T TOUCH ME!!!" I had a great time, and I know how hard you worked to organize the vans & shirts. You can change the name of your blog now, because last weekend answered the question: You (and the rest of us!) may be crazy, but you're definitely a bona fide runner. You're awesome!