- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Trail Race
- Event Website
We stumbled across The Backside Trail Marathon and Half as we were looking for a Sunday race following the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Nashville on Saturday. Since it was on the way home, we signed up!
If you are a fan of big races with thousands of participants, this race is NOT for you!
The race takes place in two parks just outside of Louisville and is limited to only 150 runners - so be sure to register early! One of my favorite perks of this race is that they offer all runners to "Double Down". The race is always the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby Marathon. For anyone that is crazy enough to want to run 2 races in one weekend, this is for you!! Run ANY full or half marathon on Saturday and then come run The Backside and earn extra bling on your race medal! Crazy? Sounds like me!! Bling Bling Bling!
Packet Pick up is at Quest Outdoors, a local sporting goods store (which is also one of the key race sponsors!). Since it is a small race, packet pickup is quick and easy. Like I mentioned, the race is small, so don't expect all the fancy bells and whistles of a bigger race. They keep it simple. Right down to the timing chips that attach to your shoe! I don't even remember the last race I ran with reusable timing chips! We had the chance to meet Troy, the race director and chat with him for a few minutes before we left.
Race Day: Since the race is in April, you never know what the weather will bring. Saturday in Nashville it was warm and humid... Sunday in Louisville it was 44 degrees. I grabbed my bolero and headed to the start line!
The course starts out on the local cross country trail and then winds around to a wooded single track area. It meanders through 2 different parks and around the local gold course. If you are running the full marathon, you run the loop twice! I realized right away that this was not going to be the typical trail half marathon! It was going to be a challenge but I was ready! From the information that was sent to runners before the event, we were told to anticipate 130% of our road half marathon time to complete this course! EEK! In theory that means this race could take me up to 3.5 hours to complete!
I spent the next few hours enjoying an amazing run through the amazing trees and hills of Louisville. These were some amazing trails that I wish I could run all the time! I won't lie, it was a tough and hilly course but I was so lost in my thoughts and enjoying the area that I didn't really notice just how hilly it was... until my watch told me I was at 6 times my flight of stairs goal for the day. And I was only only mile 7!
Aid Stations: On the course there were 3 aid stations (2 which you pass twice on the half marathon course). These are EPIC aid stations! Forget the usual water and Gatorade. These aid stations are stocked with a variety of cookies, chips, pickles, soda, water and fruit snacks! Any trail runners dream come true!
Before I knew it, I crossed the last bridge and the finish line was across the field from me!
The Bling: Yes, time to get to the fun stuff!! I love unique race medals and this one takes the cake! A real horseshoe with a hand stamped medallion with the race name and year! Plus, for "Doubling Down" and running on Saturday, my horseshoe had an added charm to indicate that accomplishment!
I can honestly say that I LOVED this race! I just wish I lived closer that I could run it again!!
On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 12!!!
You can find my full race recap and more fun about this race here: http://crazyhamster.run/2018/05/will-i-ever-learn-my-lesson-about-running-the-hills-in-kentucky.html