See more of our race!
I've always wanted to run this race, but two things have happened -- I either schedule another race for that weekend, or I wait until the price has increased too much for me to justify paying a certain amount for a local race when I could pay the same amount for a destination race.
I applied to be an Urban Bourbonite -- something of an ambassador for the race. Those accepted would promote the race on social media and receive swag and a complimentary entry. I honestly didn't expect to be picked since I'd never run the race before, but when I received my acceptance email, I immediately started making plans to run.
I'd run a race in Louisville before, but being from Lexington (and bitter college sports rivals), I felt I could find the same type of race locally and I wouldn't have to mess with all the logistics of a race in another city -- hotels, travel, an unknown course, etc. My wife and I decided to make a weekend of it and stayed close to the starting line.
Since I'd recently gotten a running coach and my goals and previous plans were being altered, I ran this race with no real expectations. I just wanted to have a decent finishing time and to have a good time just running the race by "feel."
The day before, we went to the expo at the Louisville Slugger Field. I always try to minimize the amount of time on my feet the day before a race, but I misread the packet pick-up instructions and walked about two miles out of the way before finally arriving at the proper place for pick-up. The expo was small, but efficient. There were local vendors and bourbon sampling -- not to mention several photo opportunities.
Louisville has a really nice culinary scene, and it was no problem finding a good restaurant the entire time we were there. I decided on an early dinner in order to be ready for the 8am start.
Race morning was cold and windy. Runners were bundled in gloves and Mylar in order to stay warm before the race. I did my customary mile warm-up, but added in a new dynamic warm-up routine between the run. After a few quick trips to the Porta-Potty, I found my starting corral and got ready for the race.
The course, itself, is mainly flat by Kentucky standards, and I started off at a pretty good clip. There were a few rolling hills, but nothing at all intimidating. We ran on city streets, side streets, a few bridges, and a local park.
Early in the race, I realized that I'd made a rookie mistake and didn't follow my hydration plan. I ended up making four -- FOUR -- pit-stops along the course. I thought this would really impact my time, but each time I was able to catch back up to the pacing group I had been keeping in my sights.
Upon finishing, there was a Bourbon Bash complete with a live band, free bourbon, free pizza and burgoo, and photo opportunities. The after party for the race was amazing!
The whole city embraces the running community, and it shows. There was an organized bourbon pub crawl for finishers and festivities the entire weekend. My wife and I ended up staying an additional night and enjoyed the fun.
This is one race I'm looking forward to running again. In fact, I'm going to apply for the ambassadorship again when the time comes. The race directors really know how to put on a quality event, and their hard work and dedication was evident in every aspect.
Make sure to put this one on your calendar!