I don’t remember the last thing I even blooped about on the old Loop so I’m probably due for a reintroduction. I started running 7 years ago after I had graduated college and needed some kind of exercise. I live near St. Louis, MO and have two young buys that love to go running with me! If you want to know anything else, just ask.
I traveled to Kentucky this weekend with 11 friends for the Bourbon Chase (200-mile relay race for those that may not be familiar with it). My prior Bourbon Chase experience was on a competitive Ultra team. While that was still fun, this trip was with a more laid back group of runners not looking to win any awards and there was plenty of fun to be had.
I’ll start with the running
I was in Van 2 so I didn’t run until Friday afternoon. While our team was not expecting to be very fast, I still had some lofty goals for myself. With Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 3 weeks, I was using this as a “tune up” to see where I am at. My goal was to run below goal marathon pace (my marathon goal is a BQ, sub-3:05, but really 3:01 if I want to actually get in). Basically, I wanted a sub-7:00/mile pace and 6:45/mile would have been great.
Leg 1 (I was runner #8) – 4.8 miles with a little over 400 feet of elevation gain. It was 75 degrees when I got to run this so it was too warm for my liking. I still pushed through it with a 6:55/mile pace and passed 13 runners. It was way too hot to hit the 6:45/mile I would have liked but still a great effort. Time to recover for my next leg…
Leg 2 – 5.7 miles with a little over 200 feet of elevation but a slight net downhill. This run was at 3am in the morning with 50 degree temps and the hills were long gradual hills that were very runnable. I put the hammer down and passed 19 runners with a 6:36/mile pace. I knew this would be my easiest run and the pace shows it. It felt great to hit those times! My legs were sore after this so I had to try to recover for leg 3, the longest run of my three…
Leg 3 – 8.4 miles with about 450 feet of elevation gain, including a 1.5 mile uphill finish. This run was at 2 in the afternoon and it was a brutal 81 degrees. I was maintaining my 7:00/mile goal through 4 miles when the wheels started to come loose. My pace slipped but I still kept it together pretty well. I still wanted to pass as many runners as I could. One of my teammates was challenging me to see how many I could get. I ended up with a 7:16/mile pace for the 8.4 miles but passed 42 runners. There were a lot of people that were walking up the big hills in the heat and I kept pushing. I was very happy when that was over!
And the fun and festivities…
We drank a lot… Of course, we picked up a few cases of Yuengling along the way because we can’t get that in Missouri. We also had some great craft beers, some of which had some entertaining names: Cougar Bait, No Talent @$$ Clown, KY Cream Dream, Goodwood Gose, and Peach! Give Me My Money were just some of them! Of course, we also enjoyed some great Bourbon! We spent a good amount of time walking around Maker’s Mark and saw all of the Chihuly Glass Art, which was incredible! Our team carried around a crying baby face so we could always find each other in the crowd. Oddly enough, the crying baby put a smile on everyone’s face. The rest of the trip was filled with many laughs and new friendships (I only knew about half our team before the trip). Events like this are always a blast and I would recommend them to any runner!