Posts Tagged ‘Bourbon Chase’

Bourbon Chase 2011 Race Recap

In case you missed the first two posts about The Bourbon Chase, you can check out my “Preparation” post and my “Before the Race” post!

A quick intro to The Bourbon Chase: an overnight 200 mile relay race on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We had a team of 11 courageous runners- The bodyFIT Bootleggers: Adam, Scott, Brock, Grant, Cindi, Jon, Kristen, Ryan, Scott and Emily. Below are the fantastic members of Van 1:Van 1

And here are the superstars of Van 2:

ABourbonChase (56 of 57)Each team is split into two vans, Adam, Scott, Brock, Grant, Cindi and myself were in Van 1, and the rest of the team was in Van 2. The race is a relay-race, so Van 1 members run each of their “legs” of the race, and after the last runner runs his leg of the race, the baton is passed on to Van 2. After the handoff, Van 1 gets to rest while Van 2 completes their legs of the course. Each runner ran a total of 3 legs (except Jon, Grant and Ryan all ran extra legs of the race because we were short one person). Confusing? Not really! There are 36 legs of the course, and each leg varies in distance and in difficulty. You can look back at my “Preparation” post to see the legs of the run that I did! Here’s a map of the entire course:

We started the race at 2pm on Friday at Jim Beam.

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Cindi was our first runner:ABourbonChase (13 of 57)ABourbonChase (14 of 57)

Cindi passed the baton (a snazzy reflective snap-bracelet) to Adam who charged ahead:

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Our next stop was Heaven Hill where Scott had the “Stairway to Heaven Hill” aka: “Run up this huge hill and then get a free Bourbon Sample”ABourbonChase (25 of 57)ABourbonChase (26 of 57)ABourbonChase (27 of 57)ABourbonChase (28 of 57)

At Heaven Hill, Scott passed the Baton to Grant aka “The Workhorse” who absolutely killed all of his runs!

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Grant then passed the baton onto yours truly:

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Check out that horrible heel strike in the last picture! By the time I was finishing my first run, the sun was beginning to set, and I passed the baton on to Brock, our 6th runner who finished his leg of the race at Maker’s Mark.ABourbonChase (32 of 57)ABourbonChase (45 of 57)

At Maker’s Mark, we got our free bourbon samples and said “hi” to Van 2 who were just about to start their runs!

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Since it was already getting dark, Van 2 started their runs in our “nighttime” gear: headlamp, reflective vest and a tail-light.

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During our “breaks” from running, we did a lot of this:ABourbonChase (12 of 57)

Fortunately our team decided to get a hotel room, and we all went back to shower/rest for a little while. Van 2 finished with their legs of the run around 11:30pm, so we met them at the next transition and began our second legs of running. I don’t have any pictures of the night runs, but it was dark, and it got MUCH cooler (it had been 85+ degrees during our first runs, so the cold night air was VERY welcome!) Running at 3:30am is a very bizarre thing, but that was honestly one of my favorite parts of the whole race! And to think that I had been nervous about that run! Van 1 did an AMAZING job on our night runs-the heat from earlier in the day had made our first run pretty difficult, but we definitely redeemed ourselves with the night run! We passed our baton back to Van 2 around 5am on Saturday morning in Davnille and then we headed to our hotel for THE BEST 2 hours of sleep I’ve ever had.

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During our quick “nap”, Van 2 did a fantastic job running their second round. We met up again at Four Roses Distillery around 11am on Saturday. Unfortunately, the leg that Cindy ran from Four Roses to the next checkpoint was pretty short, so we didn’t actually get to any bourbon sampling at Four Roses Sad smile

However, when we left Four Roses, we got to drive through a creek (it was the only way out)! I bet out-of-towners started questioning the sanity of us Kentuckians at that point…

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Our third (and Grant’s third and fourth) runs went very well, we were all thoroughly tired by the time we had the next big exchange at Woodford Reserve.woodford-reserveABourbonChase (57 of 57)

Sadly, this is where I left my teammates because I had to attend a wedding (a WONDERFUL wedding!) Van 2 finished their last runs, and the entire team crossed the finish line back in Lexington.

Everyone got medals, bourbon and more bourbon at the awards ceremony!

The bodyFIT Bootleggers finished the entire 200 mile race in 29 hours 24 minutes and 40 seconds. I cannot wait to participate in the Bourbon Chase again next year, and hopefully, I’ll be able to run it with some of my same teammates Smile Thank you all for making this such a wonderful experience! Here are a few more pictures (like this post didn’t have enough pictures already):

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Road kill was to mark how many people we had passed, I think our van ended up passing 26 people!

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I am SO ready for next year’s chase!

The Bourbon Chase: Before The Race

**Want updates from the Bourbon Chase? Follow me on Twitter: @HollyCCoop***

This whole Bourbon Chase shindig is just a few hours away. In a couple of hours, I’ll pile into a van with some other crazy runners that I’ve only met once. Since I don’t know any of my teammates, I e-mailed them with a short “getting to know you” survey (and yes, I told them it would be posted on the blog) and here are 4 out of our 12 runners:

imageBrock Jones, 24

  • Profession: Strength and Conditioning Coach at Transylvania University: and Personal Trainer with bodyFIT, Inc.
  • Goals for “The Chase”: Simply to finish my legs of the race.
  • If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why? I would be Rocky Road, because I’m a little nuts every once in a while.

Jonathan Messick, 26

  • Profession: Owner of bodyFIT, Inc.
  • Goal for “The Chase”: Make it through the first leg! I have a double leg that has some major hills!
  • If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why? I would be anything at Orange Leaf because I like Orange Leaf.
Scott Bender, 35
  • Profession: Golf Course Superintendent
  • Goals for “The Chase: Have Fun!
  • If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why? Perhaps Scott doesn’t like ice cream, or perhaps this was a stupid question!

Holly Cooper, 23

  • Profession: Wife, part-time Student at UK, front desk associate at Body Structure, and nanny to a precious little boy!
  • Goal for “The Chase”: To not cry on my long run in the middle of the night. But really, to run and to have a blast with my awesome teammates!
  • If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why? I would be my own flavor: Pumpkin Ice Cream with a fudge swirl (like in Moosetracks) with miniature Reese’s cups (like in Moosetracks). So basically, pumpkin flavored Moosetracks. Or I would be vanilla.

Last night, The Bourbon Chase kickoff was held at Victorian Square. Bourbon was served and we got a chance to meet one another. Our wonderful Van 1 team consists of: Myself, Cindy, Brock, Adam, Scott and Grant. I’m excited to spend 24 stinky hours with these great people. I’m definitely the baby of the group, but that doesn’t bother me one bit! Scott and Adam have also started blogs, and hopefully you’ll be able to follow along with us as we Chase some Bourbon!I’m all packed and ready to go, want to see what I’m bringing? I made a list and packed what was on the list (I’m notorious for forgetting things or for over packing):BourbonChase (4 of 8)

The weather this weekend is supposed to be SUPERB! Check it out!imageI also made sure to pack enough Gluten-Free snacks! I whipped up these Pumpkin Muffins that the fabulous @MissHebbe sent me! Here’s a link to the original recipe– I just subbed in Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Mix and added a pinch of xanthan gum! Delish!

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And that powdery stuff on the left? Homemade “Gatorade” mix from this website!Silas really doesn’t want me to leave, so he decided to lay on top of all of my gear

BourbonChase (1 of 8)Notice anything particularly “fluffy” in this gear picture?BourbonChase (3 of 8)See you soon Silas! After 18.3 miles and a wedding celebration, I think I’m the one who will need a belly rub!BourbonChase (2 of 8)

The Bourbon Chase 2011

Bourbon Chase 2011: Preparation

I may be a little bit insane. Just a little bit. But I think all runners are just a little bit insane.

(Picture from 2005, 6 years ago!)

Last week, I started running at 5:30am with a running group called John’s Striders. The weirdest thing? I liked it! Despite 5am wake up and running in complete darkness, I think I’m hooked (we’ll see how it goes when it’s below zero outside). I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest runner in the group, but I haven’t met everyone yet. Anyways, it is GREAT to have a running community again! And I should mention, I have made some of the BEST friends in the world in my 8 years of running!

shoes4I miss the team aspect of running, and that shouldn’t surprise me too much because I started out running with a team in high school, and I had my college team. Only after transferring to UK did I have to run alone. Not having a team may have been one of the reasons why I took almost a year off from running.xcgirlsAnyways, this summer was a great time for me to get back into running shape. Was it fun? No. Was it hard? Yes. Do 80+ degree temps suck? Yes. But, I’m thankful for those slow, sticky miles that I put in during the summer months. Fall weather reminds me of cross country season, of long runs on the weekends. The cooler weather makes me feel faster and it definitely allows me to breathe better. The crispness of the air is refreshing when my body finally starts to warm up after the first few minutes of striding along the asphalt.Yeah, I’m in love with running again. So, this weekend, I’m doing what any other normal 17-20mile per week runner would do: I joined a Bourbon Chase team.The Bourbon Chase is a 200 mile overnight relay race that takes runners along the scenic pathways of Kentucky. The run starts at the Jim Beam distillery and hits Heaven Hill, Makers Mark, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, Makers Mark and ends in Lexington. Each team is comprised of 12 runners who run 3 legs of the race. Average mileage per runner: 16.5 miles. As I mentioned before, this is an overnight relay race, so members of each of the 250 teams will be completing their legs of the run in the dark. Pretty exciting, huh?

imageWell, since joining John’s Striders, I’ve heard about The Bourbon Chase and I offered to help any teams that were down a person. Jon from the BodyFit Bootleggers contacted me and I found myself on a team! I have no idea who any of my team mates are, and I’m kind of excited to spend 24+ hours with other crazy runners! We’ll be leaving Lexington on Friday morning, and I’ll be finished sometime on Saturday afternoon. I wish I could go to the huge after party they’re hosting in Lexington for all of the Bourbon Chasers, but I have a very special wedding to attend that evening! Let’s just say, after running 18 miles in under 24 hours, this girl probably won’t be out on the dance floor (I never like dancing).

Here are some maps and elevation charts for my 3 legs of the race

Leg 1:


Leg 2 (which will be in the dark):


The Final Stretch Leg 3: This downhill section is going to feel FANTASTIC!


I’m hoping to be able to snag an iPhone so that I can do a bit of on the road blogging, but we’ll see! Definitely be looking for a race recap sometime next week, and prayers are appreciated for all of the participants in the event!