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:
And here are the superstars of Van 2:
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.
Cindi passed the baton (a snazzy reflective snap-bracelet) to Adam who charged ahead:
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”
At Heaven Hill, Scott passed the Baton to Grant aka “The Workhorse” who absolutely killed all of his runs!
Grant then passed the baton onto yours truly:
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.
At Maker’s Mark, we got our free bourbon samples and said “hi” to Van 2 who were just about to start their runs!
Since it was already getting dark, Van 2 started their runs in our “nighttime” gear: headlamp, reflective vest and a tail-light.
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.
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
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…
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.
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 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):
Road kill was to mark how many people we had passed, I think our van ended up passing 26 people!
I am SO ready for next year’s chase!