Bourbon Chase is hands down one of the best experiences of my life! It was fun, exciting, funny, challenging, impossible, exhausting, and rewarding! Above is one half of me team. Our name was Running Under the Influence (RUI). I was runner #7 in Van #2.
Getting ready to leave for Maker's Mark. Our Van #1 took off at 11:15 am and was predicted to be ready to hand off around 4:30 pm. Check-in was quick and to the point. We just had to sign our waivers, check our equipment and get our bibs. There was a little bit of wait time to check out the distillery until my time to run since I was the first runner in Van #2. Our first van did well minus loosing a few minutes due to the insane heat and there were a few hills that were more"difficult" than their "easy" rating. I was super pumped taking out of Maker's Mark and went out a little fast because there were HILLS waiting on me. I am 100% sure those were the worst hills I have ever ran in my life and there are not words for how challenging it was. I was suppose to stay around a 9:10-9:20 average. I have no idea what I ran because my Garmin was all wonky and did not keep signal and stopped working : (. I was projected to finish in 58 minutes and nailed in right over an hour! SWEET! Considering I had blistering 4:00 sun beating down on me and there were ridiculous hills. Van 2 continued to kick butt and knocked out almost every other run below the predicted time! We ran to Perryville, Ky to hand off to Van 1 around 10:00 pm and Van 1 headed to our houses to sleep. The split time showed we were running a 9:49 pace at that time.
Sleeping at our houses was the best idea ever! There was nothing better than crawling into a big ole' queen bed at my parents house and snoozing hard for 3 hours! (All the sleep I would get)
Good morning 3:40 am! I hopped out of bed ready to go at 3:13 and was ready to kill my run #2. It ran right out of Danville where I live! I was even more pumped to find out Van #1 was taking even more time off our total time. We were getting nothing but faster! Split times later showed Van #1 had taken our pace down to 9:42 : )
I killed my second run and ran it at an 8:50 average which gave us another 3 minutes for the good side! Our Van smoked these six legs bringing our team pace down to 9:28! We handed off to Van #1 at Four Roses and were hoping their 2 hour power nap would keep them strong for their third and final leg. Most of their runners did great and were able to kill their runs. However, the heat was picking up and took some wear and tear on a couple runners. It was 85 degrees! I do not know our time for those legs but there is going to be a dip in the pace because we had an injured runner on leg #30 : ( While I was waiting for my hand off a volunteer comes yelling team # 372, #372 and I get ready to take off BUT she hands me a a pair of SHOES! WHAT?!?! The guy before me is in so much pain he is running in his socks! The officials would not let me run to him so 2 of our guys go get him and find him killing the final mile at a 7:00 min something pace! What a trooper! It cost us some time but I was ready to take on Duncan Hill!
No picture of my leg 3 outfit but here is where we napped to get ready for our third and final run. We loved lounging in the grass at Woodford Reserve. We met some awesome people and had a blast just relaxing. Some people were able to sleep but I was not. My final leg was suppose to be a killer! The whole run if people see that you are runner #7 they would all talk about the run up Duncan Hill and a runner on my team had been in Van #2 last year and told me it was basically a mountain for 1.5 miles. When I was able to take off out of Woodford I promised my team I would do it in an hour! It was 5.6 mile run so that would be slightly over a 10 minute mile. I ran out of Woodford at a steady 9:20-9:30 pace for the flat 2 miles leading up to the hill and then there it was. Straight up hill! I just took it a chunk at a time! I would take a few walk breaks in the shade to keep from overheating. Many vans stopped and cheered me on a van stopped and filled up my handheld with ice cold water. When I started the descent I dumped some cold water down my back and picked up the pace. I was hitting some 8 minute paces so I felt great! There was one last climb until the exchange and then there was my van. I gave them the 1 hour I promised!
We continued to hit our times on the nose! The last runs were the best! We were so sleep deprived and pumped up on the thought of finishing. I got a nice pick me up when I took a little cooler shower on the side of the road. Nothing like a big tarp, cooler full of water and some baby wipes to make you feel 100% better. This is the only shower I had the whole weekend. Can you say BO? Our van was quite smelly!
We dropped off our last runner and hauled it to downtown Lexington for our final run in as a team! AWESOME! We finished around 7:30 Saturday night! Needless to say we were not wanting too party to hard. A few guys went and had their free shots of bourbon and then a few members of Van #2 went to grab some Mexican on the way home. I was finally in bed at 11:00 that night..... whew! I was tired!!
Will these Wild Turkeys do it again??? This turkey has been saying no for weeks that this was a one time event BUT I think I could be talked into it : ) There are many members who are already wanting to sign up on January 2nd for next year. I am going to check out marathons for 2012 and see how it looks for me. I do know this much.... I am going to go find the nearest Mountain and run myself up once a week every week for about 6 months if I sign up again.
Final time for Running Under the Influence: 32:16:00 which was a 9:32 pace. I am so proud that we were able to kill our runs and ended up actually speeding up the entire race! On the final 12 legs we only lost 4 seconds off our average pace which I think it great!
All in all I loved my team! the volunteers (most of them), the officials and my favorite people were the other runners! Runners who help other runners are the best! I met so many wonderful teams that were so encouraging and pleasant to be around. It made the trip that much better!
I will end with best quote of the trip:
Setting: Pulling up to an exchange to hand off to the next runner
Me: "Is everyone ready to get out of the van?"
Most people: "Yeah, lets go!"
John from the back of the van: "Umm I am naked ("neck-it")
More silence : )
Guess he was needing a little cool down!