2022 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the 2022 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Presented by Jim Bean to evaluate as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews
This year I had the privilege of running the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville, KY on Oct 8. I finally go the opportunity to hit the road to run a new race and add another state to my 50 states journey. A trip to Louisville was a nice break in the middle of the semester and it was great reason for my run beastie and I to reunite for a fun trip.
While I enjoyed the race and the festivities the road to Louisville was definitely paved with uncertainty. I have been dealing with feet/heel issues since June and I had to cut my running training short in September. I replaced long runs with weight training and 5k runs to build strength in my foot. When I left for Louisville I had only trained up to a 10k and was beyond hopeful that my foot would hold up (spoiler: it did!).
The expo for packet pickup was held at the Louisville Slugger Stadium. Packet pickup was quick and easy. Our packet included our bib, long sleeve-shirt, and armband with food/drink coupons. There were a few vendors present and we could test bourbon. I tried my first and last sip of bourbon. I am not much of a drinker. I also met up with a few of my fellow BibRave Pros.
Race day was at 8 am. My hotel room was a 5 minute walk to the start line so I couldn't have asked for a more perfect place and time to start. It was bit chilly, but the weather was ideal for racing. I wore my race shirt since I didn't check the weather before I left. I lined up with the 2:30 pace group and my plan was to just enjoy the race and finish. Since the status of my foot was uncertain, I didn't know how it was going to work out.
We took off and headed toward Indiana. We crossed the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge into Indiana and after a short distance, we came back Kentucky. Crossing the bridge wasn't that bad and it was fun cheering on the front of the pack as they passed on the opposite side. I have not had the chance to run a race in Indiana so that was an experience too.
The remaining part of the race was a mixture of road and trail racing. I loved the trails. Running with nature made the run so much more enjoyable and calming. Even better, the race was flat with little elevation. I ran 2:1 intervals for majority of the race and I felt great. I finished in 2:36:09 (officially) and my foot was still in good shape. The time I took off to strength train and allow my foot to rest made a world of different.
After the race, I headed directly the afterparty which was right behind the finish line. Hands down, the race had the best afterparty in the 4th Street Live area. There was live music and food. Every runner was a given an armband with coupons for pizza, beer, 3 bourbons, and stew. I ate the pizza and stew.
Overall, I really enjoyed the race and Louisville and would love to come back again. I think my time would faster next time once my foot is fully healed. I can add Kentucky to my list of completed states.