Bourbon Chase Overnight Relay

For me, running has always been an individual sport. Sure, I enjoy the camaraderie of sharing the race experience with others, but my success in an event has always been up to one person: ME. The Bourbon Chase, a 200 mile overnight relay from Bardstown to Lexington KY, allowed me to share the challenge and accomplishment with others. My company put together a corporate team consisting of 15 people- 12 runners and 3 van drivers.

With a course that ran through 6 famous bourbon distilleries- Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Makers Mark, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, and Woodford Reserve- it was bound to be a unique experience. Add to that the fact that none of us really knew each other and we were about to spend 24 hours traveling and sleeping in a van while rotating running segments totaling just under 20 miles each...

John, leg 7: I was actually thankful for the rain. Once I hit that first hill it didn’t matter! I was hurting from there to the check point.

JC, leg 8: Cooperage hill kicked my butt (a little bit). Small detour in town. A bird crapped on my head on the last segment; they said it was good luck- I’m not so sure.

Logan, leg 9: Great time. Love it. Felt wonderful finishing knowing everyone was there waiting.

Suzy, leg 10: Okay, so I didn’t feel “great” the whole time (blame the hills!), but my teammates did make me feel like a rock star at the handoff. It was peaceful to run in the dark.

Tim, leg 11: First leg in full darkness! Was so dazed n’ confused after running that I forgot to pass on the bracelet.

Jen, leg 12: First 2 miles were uphill…a little challenging in the dark. Almost stepped on a dead possum in the road- yuck! Felt good to finally run.

Sundar, master of transportation: It’s a lot of fun being a driver and watching other people running with confidence and pride. It has also helped me to get to know our teammates better.

John, leg 19: I think I should do all my legs on just a couple hours of sleep! Felt good the whole time. Runners bunched together more on this leg, so it gave incentive to try and catch peeps.

JC, leg 20: 5 miles of headwind, but no rain and good road. A green eyed Weimaraner 3 feet from the road. Needed the pants- the time sucked.

Logan, leg 21: Good run, fast for me. 8 miles instead of 5- went the wrong way!

Suzy, leg 22: Went to Wild Turkey instead of Four Roses for the handoff and waited and extra 45ish minutes before realizing the mistake! Spent the next 8 miles wondering how we’d explain this to van #1…we wanted an “adventure”, right?!
Tim, leg 23: Best view of the day for me, but very hilly. The bridge was so high- I would like to see it again.

Jen, leg 24: Beautiful! Got to see horse country and Woodford Reserve. The course was very hilly, but Logan cme with me and we finished strong together.

Logan, leg 31: Last one! My legs and mind were tired. Feels great to be finished…also sad that it isn’t going on until next year.

JC, leg 32: Saw 3 horses being worked out in the Kentucky Bluegrass. Felt great to get a beer and a Blantons! Make reservations for 2010!

John, leg 33: Waffle House was the death of me!!! While I met the goal time, I paid for it on every hill! Still loved it!

Suzy, leg 34: It was nice to see neighborhood spectators along the course. Thought I’d throw up at the end, but I didn’t want to embarrass Logan as he joined me for the final stretch!

Tim, leg 35: Very long rolling hills. It might be awhile before Sir Timothy runs for 36 hours and sleeps in a van…!

Jen, leg 36: The last leg was extended from 6.2 miles to 7.6 miles. I paced myself and finished strong. My knees hurt, but the adrenaline rush was awesome! It felt great to cross the finish line with the whole team!

Although it doesn't count as my Kentucky race (already have that one from Kentucky Derby Marathon 2007), I wanted to share the experience and recommend that everyone put at least one overnight relay on their "running to do list".