Urban Bourbon- Louisville, KY Recap
October 24, 2015
Packet Pick Up:
Slugger Field was the location for packet pick up. The shirts reminded me of UPS uniforms and the sleeves were short. The volunteer gave me a wrist band that she told me could not be removed. The other option was to pick it up race morning.
Parking was a breeze right off the corner of 2nd and Main. The porta potty situation was another story. There were 2 rows of porta potties under the Second Street Bridge with one long line. This was very inefficient because it took forever to notice when the next one was available. I did a light warm up and lined up in the corral. The temperature was around 60 degrees and humid.
The Urban Bourbon was the most difficult half marathon course I’ve ever ran. I ran this race in 2013 before the bourbon theme was added and the course cut through Cave Hill Cemetery. Since 2014, the route has been altered to include more time in Cherokee Park. I wonder if this had anything to do with the bourbon theme and permission being allowed.
A light rain started as I entered the park. It felt good because I had already broken a sweat after the first mile. I went out ahead of the 1:50 pace group. My goal was to PR, and I needed to beat 1:46:29 from the Mercedes Half.
I always thought Hogan’s Fountain and Dog Hill were the major elevations in Cherokee Park. Little did I know, running up and around Barrett Hill Road was no joke! I must add this detour to hill training. It was very challenging, especially at race pace. The race planners did a good job of placing a first aid station at the bottom of Barrett Hill.
The hills did not end there. Grinstead Drive was far from flat. I was happy that I did not have any annoying pains like I did at the Queen Bee Half. I pushed forward and remembered from spin class not to blow up on inclines and use the downhill for recovery.
I was so happy to be out the park and have buildings in view signaling that I was headed home. The course took a straight shot down Muhammed Ali to 13th street. We made a right on 13th and another right onto Main Street for the finish.
I saw Danny riding a bike in the opposite direction to cheer people on. He is the coordinator of all the Derby Festival Hall and Full Marathon trainings. I pulled my earphones out so I could hear the finish line support.
I was met at the finish line with a sign, protein bars and a dozen roses. I followed the finish chute towards the Belvedere and gathered a bagel, banana and chocolate milk. I prefer those snacks over bourbon, burgoo and beer.
1:48:59, 8:19 Pace
14/216 Age Group
61/1468 Women’s Division
I missed a PR by 1:30. The things I have to consider are the hillier course, warmer temps, and this being my third half marathon in October. There is no doubt that the half marathon is my favorite distance and I have plenty of time to improve. It’s hard for me to pass up a local race, but I have a feeling this will be my last Louisville Sports Commission half marathon as long as it is branded with the Bourbon theme.
Half Marathon ready at all times…