I received a free entry to the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon to review as a part
of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador),
and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!**
say I’ve never been so excited to run a race before, there was just so much to
look forward as the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon kept the hype going with all of the pre-race emails. For one, I’ve never been to Kentucky and this would be my
first out of state race and who couldn’t use a little vacation every now and
then? Upon arrival to Kentucky I was able to quickly get my bags and rental car
and just kinda drove around to kill time while I waited for Jessica to arrive
from Florida. We sprung for the VIP packet pick up and it was beyond worth it.
It held at the Evan William Bourbon Experience in their basement Speakeasy. I
know it just sounds awesome. With the private packet pick up there weren’t any
lines we gave our names, got our wristbands and were able to verify our shirt
sizes and were given the option to switch sizes if needed. Fortunately mine fit
perfectly and I love having a dri-fit long sleeve, you don’t get those very
often in Texas. In addition the shirt and bib we got a water bottle and
drawstring bag. After retrieving our goodies we were quickly invited to have
some traditional bourbon cocktails and appetizers. It was freaking delicious.
cheesey eggroll thing. Oh me gosh. Yum. Our first drink was the Old Fashioned…
I really wanted to keep the ice ball…I really did. While sitting and talking
with other participants who were literally from all over (Alabama, North
Carolina, etc.) it was time for our tour. It was great learning about the
history of Evan Williams and the actual process of making the Bourbon. I never
really understood the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey but I do now
thanks to the staff at Evan Williams. Afterwards we were invited back down to
enjoy more spirits and we went with the Bourbon & Buck (No Bitters for me)
and of course I ate more food. By this time more people were asking about BibRave
and since there was no service down in the Speakeasy I happily wrote down
everything on a cocktail napkin for our new friend Steve to look it up.
thing we new I had eaten more, and it was 8:00 and we had a race to run in the
and I weren’t far so ran intervals to the start, but I didn’t notice any lines
for traffic so it seemed to be moving nicely. Gear check was a breeze and there
were plenty of volunteers who were easy to spot for last minute questions. I’ve
never seen volunteers who are there solely for answering questions.
From what I
was told by another Pro the potty lines were quite long, but I didn’t have to
go so I can’t really verify this information. Despite having 3000 runners it
was not a corralled start, it was self seeding and everyone seemed to be pretty
courteous of others and let people by as needed, but it did get to the point to
where there simply wasn’t any room. But, even starting at the back I was across
the start within three minutes and with no problems.
Just gorgeous. It was mostly asphalt and it took awhile to get adjusted to it
since it was uneven at some parts and I’m used to paved concrete roads. Now,
being a Texas girl, I loved seeing the fall foliage and it just felt like fall.
Yes, it was rainy and humid but there’s nothing anyone can do about that. I was
just happily cruising along until the hills. Yup. The first one was steep and
full of curves, and took a chunk of my energy. But what goes up must come down,
three times to be exact. However, the course scenery made everything much
easier to handle. The water stations were properly spaced and well stocked. I
wish the PowerAde would’ve been on a different side or different cup, but they
were vocal about what was what. One thing I did notice was the lack of on
course photographers. I would’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of myself with the
fall leaves to remember this race, but oh well.
Race: Once you got your medal (which was hand dipped in the Evan Williams Bourbon bottle wax so no two medals were alike) you were quickly greeted with small water
bottles, and heat sheets. Once you turned the corner there was a table stocked
with PowerAde, bagels, bananas, etc. and it was placed so that there could be
two lines. The post race party was legit. I’ve ran several big name races such
as Dallas Marathon and Rock N Roll events and I’ve never had such a great time
at a post race party. There was beer, bourbon samples, donuts for sell, a band,
pizza, burgoo and just great people. There was plenty of seating (especially
when the rain started) and while the lines were long they seemed to move pretty
There was also the Urban Bourbon Walk as part of it in which if you
visited different bars around Whiskey Row you were able to collect pins in to
add to your medal. Unfortunately we found out at the end of the party that
there were only 250 pins per place, and with 3000 runners that doesn’t leave
much of an opportunity to get all the pins…especially when the places open
before the post race party ends. Basically we got halfway lucky and got 2.
Perhaps next year there could be more, or have it start later in the day.
I would go back to run this race in a heartbeat! For a race that isn’t a name
brand race such as Rock n Roll, Hot Chocolate, Divas, etc. it packed the same
high quality element for a lot less money, and crowds. I highly recommend this
to anyone looking for a scenic course and events before and after the race.