The Bourbon Chase Preview

Despite only being 3 years old, this race is hugely popular. The race sold out quickly this year and consists of 288 teams! Runners literally come from all over the country to experience a race that combines two of my favorite things…running and good bourbon! 

The Bourbon Chase is an overnight relay road race that covers 200 miles of the historic Bourbon Trail. The race starts at Jim Beam and sends runners past Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve Distilleries while traveling along the beautiful back roads of central Kentucky. 

Each team consists of 12 members. The teams are divided into two groups of 6, with each group having their own van. My group will start and will run legs 1-6. Then the other van on our team takes over for legs 7-12. Then we are up again for legs 13-18. The process repeats until we have completed all 36 legs of the race…which will take us around 28 or 29 hours. Yes, you read that right…at any given time from 2:00pm on Friday until around 6:30pm on Saturday, we will have someone running.

I am runner #5 on our team. Here’s a look at the three legs I will be running:

Leg #5 – Little Pottershop of Horrors, the Sequel
4.7 miles
Rating: Difficult
Projected Start Time – 5:05pm
This run starts out downhill…for half a mile…then reality sets in.  The next half mile is literally straight up a hill. The 5-6% grade is no joke. I get a little break at the top of the climb and then it’s back up a small incline around the 1.5 mile mark before a long descend. Running downhill (-10% grade) is actually harder on your legs than running uphill. I’ll have about two miles of reality flat road to finish out this leg, but my muscles are going to be angry! Route goes down Pottershop Road (south of Bardstown, KY) to a little town called Manton. Here’s the elevation profile:

Leg #17 – Traveller’s Rest, but not for Runners!
8.6 miles
Rating: Difficult
Projected Start Time – 2:35am 
This run will be fun. I love running in the dark and I hope that adrenaline will get me through this one as I know I will be tired and going on little or no (more likely) sleep. I start out just outside of Stanford, KY and once I’m out of “town”, things will get quite and very dark. Looks like lots of narrow country roads and tight curves as I wind my way the Traveller’s Rest State Historic Site in Junction City, just south of Danville, KY. A few big climbs on this one, but nothing like Pottershop. The grades here are only around 3%. Running past a cemetery in the middle of the night that hold’s Kentucky’s first Governor should be interesting!

Leg #29 – Going to the Chapel
5.0 miles
Rating: Easy
Projected Start Time – 11:55am 
This leg will take me out of Versailles and into some beautiful horse country. I lucked out getting this one, but I deserve it after my first two very difficult runs. This run is almost all downhill and even features a stone bridge. The five mile trek ends at Glenn’s Creek Baptist Church (typical small town church name), which was established 211 years ago! I’ll hand off the baton for the last time, the van will make a short trip up to Woodford Reserve Distillery and I will start my celebration!

I’ll be seeing a lot of this on my final leg!
If you are interesting in tracking us as we run, you can do so at the link below. Hopefully we will be able to stay on pace. We’ve had a runner or two change out since we sent in our approximate running paces, so who knows. Either way, we are guaranteed to have a good time! I can’t wait to write the race report for this one!!

Follow us here:

Team # 485 (Louisville Landsharks Team 2)

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