A total, friggin' bummer.
As you may know, The Bourbon Chase has become a more popular event each year, and unfortunately, due to course capacity and our desire to present a top-notch race for participants, we simply cannot accept every team that desires to be in what many consider the best overnight relay in the country. Unfortunately, for 2016, your lottery entry was not one of those selected – we are sorry that we could not include you in this year’s relay.
The Pirates of the Bourbon Trail will not run the hills and plunder the distilleries this October. After two years of doing shots, eating Veggie Straws and cheering for each other, we will be doing what we normally do – shots, eating Veggie Straws and cheering for each other – only from the comforts of our home and not in the cramped quarters of a van.
Organizers remind us that we have the option to run as a charity team but that idea sort of fell flat last year when we discussed it. The work required to raise $6,000 would be challenging, and it's not for everyone.
Note: That said, I'm totally open to doing a charity team on my own! Who wants to join me?
Not running the Chase is only part of the disappointment. I will miss the bourbon (duh!) and my vanmates but it was also a guaranteed opportunity to visit with one of my close friends who lives in the Bluegrass state. The past two years, she's watched me cross the finish line and then we spend that night and the next morning catching up over Cracker Barrel. I am just not sure I can make it through October without her face and hashbrown casserole.
As such, I've started looking for some races that I could do in the fall that would fulfill the chance to drink bourbon, see my vanmates and stare at my friend over a Grandma's breakfast.
• KY Historic Half Marathon, Sept. 24. This race takes runners on a tour of the state capitol – Frankfort – and plays up the historic theme. Bonus: It's a bargain at $55. I've never been to Frankfort, which is between Louisville and Lexington, and home to Buffalo Trace Distillery. I haven't been there, either ...
• Iron Horse Half Marathon, Oct. 16. A smaller race in Woodford County, which was one of my favorite spots during the 2015 Chase (van 1 team members will hit Woodford Reserve).
• Urban Bourbon Half Marathon, Oct. 24. This race is based in Louisville and is only open to runners 21 and older. This race plays up the bourbon experience (obviously), offering participants a sampling of bourbons from various distillers along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bearno’s Pizza and Falls City Beer. There will be live entertainment, and guests can pay a fee to join the fun. This race might give Mark and I the chance to take a couple's weekend (unless, Sweet Baby Jesus, Si is still not sleeping through the night).
Any recommendations on racing in Kentucky?