Half Marathon #3: The Bourbon Derby


A couple of weeks ago I finished my third half marathon–the Bourbon Derby. I thought I was crazy signing up for a half marathon in Central Kentucky in the middle of June, but it actually turned out to be a gorgeous Saturday morning. It wasn’t too humid and it wasn’t too hot when the gun went off at 7:30 am.

The course wound around side roads and horse farms around Paris. The start/finish line was at the Bourbon Drive-In, which allowed for parking and room to warm up. There were only a few times that some cars drove through the course, but they were great about driving slow and waiting for runners to move to the side.

Adena Springs = GORGEOUS!

Adena Springs = GORGEOUS!

The race had a four-mile and 10-mile course option along with the half marathon, and each race got to run around at least one horse farm. The half marathon wound around Hillcrest and Adena Springs. If you want to talk about gorgeous scenery, along with some wicked hills, those horse farms had it! The entire course was rolling hills, with one particular hill that I swear if you leaned forward a little too much, you’d smack your nose on the asphalt.

I went into the race not expecting to get a personal record, since I hadn’t been able to train as well as I had. I wanted to stick to around a 10 minute mile. To my surprise, I finished the race with a new PR by two minutes from the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon last year! My official time was 2:06:49!

Everyone’s GPS devices were a little screwy with this race–my Garmin said it was only 12.66 miles long, but the Bourbon Derby course was certified. There has been a lot of discussion about the distance of the race, but I know that not all GPS devices are reliable. There was a thought that maybe a turnaround was misplaced on one of the horse farms, which could make a difference. If that’s the case, then my PR doesn’t hold, which would be a big bummer.

Even so, here are my splits from my Garmin:

Mile 1: 10:03
Mile 2: 9:41
Mile 3: 9:49
Mile 4: 9:50
Mile 5: 10:06
Mile 6: 10:00
Mile 7: 10:14
Mile 8: 10:05
Mile 9: 10:17
Mile 10: 10:08
Mile 11: 10:31 (walked a little)
Mile 12: 10:12
Mile 13 (“0.66 nubbin”): 5:49
    Total: 2:06:52

I pushed through and ran for the first seven miles, feeling strong and comfortable. After some step inclines around the farms, I’d walk at the top to catch my breath, then started running again.

Do I look like I'm running strong?

Do I look like I’m running strong?

For a first-time race, this was very well organized. The announcer/DJ was great–he kept cheering everyone on through the last runner. There were plenty of hydration stops along the routes, and the offerings for after the race were plentiful. I hope I don’t sound petty, but I was bummed about the menial medals, but maybe I’ve just been spoiled with the previous races.

I felt great after the race–I cooled down while cheering on the rest of the finishers. I loved being able to meet up with the Striders, my running group, to cheer on and discuss the race before and after. If you haven’t joined a running group, I totally recommend it.

John's Striders ready to tackle the Bourbon Derby!

John’s Striders ready to tackle the Bourbon Derby!

Will I run this race again next year? I think so! I don’t know if I’ll be so lucky with the weather again like we were this year, but the course was pretty shaded by lots of trees along the way, so that was a big help.

Your turn: Tell me about your most recent race!

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