Race Recap: This race was awesome! The weather forecast was pretty rough (mid 80's with severe thunderstorms) but luckily race morning was perfect (mid 50's and overcast without too much humidity). The start corrals aren't exactly manned (i.e. you could wander into any old corral), which resulted in us fighting our way through thick crowds of runners for about 2 miles. By that point the battery in my GPS watch had died so we ran the rest of the race based on feel. Throughout the race a number of different areas were supported by different folks, including the University of Louisville girl's lacrosse team, a retirement home (seriously made me smile so much to see about 20 elderly people sitting in chairs next to the road, some even with oxygen tanks, cheering runners on) and even some random guy in a rainbow colored speedo shouting words of encouragement. Around mile 8 we entered Churchill Downs for a quick lap around the inner track (don't worry it was cement). The tunnels getting in and out of Churchill Downs were a bit steep, but the payoff was well worth it. Apparently our race day was a practice day for the ponies and we got to enjoy seeing the steeds speed around the track as we followed in the distance; not going to lie, it was really cool. The next few miles I literally could not stop smiling - I was having such a great time just talking with Kristin, soaking in the crowds and running. There were a few minor hills in the last 5k, but we made short work of them as they were nothing compared to the hills St. Louis threw at us a few weeks before. The final mile felt more like a victory lap than a struggle to make it to the finish, and I just cherished every step.
Highlights: In addition to being a PR day for Kristin (1:42) and Matt Dettloff (1:15, which is ridiculous), it was the type of race that reminded me why I run - I just couldn't stop smiling the whole time!
Tip: Gear check was a TOTAL disaster. It took over an hour to finally get Kristin's bag. For a new event I would be more lenient, but this was absurd for a seasoned race. Avoid gear check if possible (yes, it was that bad). Also, not every aid station had water and powerade, so take the electrolytes when you can get them (or carry your own).
April 2010 Trip Recap: Louisville Slugger Museum, University of Louisville
April 2012 Trip Recap: Eating, Racing and the Zoo
Eating, Racing and the Zoo (2012)
Day 1 (Friday):
As we visited Louisville in 2010 en route to running the Music City Half Marathon in Nashville, TN, we planned to make our visit to Kentucky a short and sweet trip. Our first stop was for dinner at Hillbilly Tea. While most runners opt for pasta or carbs the night before a race we decided to try out this quirky little restaurant for its urban-farm ambiance and tea-infused creations. Kristin and I both had the fish with mushrooms, which was excellent and Matt devoured the short ribs. The Kentucky Ale was a down right good beer and gave us all the carbs we needed. The mint tea moon pie for dessert was interesting and exactly as described, but it's not on my short list of "can't wait to eat that again."
Day 2 (Saturday - Race Day):
We celebrated a great race with some craft beers and good eats at Bluegrass Brewing Company. We decided to order the house sample of beers and each pick our favorite - oddly enough we all picked the same beer (a seasonal bock beer that paired well with pub food). I absolutely devoured the steak burger smokehouse style (topped with BBQ sauce, onions and bacon) while Kristin and Matt both did a decent job (no clean plate club awards over there) on their BBQ pork sandwiches (tasty with a touch of spice).
With a few hours before our flight we zipped over to the Louisville Zoo for a brief encounter of the animal kind. Once we securely "put our junk in the trunk" we enjoyed a stroll through the zoo, and kind of chuckled at how we failed to complete a one mile loop in 45 minutes (we got a bit distracted and basically sprinted to the car to catch our flight).
Louisville Slugger Museum, University of Louisville (2010)
Day 1 (Friday):
The Louisville Slugger bat factory tour was pretty cool. I am a total sucker for tours where you actually get to see an end product being made from start to finish and this tour did not disappoint. It was really neat to see how involved the employees at the facility are and how much time and dedication goes into the production of a baseball bat. At the end of the tour you can even hold some authentic game used bats by hall of fame players including my choice - Mickey Mantle.
Ok, we may have taken a wrong turn and been in search of a bathroom, but whatever the case we ended up on the campus of the University of Louisville and just had to strike a pose with the Final Four basketball themed horse.
Kentucky Half Marathon Medals
April 28, 2012: Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon