Sunday, March 30, 2014

Run the Bluegrass

Saturday was the Run the Bluegrass 1/2 Marathon & 7 miler.  A bunch of us signed up for the 7 miler this year.  Steve & Audrey were doing the 1/2.   Friday evening I picked up Steve from the airport.  He spent 2 weeks in China for work so he wasn't much looking forward to this race.

This race has the latest start of any race I have done.  Not sure the exact reason but suspect it has something to do with March Madness & considering Kentucky played Louisville at 10PM the night before I think a lot of folks appreciated that.

The first wave was to start at 9AM.  We arrived at Keeneland just before 8AM & the traffic was already getting backed up. If we had waited any longer we would have been in line to get into Keeneland for quite a while. The weather at 8AM was 50 degrees but the forecast was calling for rain & dropping temps that morning so it was impossible to know how to dress.   I decided on capris, t-shirt, arm warmers & a jacket.   Ruth spotted me some gloves prior to the race which I was very grateful for later.  Steve went with shorts & a t-shirt.  He later regretted that decision.

We met the West Sixth 1/2 Marathon Training group for a quick picture then we all headed towards the start.  They had 7 waves.  There were over 2,500 1/2 marathon finishers & about 500 7 miler finishers.  Steve was in wave 1 & all the 7 milers were in wave 7 - although apparently a bunch of 7 milers cheated & started in earlier waves.   I thought it was amusing that the race results website shows who were the wave jumpers.

Wave Jumpers
Me, Audrey & Ruth
Saturday Morning Coffee Run Crew
Steve's Run Crew
The waves went off every 2 minutes.  At 9:12AM our wave started.  We quickly caught up to Wave 6.  For the first 3.5 miles or so the 1/2 marathon & 7 miler follow the same course so there was a ton of weaving around run/walkers for the first few miles.  It was pretty awesome at the split though - we had the road to ourselves & I was able to get into a good running groove.  The 1/2 marathon & 7 miler course came back together about a mile later but at that point it was only the 1/2 marathon leaders that were passing us.

My pre-flu goal was <75 minutes but adjusted to <77 minutes since the second half of March training was pretty minimal.  My race day plan was to run 1 mile, walk 1 minute which I stuck to pretty closely.  The only deviation was when one of the mile markers came at a big downhill - I chose to run until the bottom of the hill before taking the 1 minute break.

Around 5.5 miles the rain started & around 6.5 miles the rain really came pouring down with a nice cross wind.  Fortunately I was about done.  It was pretty cool to finish so early & before Steve.  Unfortunately, even though I waited for him to finish but I ended up missing him.  All I managed to do was get miserably wet & cold.

Due to the horrible weather conditions I only stuck around long enough to find Steve & make a run for the car.  It was a bummer not being able to see everyone finish & hang out to enjoy the post race festivities but 42F, wind & rain was just about as miserable as it gets.  There were zero post race pictures until we got to West Sixth that afternoon.

I was really happy with my time.  The official time was 1h15m27s so I met my goal & came close to my pre-flu goal.  

Official Time

7 Miler Elevation from my Garmin

Splits from my Garmin

RtB Shirts

RtB Pros:

  • This race is very well organized. 
  • Volunteers are amazing! 
  • Communication is great through out the year & leading up to the race.
  • Nike Dri-Fit race shirts
  • Expo - for a small town race this expo is pretty sweet.  Best race expo in Lexington
  • Course - when it's not pissing down rain & windy the course is just beautiful through horse country
  • Challenging course
  • Official training runs through out the year
  • Medals & age group awards are top notch.  They even had awards for folks that PR'd over last years race - who does that?  Pretty awesome!
  • Finish line party - they had a race day expo, food trucks, concert - it was just unfortunate that the weather absolutely sucked & we couldn't enjoy it.
  • Free beer when you finish - I typically love this but again the weather absolutely sucked & couldn't enjoy it.
  • One of the water stops had beer - I thought the dude was joking but nope - they had beer!

RtB Cons:

  • Although the race doesn't start until 9AM if you don't get there by 8AM you will be waiting in an extremely long line of traffic to get into Keeneland since they only had 1 entrance open.
  • Honestly can't think of any other cons


  1. wow this race has really grown! love the medals, great job!

    1. Thanks Courtney! It really has grown - Eric has done a great job managing the growth in a good way.



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