Immediately after we were done with our legs, we hopped in the van and went to our hotels. After pulling into the garage at the Hilton and realizing that the van was too tall to park there and then arguing with a parking attendant at the lot where we were told by the Hilton that it was free to park in... (whatever you do, please never try to argue with 4 people who have had no sleep and just got done running and driving for the past 24 hours. We will rip your head off collectively. And we will park for free, dammit)...we finally got into the hotel and showered.
Holy shit. A SHOWER. A warm one. It's the most amazing thing. Even if your hotel room has mold on the ceiling and a very moldy, musty scent, you won't care about your health. All you'll care about is how nice it is to put on jeans and 15 layers of clothing and stretch out on a bed (while watching your gamecocks beat UK! Holla!).
Eventually, it was time to head out to the celebration party and the finish line and await the arrival of the rest of our team. Lucky for us.... the party was literally across the street from the hotel. We wandered around... I grabbed a beer and drank it in about 15 seconds. Finally, the rest of our team met up with us and we started getting ready for our last runner... Edward, to approach the finish line. The Bourbon Chase people had an area set up, for your team to stand and wait for your last runner and when he/she approaches... the rest of the team can join them and run across the finish line together, as a team.
We see Edward approaching and we're all chanting and cheering for him and we link up and run across the finish line with him. It was awesome. Finally! We were done! The Bourbon Chase was over for us.
We got our medals...
And our picture taken as a team...
And it was all over with. The End.
Haha. Well, not quite... that is when the bourbon started flowing...and it's also when I fell in love.
Like lots of affairs... it all started with a.... "Let me buy you a drink."
The first drink? Just your standard. Nothing fancy. Just a regular ole Maker's on the rocks. The next drink? I was urged to try Woodford. And from that first sip of Woodford Reserve, I saw the rest of my fall and winter become a blur of drunken nights holding a glass of Woodford and ice. I mean, it takes a lot in a liquor to wow me. But, dude... Woodford is so smooth and so damn tasty. The rest of the evening I flirted with Woodford, and damn... did I fall hard for it. YUM.
So, yeah... I got wasted. And fast. It was one of those things were... some people were going one place to eat and then some others were going over here... I didn't really know what to do, and I'm sure at one point I delivered my famous line... "I'm just going to drink my dinner!" as I raised my bourbon up in the air. But however it happened, I found myself alone at the celebration, drink in hand.
It was good. I got some beer... then made my way back to the bourbon table. I talked to some of the other teams. I mingled. And eventually, I settled into the band area and had a good time doing the whole... "drunkenly swaying to the band while holding my drink and trying not to slosh it around, too much." Yeah. I was doing that NashMash team shirt proud, indeed.
Around 8pm a group of people who were heading back to Nashville for the night found me... and I vaguely recall hugging everyone... probably telling them all that I loved them, etc, etc... and they headed out. By 9pm, what was left of the team had re-assembled and were awaiting the results to be announced.
Now... I never expected to win. But, when your team passes over 100 teams during the course of the relay... you start thinking.. .Well. shit. Could we win? And the awards are announced and you start thinking.. dammit! Why did I get my hopes up??
I was bummed. And the 98 oz of bourbon that I'd consumed without food over the course of the last 4 hours had made me INCREDIBLY bummed. I skulked off to the beer tent. Well... that was the intention, at least... I ended up veering off course and made my way to the bourbon table.
I enjoyed a bourbon and sat on a park bench for awhile. I started crying, (yes,AGAIN). But this wasn't just exhausted Amy crying... this was exhausted and empty stomach Amy crying. Which... is a whole other ball game. Exhausted and empty stomach Amy is VERY hard to get to stop crying once she's started.
Eventually it's determined that I what I need is more alcohol... (which, seriously... for whatever reason.. always works). So a group of us schlep off into downtown Lexington to a bar. I drink half a beer there... engage in drunkenly slurred deep conversations with some teammates (you know the type. where a 4 year old would have not only beaten you on the eloquence scale, but also on the reasoning scale) and then a few us headed back to the hotel.
Once inside the room... I started thinking... ehhh... I'm not really ready for bed. Maybe I'll hit up the hotel bar. I happened upon VandyMontana getting off the elevator, as I was getting on and I convinced him to turn around and we headed downstairs for a bit.
By the time I finally crashed I was exhausted. And drunk. I woke up the next morning... crawled into the bathroom and dry heaved a few times, went back to bed and felt fine once I woke up.
The Bourbon Chase was over... and damn, it was an absolute blast!
All my teammates were awesome. A few of them even chipped in and got me this:
Not only was my team awesome personality-wise... but they were awesome running-wise, too.
Check out these stats:
12th out of 151 teams.
Overall time: 25:57:15
Mark my words... next year... NashMash will place in our division.
Thanks to all my teammates and to the Bourbon Chase volunteers and race directors! See ya next year, bitches!