The start of the leg was a bit of a downhill coming out of Four Roses. It was still dark outside and there was little to no shoulder for the first mile or so? (Again I forgot my freaking garmin, ugh). It wasn't so bad though, there was a little traffic on the road (mostly vans), but my main concern was the the "choo-chooing" I heard in the not to far off distance. I remembered driving over railroad tracks on the way to the distillery and I was about to be really freaking pissed if I got stopped by a train.
Luckily, when I arrived at the train tracks, there was no train in sight and honestly... I'm beginning to think I was hallucinating the choo-choo noise. But whatev.
Eventually, it was time to turn onto the highway again, where I was greeted by a wide shoulder and guard rail. I was also greeted by about 14 different dead animals. Including 2 skunks. One that REALLY stunk, and one that just smelled like the other roadkill (rotting flesh, anyone?) It was disgusting and I gagged a couple of times and was afraid I'd throw up. For those of you that don't know me... I don't have what you would call a stomach of steel.
Anyway, as I ran, I kept trying to pick it up. In my head, I was ready to go. I was ready to push, push, push and get this last leg done with. But my legs... haha. They were singing a different tune... they were singing to the tune of... you freaking idiot. What are you doing? So, despite my best efforts to push it, it just wasn't happening. So, I eventually just settled with the fastest my legs would take me and tried to enjoy the last leg of the Bourbon Chase. The sun started to come up and eventually, I was able to push my headlamp pretty high on my head and not use it to light my way, but just for oncoming traffic. (The headlamps always gave me a headache).
Eventually I hit the one mile to go marker and came into a little commercial area of town. I had to cross two streets, with cops sitting at both intersections, but not doing anything (ugh) and I made my way to the exchange. It was a weird exchange, in a school parking lot. I wasn't really sure where to go, but eventually I saw the cones and made me way there.
I handed off to April and was happy to be done with my running contribution to NashMash for the Bourbon Chase 2010.
We piled into the van, I got changed again and we headed off to the next exchange. Which just happened to be...
We walked around and took some pictures...
How many people get to ride a barrel turkey before their leg??
And here we are... sporting our best Homeless Chic look.
At the end of April's leg there was a really big hill, which was really sucky, because the next runner had to turn around and run right back up it. Ugh.
After the exchange, we again hopped in the van and headed to the next one. These legs we were definitely a lot quicker to get in the van and head out. No more cooling down. We were over that shit. We just wanted to sit down, change clothes and get this thing finished.
Now this next exchange... was a doozy.
Well pulled in and were greeted by a volunteer in the road. He gave us the scoop. Basically, we had to drive "a half mile" down the road and park in a grassy field and then walk back to the start. There were a TON of vans parked along that road though, and they were blocking the other vans to get through, as well the runners! Those poor runners had to fight their way through all the vans! It was awful! So, we decided to drop Matt off at the exchange and then drive the van down and park and I'd come back up to the exchange.
We did that and tried to dodge runners all the way to the parking lot. And dude... there is NO way that parking area was a half mile from the exchange. It was definitely a mile. I know, because as soon as we parked, I ran from the van to the exchange in my flip flops again.
Sheesh. Not cool. I was dreading telling our runner coming in that she had to walk all the way back to the van. We stood around and waited at the exchange...
I attempted a picture of the scene, but it doesn't really do it justice.
As we waited, a sheriff's car pulled up with its lights and sirens on. We had front row seats to the action. He got out of the car (blocking traffic) and approached the volunteer who had assisted us earlier. "who's in charge here?" he gruffily asked. The volunteered kinda pointed at another guy walking over. And then he started grumbling about how they weren't made aware of the number of vans that were going to be at that exchange, he wanted to know who was in charge of the whole thing, blah blah blah. And eventually he just got back in his car, with his lights and sirens on and left. Like, way to go... you really accomplished a lot there, grumpy mcgrumperson.
It was pretty hysterical.
Eventually, I started to make my way back down the street that our runner would be coming up. I was hoping to kind of run with her to let her know that she was almost done. I was sure that when she saw all the vans parked she'd think that was the exchange.. only to have to run another mile to the real exchange.
I spotted her and tried to keep up. Not an easy thing to do. I was clearly unable to, but in the meantime, I snapped an awesome pic of the exchange...
She informed us that she had seen another team member down at the van and he had told her that they'd drive the van up to the exchange and meet us. Thank god for that.
Another leg down!
A better picture of the wreck of intersections that was called an exchange.
The van picked us up and we headed to the next exchange. The next exchange was in a cute little town. We got out and walked around a bit, enjoyed the warming sun and watched runners come in.
Homeless chic transitioning to douche-bag chic.
It was a cute town, apparently there were shops giving out samples (which April snagged a few of) and there were a lot of teams there waiting for their runners.
We saw Matt come flying in and our next runner got ready for the hand-off.
And now it was time to drive to the exchange where our last runner in the van would be starting her leg.
There was a definite buzz at all the exchanges now. You could tell we were all excited about being close to being finished with our legs.
When our #5 runner handed off to #6 we were all excited to head to the next van exchange and hand off for the last time. These last few legs were beautiful. All in horse country with rolling hills. But we were all so focused at the task at hand, I'm not sure anyone really noticed much.
On this last drive to the exchange, we passed our runner and as we cheered her on, we could tell that she wasn't feeling all that hot... she didn't really smile or happily acknowledge us as we drove past, so we knew that she wasn't having a good run. We just hoped that she'd slow down and try to enjoy the run, instead of trying to kill herself out there.
And as we made our way to the exchange, I was reminded of my 1 year anniversary with my boyfriend, Woody. As we pulled up to his home, in some ways, I couldn't believe it had been a year and in other ways, it felt like it had been a lifetime. Woody had gotten me through some hard times last year (like south carolina's remaining football season) and he had been there for the good times (like beating UK in basketball and winning the college world series). I was excited to start a new chapter with him.
We got parked (parking was very limited here. This place was PACKED!) and noticed that the other NashMash van was right in front of us!
We took some group photos
I know, I know, the glasses! They are my driving glasses and they're the only ones I remembered to bring! I normally dont wear them in public. Total douche bag look. At least my teammate looks cool.
Some of the other van. Awww... the only bad thing about relays is not getting to hang out enough with the rest of the team!
So, we waited in the exchange for our last runner and when she came in, she didn't look good. She walked over to the side of the building and leaned against it and told us how she had to ask another van on the side of the road for some gatorade because she was feeling so weak and dehydrated. As we stood there, some guy walked past and asked her if she was feeling better and she thanked him for the gatorade. Haha. Kinda of random that we actually bumped into the team that helped her out! Yay for Bourbon Chase spirit!
Anyway, we walked back to the van, let her rest, while a few other members went in for the Woodford Tasting. I stayed at the van and attempted to clean and organize the inside.
This was taken the day before!
The hard part for us was over. It had been an unbelievebly fun year running our legs. Our van chemistry was awesome and we all had a blast.
Time to head to Lexington.