Will Whiskey for Relay

*the title was intended to be a play on “work for food” but it’s pretty backwards and just doesn’t really work but I didn’t feel like coming up with anything different, so…*

A LONG time ago – Hood to Coast last year, maybe? – the idea of running the Bourbon Chase relay started floating around my little internet circle. Natural progression, right? Relay love elevated to include a secondary love of imbibes and my homeland countryside?

(When you live 2000 miles away in Cali, Kentucky is practically Ohio)

Somewhere between then and Eugene a group of Nuun friends managed to snag a spot in the registration lottery, and asked if I was interested in joining.

“Umm, eff yeah! I can learn to like whiskey by October” I said, still high on post-race endorphins and a few Ninkasis deep.


the culmination of the Bourbon Chase scheming occurred somewhere between those frames

But then a string of events came up, my October calendar got pretty hectic, and I had to admit I probably wasn’t going to be able to make the trip. Womp womp. Super sad trombone. Sorry to be lame, pals.

Kind of fortuitously though, a few weeks ago the following emails came through at just about the same time:

Mom: “Since we won’t get to cheer for you at Boston (since you failed to BQ at Ventura) is there another race we can come vacation to? You run so much better at relays – maybe one of those?”

p.s. backhanded sentiment and tough love are relationship foundations in my family

Bourbon Chasers: “Alright seriously who’s in? We still have a few slots to fill. Don’t be a loser.”

There was a hot sale on airfare and I had enough frequent flyer miles to cover half the ticket. Mom loved the idea of a road trip down to Lexington to spectate a race I might actually do “well” and have fun at (not to mention the post-race party). I convinced my little sister and bro-friend Dan to fill the remaining two open slots.

And just like that my weekend in Bourbon Country was booked. Running, sweaty friends, family, and a liquor I’ve yet to acquire a taste for. Hell freaking yeah.

bourbon chase logo fb

Mom: “Cool! I bet this will be more fun than Boston anyway. LOL.”

Probably will, ma.

So that’s where I’m off to tomorrow. Anyone else running it? Clink whiskeys at the finish with me? Just don’t make fun of my bitter face.

Sarah OUaL

  • as a bonus incentive slash effort to make another cross-country trip worthwhile I’m riding back to OH with the fam to spend a few days in the homestead. bonus bonus that flying out of Cleveland was $100+ cheaper than out of KY.

30 thoughts on “Will Whiskey for Relay

  1. I’m so frickin jealous. Just ran my first relay in MI last June, was called Run the Mitten, sponsored by Third Coast Relay. Our team,by some crazy ass fluke, won and I’ve been dreaming of another one ever since. I would be running the Bourbon Chase alone as my buds aren’t liquor ladies/lads.(um, ok not a huge bourbon fan either but I could be if needed.)
    Enjoy. Bottoms up.


  2. I need to run a relay! Preferably with beer or wine at the end, but I guess I would even suck it up and drink some whiskey if I had too. Note to self to find more friends who run so I can actually put together a team.


  3. Ran this last year. Just recently had to pull out this year. SUCH a fun race. Look for the bourbon balls at the Four Roses distillery exchange. Ideal breakfast fuel for your last leg, trust.


  4. Kick ass race. This will be #5 Bourbon Chase for me! I’m team captain of #785, Sole Train. See you out there and have a great race!


  5. I’m dying to relay…some day.
    Rumor has it that Christmas Ale will be available before Halloween in the CLE. No bitter face after a healthy gulp of that magic! Good luck!


  6. HOLY SH!TBALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am totally running this too, I leave with my friend Nick tomorrow from Atlanta. I’m from Louisville, KY and I AM A FREAKING BOURBON FANATIC! What is the name of your team (forgive me if you said it already, I was so damn stoked to see that a real running celeb will be there that I spaced and completely went to comments immediately to freak out on you). My team lost two runners this week, so in addition to being runner 6, I am also runner 12, so this is going to be my own little ultra relay nightmare, especially since I am doing Ragnar TN next weekend too, as an ultra. Whatevs, long hair don’t care, haha. My team name is “We Runnin’ on Empties and Barrelly Alive”. We start I think at noon (quoted 8:45 pace I believe).

    You need to stay through Sunday, and come to Louisville (L1C4 Cards for Life, what what) where all the cool kids in Kentucky live/hang out and party with my team on 4th Street or Bardstown Road.


  7. Wow, your mum is brutal! It’s tough love in your family, isn’t it.

    This race sounds amazing and I actually love bourbon! I could be lured into running this next year! Hope you have a blast!


  8. I did the first Bourbon Chase with 10 strangers in 2009 – had the time of my life and learned to love the overnight relay. BEAUTIFUL country though hilly as S*$T.


  9. Relays are always fun so you really can’t lose! Just grab some sour mix and drink the goods as a whiskey sour and you’ll be ok. That’s how I like it.


  10. It was so nice meeting you briefly at makers mark after leg 6, I meant to thank your team nuun rep for providing me with my electrolytes on these relays. I’m off to run leg 11 in an hour. Hope you have as much fun as we are so far, and go CARDS, beat UCF!


  11. Elizabeth Kalifeh and I are IRL friends ventured from blogging and when I met up with her at Maker’s Mark i was all giddy saying “omg Sarah Oaul is on your team” (saw you walking around) haha nerd alert. we got seriously screwed by BC by assigning us a late start time even though we weren’t that fast, so much of our race was spend being the last place team (despite finishing in 27 hrs) In talking with E yesterday, sounds like you all had a blast!!

    (I couldn’t acquire the taste of bourbon either, I gave away my tickets at finish line party)


  12. It was so cool to say hi at Maker’s Mark, I hope you had a great time in my Old Kentucky Home! I have done a few Ragnars and the Blue Ridge Relay and Southern Blue Relay, and the Bourbon Chase was by far my favorite. It was much better organized than BRR and less carnival like atmosphere than Ragnar. The volunteers were amazing, the weather perfect for running (except for the downpour from 6am to 11am during the last legs while at Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve Distilleries. I can’t wait to hear what you thought, and if you took the opportunity to party in Lexvegas or the Ville Saturday night. I know my UofL Cards alumni and I did. Team Runnin’ on Empties and Barrely Alive gives this race a definite 18 thumbs up!



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