As it turns out, the Bourbon Chase is tough to live-blog. I could blame the lack of cell reception in many places on the course—much of it is in rural Kentucky, after all—but the real reason is that I was too bloody tired to think. But more about that later…
My second leg was probably the one that felt the best. I took off at about 9:30 pm, from Danville (or maybe Danbury?) so it was an all-dark leg. Bourbon Chase does require both front and back lights for runners, so that wasn’t an issue.
But that’s getting ahead of myself. See, the format of the relay is 12 runners (normally) divided into 2 vans. I was the leadoff runner for the team, so my second leg—leg #13 overall—took place several hours after the last runner in our van (that would be #6). Which means that we had a few hours to rest before my leg. We spent that in Danville (my apologies if it is actually Danburg), which was nicely equipped to handle us. In fact, we were invited to nap in Constitution Square, a park downtown where the state constitution had been signed in 1792. I didn’t actually manage to nap—I have huge difficulty napping at all in the rest of life—but it was surprisingly comfortable to just lie down and rest on the grass, even though I hadn’t prepared for it. (I didn’t have anything like a sleeping bag or a mat or anything—just a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants, but even though the night was chilly that turned out to be enough.)
I’m pretty sure we ate dinner in Danville. I don’t remember the restaurant, although it had an awesome metal gecko-shaped lamp stuck to the window. (Naturally, rather than photographing it, I took a photo of this poster, featuring Miss Piggy, which was produced by my former employer.)
There was also a cool coffee shop, the Hub, that wisely stayed open all night and, hopefully, made a deserved killing. I didn’t have anything, since my team went there to await the start of my leg and I didn’t want anything in my belly, but the hot chocolate sounded incredible.
The leg itself was a lot of fun. It was a neat sensation to run at night, and evenings are generally when I’m at my best anyhow. It was about four and a half miles, leaving town and then running on a highway. So it probably wasn’t a terribly scenic run, but being at night meant it didn’t matter much.
I never felt any danger from running on the highway at night—it was plenty big enough for drivers to move away from us as they passed by us, and people seemed to be happy to give us space. One interesting thing that occurred, though: There was one point where another person was running up to pass me from behind*, and he was close enough that I could see the light from his headlamp. Then, I saw his light veer off to the left and panicked: Did I just miss a turn-off? ‘Cause that would be bad in the middle of the night.
Naturally, he had just looked over to the side. The route was well-signed, and any place where there weren’t street lights the signs had flashing lights on them for visibility.
I think the route was less hilly than my first leg. It was rated “easy”, where the first one was rated “difficult.” It definitely started with a lengthy (but fairly gentle) downhill. But… it’s hard for me to really gauge how hard the hills were. As in, I didn’t finish that leg thinking, “Wow, that leg was a lot less hilly than the first one.” I don’t have any reason to doubt the race maps; I just don’t have a great perception about rating hills while I’m doing them, I guess.
The leg ended, and I think the pace was a bit faster than the first one, although by this point we as a team had become a lot less precise in our timing.
After the leg, well, more running happened, but what stands out the most is the hand-off that took place in Stanford (possibly Standford). I think this a photo of it, notable for the lightning-fastness of Jamie handing off to Theresa, although it had less importance than something I didn’t photograph. See, this hand-off took place at about 2 am, and Stan(d)ford went way the hell all out for it. They had a DJ, who was awesome even though no one was really listening to him, and indoor toilets rather than portapotties, and, most bestest, the Stan(d)ford Arts Center gave us refreshments. Indoor, on a really cold night, including cocoa, bananas, cookies, chips, and peanut butter on crackers. They were the best tasting things ever. MORE TK.
*In case you’re counting kills—and you shouldn’t be, it’s a bit of a twatty practice—I don’t think he would get one for me, since I passed him back before the end of the leg.