After my final leg, and the rest of my van’s final legs, we had some time for lunch (the quattro stagioni pizza at Crust was delicious) and some rest at the hotel. Which we shared with a very orange bodybuilding competition. We didn’t rumble.
There was one more bit of running a few hours later, though. As is customary, the team came together at the end to cross the finish line together, which was a nice touch.
Somewhat less nice, the finish line was in downtown Lexington, adjacent to Rupp Arena, on an evening when there was an NBA going on, which made parking tough. Now, at this point you might be thinking, “I didn’t know Lexington, Kentucky had an NBA team,” and you would be right. But it’s preseason, and the whole league has gone mad.
Anyhow, video exists of Excalibourbon crossing the finish line, though it’s not easy to get to. Go to https://results.chronotrack.com/e…/results/event/event-16547; type either Excalibourbon or 1093 in the search box where it says “Type name or bib,” click on the Excalibourbon box that pops up, click the video that pops up, sit through a 15-second ad, and then watch us running for 13 seconds.
After finishing, and getting the requisite medal, we had some time in the finishing Festival/Hootenanny/Party of Death. (Death not included.) As one might expect, this consisted mostly of bourbon tastings from the distilleries we’d run through. It wasn’t all-you-could-guzzle, though, which is either depressing or a blindingly obvious necessity. We got four samples, not nearly enough to try them all (there were maybe 10ish distilleries, and most had at least a couple options). I can’t say I minded—I didn’t particularly like any of them, which says more about my thoughts on bourbon generally than the specific products available.
Overall thoughts about the event? I really enjoyed it, which I wasn’t expecting to. Visiting the distilleries was neat, my runs were, for the most part, awfully scenic (or very dark) and the event had a grandiosity that makes it a nice culmination to a year of training. My van also had a really good time with each other, which is nice—most of us knew and liked each other beforehand, but we’ve never spent a day and a half in a sweaty van together. We still like each other afterward (or else there’s something they aren’t telling me), which is a good thing.
The event was really well run, which given the number of moving pieces is really impressive. The only unforced error I can think of is having the finish line adjacent to an NBA game, and even that was pretty minor. I didn’t experience any problems with the necessary stuff like route signage or check-in, and there were bits like the clever safety videos or the Grand Stanford Cocoa Givingness that were above and beyond.
I’m not sure if I’d do something like this again, though. As much as I did enjoy it, it was expensive (not in the sense that we were being bilked—just that we needed to pay for stuff like 2 vans and hotels and gas and two days of food and the like) in both money and time. So I’m not opposed to doing it again, but given a choice, I’d probably be less interested in this than I would in doing an extra OCR or something else. Were I more of a fan of pure running I would probably think differently, and this would be a great event to do again.
And even though I’ve finished, there’s still MORE TO COME!!!