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OCT 12, 2024


Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

The Spirit of Racing is Alive and Well

Since our Urban Bourbon Half Marathon is meant for those age 21 or older, you must be at least 21 on race day to register.

Urban Bourbonites

The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon’s Urban Bourbonites serve as race ambassadors to encourage participation in the 2022 UBHM by engaging with runners from across Louisville and the surrounding region. Bourbonites come from very diverse running backgrounds and help us spread the word to their friends, family members and fellow runners. They are also the sounding board for our race management team, sharing new ideas and helping us make the runner experience the best we possibly can.

We’d like to introduce you to our 2023 Urban Bourbonites. Click below to learn more about why they are a Bourbonite, why they run and advise for first-time UBHM runners.

Jessica Backmeier

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I’m a Bourbonite because I enjoy the freedom of running and finding the runner who is in each and every person. The Urban Bourbon was my first half marathon and one of my favorite runs I’ve ever completed. Also, I enjoyed the bourbon.

Why do you run? I run to clear my mind and escape from the daily tasks of work, kids, and chores. It is my time to find and challenge myself and become a better version of me.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? First-time runners of the Urban Bourbon, relax, and enjoy. I don’t consider myself a fast runner, but I cross that starting line and, in my mind, I am already a winner. You’ll train for months for that moment that no one can take away from you. Enjoy the scenery. If you’re from out of town like me, you get to see parts of the city that are typically a local area. Make a note of them as you may want to visit them during your stay. Finally, make friends. Last year I met one of the 2022 Bourbonite ambassadors and she has become a good friend. Even miles away, we encourage each other to meet our goals and set new ones.

Catlin Bulger

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I ran my first UBHM last year and absolutely fell in love with the race, the course, and the total energy during the whole day! I want to share how much fun I had running this race with everyone. I can honestly say this is my favorite race I've ever done and I think other people will think the same!

Why do you run? I run because it is something I truly enjoy, it's taken me to some awesome places and introduced me to some amazing people. Runners are so supportive of each other and only want the best for each other. I chose to run because I can do it anywhere. It's become a part of my weekly routines.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice for anyone running their first Urban Bourbon is to be prepared to have so much fun! The course is absolutely beautiful and the finish line energy, oh my gosh so good. If you've never run a half marathon make this one your first, you will not regret it! Still nervous or unsure, ask to chat with one of the awesome Urban Bourbonites!

Eddie Coleman

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I was an Urban Bourbonite last year, and the experience was amazing! I’m looking forward to race weekend again and the new course changes. It’s going to be fun.

Why do you run? I began running 20+ years ago as a way to get healthy after the birth of my first child. Through running, I’ve made lifelong friends, traveled to new locations, and developed a hobby that is beneficial to both body and mind.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun — especially if this is your first half. If this is your first UBHM, enjoy the weekend and all the festivities surrounding the race. The whole community comes together for support, and the organization is top-notch!

Tamekka Cornelius

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I ran my first UBHM in 2014. It was my first half marathon. I trained but still didn't know what to expect. This race set me up for my first full marathon in 2015, and I excelled! Since then, I've run the UBHM in 2016, 2018, and 2022. In between marathons, I bought a house, got married, and completed my doctorate. The UBHM is a great race with an appropriate amount of challenge and support, meaning some flat terrain, some hilly, scenic, and familiar. I love the camaraderie that forms with the runners and you cannot beat the bourbon, food, and fun at the end. I've run the race for several years and now I want to champion to race to all!

Why do you run? I started running over 10 years ago. I was not a runner, but I laced up my shoes and ran. That made me a runner. I've run races all over the tri-state and beyond. I began running after moving to a city that I was unfamiliar with and linking up with fellow runners that I could relate to in Cincinnati via Black Girls Run. Having no prior experience as a runner, this group was the catalyst and support I needed for a sport where I didn't see many other people that looked like me. After leaving Ohio, I set out to find other African-Americans that wanted to run and I found that community and co-founded Run Fam Lou. We have been running strong and long for the past eight years. Running is therapeutic for me. I can leave the demands of work behind and run. My running group is like family to me. I have a support system, built-in motivators, and folks that push me to be the best. I love running; it is a part of my identity.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? I would say to start out at a place/pace that is comfortable to you. If you have never run before, start with a couch-to-5k. Don't be intimidated. Set a goal and stick to it. Do you want to run it, walk it, or do a combo of run/walk? Set your goal and stick to it.  S. I've seen the route this year, make sure you have done some hill work! But all-in-all, it's a celebration. Trust your training and enjoy the race.

Amanda Griffin

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I’m an Urban Bourbonite because I’m a native Kentuckian, and, although I’ve lived in many other states, there’s absolutely no comparison to Kentucky. I’ve always considered Louisville as my hometown because no matter whether I’ve lived in the state or not, I’ve always had family and friends who live there and receive a warm welcome whenever I return. I signed up for the UBHM in 2020 to be my first official half marathon because there’s no better place to run than Louisville, and let’s be honest, the post-race Bourbon Bash at Fourth Street Live! is a great way to celebrate your finish line accomplishment. However, when it was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic my registration rolled over to 2021, but I had to defer to 2022 because of a race schedule conflict and injury. When I finally ran it last year, it was surreal. So instead of it being my first half marathon, I got to share the joy of crossing the finish line hand in hand with a good friend running his first!

Why do you run? I started running six years ago after the birth of my two children to get physically active again, but I continue to run because it’s a privilege and a necessity to my daily life. Running has gotten me in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in in my life, and it has also helped me mentally to relax and focus on my own well-being. My daily runs are my peaceful solitude, and once you start to truly believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you once believed to be impossible.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? The best advice I would give to someone running their first UBHM is to embrace the race. Enjoy your journey through your training all the way until race day - and remember that you’re capable of doing so much more than you ever imagined. It’s your race and your pace, so take in the sights and sounds of running one of the best races in the country.

Bradley Metzger

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite?I love running and I love bourbon! The atmosphere during the race and the after-party at every UBHM is epic! The course has a little of everything, you get to run through downtown Louisville and one of the most beautiful parks in the area. This race really is my favorite, and I am happy to share how awesome it is.

Why do you run? I run for a couple of reasons. I like the challenge of running and I find it relieves the stress of my everyday life. I also want to stay fit and show my six-year-old daughter that you can do anything you put your mind to!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? New to the UBHM? Get ready to have some fun! Pace yourself in the first couple of miles and get prepared for a beautiful run through Cherokee Park. Once you are over the hill and out of the park, you can almost smell the bourbon at the end. Finish strong and get ready to party!

Pamela Meyer

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I have been running the UBHM for years and it is one of my favorite races in the region with the absolute best after-party! I am beyond excited to represent this event.

Why do you run? I enjoy the freedom and escape running provides after a stressful day. It’s excellent for both physical and mental health.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Create a training plan, properly fuel, and hydrate. And familiarize yourself with the race course.

Kathleen Miles

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I’m an Urban Bourbonite because I love everything about this race! The distance, the course, the community, and of course the after-party! There’s something for everyone at the UBHM and I’m excited to share that with everyone I know.

Why do you run? I run because I love challenging myself mentally and physically to reach new goals. I spent years of my life being inactive and my health suffered because of it. When I finally decided to change my lifestyle to be healthier, I knew running was a challenge I wanted to take on! So here I am, almost a year into my running journey, pushing myself to be better and better every day.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Start a training program and stick with it. Challenge yourself to become a better version of yourself by the end of your training. Crossing that finish line knowing you did everything you could to prepare for this race is a feeling like no other!

Aracelis Monserrate

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? This will be my first time participating in the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon and visiting Louisville. I have heard so many wonderful things about this event and I am so excited to be an Urban Bourbonite.

Why do you run? I run to stay healthy, both physically, and mentally. Running has taught me to be consistent, patient, and confident.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice is to enjoy the course, all the sights, and soak in the energy of the race. Remember to say thank you to the volunteers and police officers. Take pictures and celebrate your accomplishment. See you there!

Michael Moody

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I signed up for the 2022 UBHM with a friend after we had heard it was a fun race. Plus, there was bourbon, so how could we not sign up? Everything we heard was right.  From the newsletters and social media posts leading up to the event, to the expo/packet pick-up, race, and finish line party, this was by far a race that we enjoyed. Immediately after the race, I knew I was going to be back in 2023 to complete it again (and hopefully many more times in the future).  This is a race I’ve recommended to many others, some of whom will join me this year for their first UBHM!

Why do you run? My why changes and evolves. I initially started running to force myself to be a healthier version of myself.  That evolved over the past several years to running for charities and completing races in honor of those who can’t.  Now, I run for a couple of reasons. (1) To push me to see what I can accomplish and how far I can take my running and to what new heights. And (2), to help, encourage, and inspire others to do the same and to feel that sense of accomplishment and excitement when they find out they CAN do something they never thought they would.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Trust your training and have fun! Don’t stress over time or if you need to stop or walk for a moment or even if you are last. Just have fun and enjoy the experience.  Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, there are many others out there completing their first half or even their first race, so talk to your neighbor and maybe make a new friend.  There will be other half marathons, make your first race one that you enjoy and will remember. Also, hang around afterward for the Bourbon Bash!  This is one of the best finish line parties, filled with great food and drinks, dance-worthy live music, and lots and lots of amazing other athletes who also just completed the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon!

Delilah O'Neal

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I love running. And my husband, who travels with me to races, loves bourbon! I signed up with him in mind, we made a weekend trip to this great race and after-party. From the expo to the scenic route to the after-party, I knew I would be back to run it again!

Why do you run? I began running in 2014 after having weight-loss surgery. I committed to running a 5k post-surgery and the rest is history. I've now run over 20 half marathons, three full marathons, and several ultras. My longest distance is 50 miles!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? The best advice I can give is to enjoy this race and have fun! Kentucky is a beautiful state. Incorporate hills into your training routine. Dress in layers that can be easily removed. When it gets tough, remember there's bourbon at the finish!

Damary Queen

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am a Bourbonite because I wanted to represent those who are starting out and those who don’t look like a runner.

Why do you run? I run for my health. I run for my husband and kids. I run because I like the accomplishment of finishing those miles and the runner’s high is just the best!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice to someone running UBHM for the first time is to just take it day-by-day. Go mile-by-mile. The goal is to finish, and each time you finish a mile you are one step closer to finishing the 13.1 miles.

Debra Suiter

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon is my favorite local race. I love the fun atmosphere and really love the after-party. I want others to enjoy it and show off Kentucky to friends who aren't from the area.

Why do you run?  I run because it's my social outlet and it keeps me sane.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Enjoy it; make sure to go to the after-party.

Marissa Zirkelbach

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I have participated in the UBHM a couple of times now and it is by far one of my favorite races. To top it off, my fiancé planned the ultimate surprise at last year’s post-race Bourbon Bash, by proposing on stage with The Louisville Crashers! This race will always hold a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to share that with others!

Why do you run? I ask myself this every time I run, haha! I use running as an outlet to clear my mind, keep my body healthy, and make new friends.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun and trust in the training process! Pace yourself, take it one mile at a time, and as Dory says “just keep running” (or something like that) 🙂