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.
The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam® Urban Bourbonites serve as race ambassadors to encourage participation in the 2022 UBHM 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 be the sounding board for our race management team, sharing new ideas and helping us make the runner experience the best we possibly can.
Meet our 2022 Urban Bourbonites below.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I’ve been involved in the running community — as both a participant and a coach — for over 20 years. I think Kentucky has some of the most beautiful and challenging running courses, and some of the best organized races. The local running community is supportive and inclusive, and the Urban Bourbon exemplifies these qualities.
Why do you run? I started running years ago to get healthy. I remember that I couldn’t move for days after I first went out unprepared. I swore I’d never run more than a 5K, but I’ve run several half and full marathons. Running keeps me sane. It’s my time to work out all of life’s problems and organize my thoughts and responsibilities. It also keeps me healthy for my family. If I’m not good, I’m no good for anyone else.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun and soak up the experience. Enjoy the crowd support and focus on your race. If you’re planning on running for a PR, check out the course and read up on reviews from previous participants. There are lots of videos available on YouTube which spotlight the course and runner experiences.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon was my first half marathon, it had such a fun atmosphere I wanted to help spread the word. The bourbon and beer at the end doesn't hurt.
Why do you run? I heard about ultra runners who push themselves to run ridiculous distances, and that really inspired me to see what I was capable of. A couple bouts with shin splints later, I was hooked. Now I run because it makes me feel more confident when taking on day-to-day challenges and excited to see just how far I can push myself.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Everyone runs their own race at their own pace, but one of the things we have in common is we all thought it would be "fun" to wake up early on a weekend to run 13.1 miles. Relax and smile!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because the UBHM was my first half. It will always be my favorite!
Why do you run? There are many reasons I run, but the top one is that it's my mental self care. I am able to clear my mind, recharge and get my heart pumping all at the same time!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Don't compare yourself to other runners. Everyone has different reasons for running, different goals and different levels of fitness. Concentrate on why you are out there and crush your goal!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite?I fell madly in love with this race the moment I heard about it. How can you go wrong with a race set in a beautiful location with bourbon and fantastic people? It's like an Elvis sandwich, peanut butter, banana and bacon, but even better since we have running, bourbon and a full-on party at the finish!
Why do you run? Running at this point is a part of my DNA. I know every time I lace up that I am showing up for myself, prioritizing my well-being, my fitness and proving that I am just a bit stronger than I was the day before. Running gives you more of the 3 Big Cs. You get more Confidence, a bigger Community and you get to eat more Calories (handy for the bourbon aficionados like myself)!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? This will be my first UBHM and I am THRILLED, so my advice would be for anyone running their first race, you put in the training so that you can enjoy your "celebration lap" and that is what UBHM should be for you. A full-on celebration, soak it all in and enjoy the miles and smiles. Also - come say "Hi" I can't wait to run with you!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I want to motivate people to run. I want to spread the word of the best over 21 Half Marathon ever! I want to help inspire people to run a distance that they didn't think they could...by dangling bourbon at the finish line. I want to be part of something that brings great to our city and unites walkers and runners
Why do you run? Amazing how your WHY changes over the years. I started running in 2017 to overcome divorce and unhappiness. What it gave me is more than I could ever imagine. Now I run for mental therapy and clarity. For friendship and social hour. For my heart and health. For my dogs. Because it's 100% me time with myself.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Trust your training. Set a plan and stay true to it. Slow and steady gets you to your goal. Enjoy the run. Look around. Soak in your time. Smile cause smiling is contagious. And get ready for the after-party.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am excited to be an Urban Bourbonite because I had so much fun at this race last year. I set a new "after baby" PR at Urban Bourbon last year. I also had a ton of fun at the after-party!
Why do you run? I run because it makes me a better wife, mom, Special Education Teacher and overall person. Running is my time to connect with myself, and keep my mental and emotional self healthy.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice to someone running UBHM for the first time is, "Don't be afraid to try something new. We were all newbies at some point. Just keep showing up for each run, and you'll be fine at the end."
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Because I love both running and bourbon! Because I got exceptionally lucky to be selected for this opportunity. I began running in 2019, and at that time 5k was about my limit. When I really got my mileage up, the pandemic ended racing as everyone knew it. My first UBHM was to be 2020 and we all know how that went. While Urban Bourbon was not my first half marathon, it was my first half where I really got to enjoy the full 'live, in-person' racing experience. I took part in all the events offered leading up to and after the race. The crowds cheering along the course, the start and finish line gatherings - it was everything I imagined - and wanted - racing to be. This race will always hold a special place in my heart and be what I hope all my future race experiences are like.
Why do you run? Running is a social experience for me. While a common social gathering involves barstools and share stories over drinks, I love meeting friends to catch up on a run and chatting over shared miles. I have hosted several group runs that incorporate food and drinks, or fun themes because running should be fun! It should be something you look forward to all day and get excited about! I love running because I love the experience and the wonderful community of people it's brought into my life.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Enjoy it! Experience as many of the pre-race and post-race events as you can! Dress up, show up with a smile and have fun. This race is more than just the 13.1 miles you run on race day - it's a wonderful social gathering of people who love bourbon and running so get in on the whole experience! If you have pace or time goals, find a friend to commit to training with you, and then celebrate every milestone leading up to race day. Tell friends and family about your race and have them waiting at the finish line, or along the course, to cheer you on and revel in your accomplishment after the race.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon is a perfect combination of my two favorite things -- running and Bourbon. With a course that showcases all that Louisville has to offer from running past amazing architecture in historic neighborhoods to taking in the fall foliage in our amazing parks to skyline views like none other along the Ohio River. This race allows the Urban Bourbonites to share what makes Louisville unique and amazing with other runners from around the country. Plus, all the runners are able to celebrate the culmination of all their training at an amazing Bourbon-themed post-race party with Bourbon tastings, delicious food, and live music
Why do you run? I run to stay healthy, relieve stress/clear my mind, and create memories with friends. Most importantly, I run in memory of my mom after her 15+ year battle against Alzheimer's.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Do not feel like you need to run the entire course. If you need to take a walking break-- take a break. Listen to what your body is telling you-- your race/your pace. Don't forget to take in the entire experience from the training to the course views to the after-party. You will always remember your first half marathon because of the excitement and energy that comes with it. P.S. take photos along the course when you can.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The UBHM was my first (and so far only) half marathon and it was the BEST experience I could have imagined. Honestly, it was BETTER than I could have imagined. Going into 2022, I knew I wanted to run it again and I started spreading the word to family and friends because I thought a big group would be fun. When I saw the posting to be an Urban Bourbonite, it felt like such a great idea. I already love to run, I love to share about running, I love the UBHM, and I wanted more people to be there - felt like the perfect fit!
Why do you run? So I can drink bourbon! I'm kidding... but only kind of. I run because I need balance in my life and I can't eat and drink the yummy things and work the way I do if I don't get in the right amount of physical activity. I love running because it is so accessible - anyone can do it anywhere, at any time and you don't need any fancy equipment. Running longer distances has also become a fun way to see new things, especially if I am traveling while I train.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? This is a great question! I feel like I learned so much from my first UBHM, especially because it was my first half marathon. Three things come to mind. First, like any half marathon, train for the route you will run. Louisville has some hills so coming from Chicago (which is suuuuper flat) made those hills feel so much worse. I'm definitely going to incorporate that into training for UBHM22. Second, I would make sure to hydrate before, during, and especially right after you finish the race because the Boubon Bash is a TON of fun but you'll feel a lot better if you've had your water. 😉 Finally, if you can, build in some extra time in Louisville before or after the race. It is a great city with so much to see and do and one of the best ways to recover from a long run is a good walk.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Urban Bourbon was my very first half marathon in my very first year in Kentucky, since moving here from Arizona. The entire race was such an amazing experience that afterward, I knew I would be doing this race again, talking about it to friends, and if there was an opportunity to be more involved, well I was going to be all in. I want other folks to have just as great of an experience that I had whether it be their 1st or 5th time, and for people to know that this is a race like no other.
Why do you run? There really are so many reasons why I run and they have evolved over the years. It started out being because I was on my weight loss journey and had started getting bored with the same old thing in the gym, so I started tackling the challenge of running. I've never been a runner, or athletic for that matter, so I was really starting from square one, or in other words, couch to 5k. The challenge of running kept me going and these days I run to clear out my head, be social with the wonderful people I have met here in Kentucky, and to continue to challenge myself to prove to my brain that I am capable of doing these hard things!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice for someone running their first UBHM is to make sure to stick to your training plan but to also have fun along the way! It's pretty easy to over-train and get burnt out so you don't want to over do it. Training with a friend also makes the miles go by much easier and faster. If you have the opportunity to race with a friend, even better! Do your best, have a blast and be sure to smile for all the cameras!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Urban Bourbon was my first attempt at a half marathon that I planned to run in 2020. I trained in the Parklands and was always in awe of how beautiful the park was. I am an Urban Bourbonite because when I run it is about making new friends on the course, admiring and encouraging others to keep moving and dancing to the rhythm of my feet. As I ran the course in 2021 I saw parts of the city that I remembered but also found new treasures. This race is fun and from the signup to the after-party it combines the love of the city and of course Bourbon.
Why do you run? I run for many reasons but the main one is to calm my mind. When I became an empty nester and also returned to college, running became my coping mechanism. I was active as a child but as I became older and life happened I forgot about it. As I started to explore running beyond a 5K, I would make small goals. Being plus-size and African American you do not see many of us exercising let alone running. So, my hope is that someone looks at me and realizes they can do it too
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My mantra has always been to put a note in your shoe before a run and when you return that thing on your heart is taken care of. Find a training plan and hopefully training partners to help you stay on course and motivated. Run in different parks or areas so you can experience hills and flat areas. Make sure to have a playlist and give yourself grace when you first start to train. Most of all run your race at your pace and have fun.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I’m an Urban Bourbonite because I had so much fun running the course last year that I want everyone to come run it with me this year! What better way to not just invite you but show you what this race is about and what my training plan will look like. Let’s do this together!
Why do you run? I run because I’ve never found anything else that compares to the feeling of crossing a finish line. Words can’t explain the feeling of such a sense of pride and accomplishment that I just keep registering for more races and chasing that feeling!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? If this is your first Urban Bourbon Half Marathon just have fun! Stick to a training plan, but be flexible. Life happens. Avoid burnout by adding in cross training; don’t just run. This race is designed for everyone no matter where you’re at on your running journey.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I have been running the Urban Bourbon since 2012 when it was still the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon. This race gives me a chance to run through the streets of my city. It gives me a chance to race the streets that I train on. It offers me another chance to celebrate my city and everything that makes it special. From packet pickup to the post-race Bourbon Bash, I want everyone to be able to experience this one-of-a-kind race for themselves.
Why do you run? The biggest reason that I run is for myself. I run to push myself further. I run for my mental and physical health. I run to prove to myself that it is possible for me to set and achieve goals. I run to better myself by not just training, but by surrounding myself with fellow runners and friends in the community who push me to be a better version of myself than I was the day before.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? My advice to someone running the UBHM for the first time is:
1. Whether you’ve trained for 6 months or 6 weeks, just have fun!
2. Don’t be afraid to look around and say “Hi” to someone and make a new friend or two. You will find that the Louisville running community is full of amazing people.
3. Whether you are in the front of the pack, back of the pack or somewhere in between you got up, you put your shoes on and you just ran a half marathon! Whether you surpassed your goals or fell a little short, you still accomplished more than most, so be proud of yourself. YOU DID IT!
4. Oh, and don’t forget your Bourbon Bash wrist band. That pizza and bourbon will feel so good after 13.1 miles.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I love this half marathon and I love drinking bourbon. There is actually much more to it, but to keep it simple and straightforward the UBHM is one of the best organized, has the best spectators, perfectly challenging course and the most fun after party and I'll tell all the runners I know.
Why do you run? I started running after I had baby #3 to help get back into my jeans. And over the years, the reasons have evolved. After a few years of running to get in shape it became to stay in shape and then to keep my head on straight. By then I'm getting pretty good at it and I became friends with a race organizer. I had only run 1 5k and 1 10k and she signed me up for my first half marathon. The inaugural Santa to the Sea in Oxnard, Calif. Running this event made me feel a sense of pride and belonging. I felt a purpose to share the strength and self empowerment. I run for my life and i run for my mind and I run because I can.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Advice from me....a runner who has completed well over 40 half marathons? I feel like every race is still my first. This race is fun...well it's tough but it will be fun when it's over. But my advice, if you signed up for this race at least some part of you believes you can complete it. I know from experience that even when it starts to get hard, you can finish. Take advantage of the downhill. Have a blast. Use a pacing group even if you didn't train with one. Smiling actually helps it feel easier. Don't feel like you're wasting time if you stop for water. One of my fastest times I stopped at every water station. Leave it all on the course. You won't regret it.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I applied to be an Urban Bourbonite because it combines my two favorite things: running and bourbon! I am excited to help other people achieve their running goals and meet people within the running (and bourbon!) community! The Urban Bourbon race goes through downtown and has the absolute best after-party!
Why do you run? I was introduced to running in 1999, my freshman year of high school. I ran cross country and track. As I’ve gotten older, married and had children I am proud that they look up to me and want to run like mama! I run mostly for therapy. I enjoy the time to clear my head, think things through, listen to podcasts, catch up with my bestie and listen to music. I like to say most of the time it is me against the road! If I catch a PR in the meantime, even better!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? If this is your first Urban Bourbon, take it all in-and ensure you have a ride home! From the friendly race attendees, amazing food and of course bourbon- there’s nothing more you could ask for! My family enjoys the concert at the bash, too! If this is your first half marathon, you can look forward to having pacers if needed, a welcoming, not too competitive field, amazing after-party to celebrate your accomplishment, and overall great time! I mean where else can you get bourbon at pack it pick up, and every year I have run this race I know the long sleeve tech shirt I get is something I’ll continue to wear for years.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I've completed dozens of half marathons over the years up and down the east coast and throughout the midwest, but 2022 will be my first year participating in the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon! I've heard great things from friends and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join the fun. From the city skyline to the beautiful outdoor spaces, distillery row and top-notch restaurants, Louisville is a hidden gem for anyone in the running community.
Why do you run? I've been an athlete my entire life. Growing up, I played competitive basketball and lacrosse that provided me with opportunities to participate in tournaments across the country. After my college sports career ended, I quickly grew bored by going to the gym and turned my dislike for running into a genuine passion. Rather than slowly working up in distance, I jumped right in. entered the NYC Marathon lottery, and much to my surprise, my name was selected. I trained all summer before my senior year in college, but a week before the race, I was diagnosed with lupus, sjogren's and iron deficiency anemia. After putting in so much time, energy and effort, my world was turned upside down and forced to take time off to focus on my overall health. Once things stabilized and I found a supportive medical team, I slowly began to increase my mileage and completed my first half marathon in 2013 and my passion quickly reignited. A few half marathons in and after my daughter was born, I decided to give the full marathon distance another chance and completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2015. Over the years, I've finished 10 marathons, 2 24-hour endurance races, and countless other distances, trail races, and even an obstacle race. I have no desire to slow down!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Whether it's your first race or you're a seasoned runner, enjoy every moment. Soak in the energy of the start line, keep your head up with every step, let the spectators fuel your fire, and never forget the feeling of satisfaction as you cross the finish line!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I want to help and inspire others to come out and enjoy a great event in a beautiful city.
Why do you run? I run to stay healthy and challenge myself to do my very best each time out.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Set a goal, train to the best of your capability and enjoy the journey. On race day - save something for the hills and then let it rip the last couple of miles!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Of all the half marathons I have run, UBHM is my FAVORITE! The combination of hometown pride, awesome race swag and of course the BEST after-party, make it an annual tradition I always look forward to.
Why do you run? I run to maintain a healthy heart, mind and body. I run to clear my mind, process emotions and to solve problems. I run for fellowship, to catch up with friends, to support, cry, laugh and be with them through our life's ups and downs. I run to constantly become a better version of myself.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Run the mile that you are in. Don't focus on the time, just the finish. You have worked hard to get here, and this is the fun part! Take a breath, take in the sights and the overall energy from the people around you. Be in the moment. Most importantly, ENJOY YOURSELF and let's have some Bourbon together!