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OCT 19, 2019

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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 presented by Jim Beam® Urban Bourbonites serve as race ambassadors to encourage participation in the 2019 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.

You can meet our 2019 Urban Bourbonites below:

Mal Alder

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mal.alder

Instagram: @malnotmel

Twitter: @malnotmel

Website/Blog: www.thealderco.com

How many half marathons have you run? 1

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The 2018 UBHM was my first ever half marathon. Prior to last year, I wouldn't have ever dreamed of considering myself a runner. However, the training I did for the race and the experience of the race itself are both memories I cherish. I chose to become an Urban Bourbonite to help inspire other beginner runners, like me, that it is possible to do this.

Why do you run? As a business owner, it is hard to force myself to disconnect and not think about work. However, I have found running gives me the perfect opportunity to zone out and focus on myself for a little while. Plus, it is the best opportunity I have to catch up on all my favorite true crime podcasts.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Pizza/Kentucky Mules

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Don't use all of your energy during the first few miles. It is important to remember you are in it for the long haul. To help yourself while out on the course, pack a few energy gummies or goo squeeze packets for bursts of energy along the way. Lastly, even though you may want to, do not give up at Mile 10. I promise, you are almost to the end!

Christin Bagley

 

Hometown: Chicago IL

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cristin.fessel

Instagram: @cten

How many half marathons have you run? 35

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I love this race. I love the spirit and energy it brings to the city, I love the atmosphere and the comradery among runners. And of course, the party at the end.

Why do you run? I run because I really really like to eat 🙂

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Tacos & beers!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun! Enjoy the course, take your headphones out and chat with a fellow runner, listen to the entertainment, give a spectator a high five!

Anna Balassa

Hometown: Louisville

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anna.balassa

Instagram: @anna_balassa

Twitter: @AnnaBalassa

How many half marathons have you run? 2

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I love long-distance races, encouraging others to achieve their fitness goals, and promoting an awesome race in my hometown!

Why do you run? As a competitive swimmer for most of my life, I was never too keen on running. However, after I finished my college swimming career, I found that I needed new goals to set and achieve. I started running more and more, simply trying to make it through a 5k. Slowly, I fell in love with running. I run because I love the rush of adrenaline, the way running clears my mind, how strong it makes me feel, and the feeling of achieving my goals when I cross the finish line.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Pasta and chocolate

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Don't consider yourself a runner? Trust me, you can still train for and complete a half marathon (and maybe fall in love with running along the way, like I did). Be patient with yourself, slowly build up your endurance, stick to a training plan, find a friend you can occasionally run with, and try to have some fun! Crossing the finish line at the UBHM, as well as all of the fun and food that comes afterwards will be totally worth it!

Scott Barnes

 

Hometown: Lanesville Indiana

Facebook: facebook.com/barnesyoutdoors

Instagram: barnesyoutdoors

Twitter: BarnesyOutdoors

How many half marathons have you run? 1

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Because I sincerely think this is one of the best races out there and I’d like to be a part of what makes it grow.

Why do you run? Why not? Running not only improves your physical condition but you mind as well

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Milkshakes

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Take time to enjoy it

Stephanie Boyd

 

Hometown: Louisville

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BluegrassBAMR/

Instagram: @bluegrassbamr

Twitter: @sboyd7

Website/Blog: https://wordpress.com/posts/bluegrassbamr.wordpress.com

How many half marathons have you run? I have only run 4 half marathons, officially.

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I applied to be an Urban Bourbonite for multiple reasons. This race is rated highest among half marathons in the U.S. and it is right in my hometown. And, I love bourbon. And, every year I end up volunteering instead of running. It is time to run this race and hopefully represent it well to others who are thinking about running it (or running it again)!

Why do you run? I run because others cannot. Initially I started running postpartum to get back in shape, but then realized there are so many other benefits to it. Since I started running about six years ago, I have not stopped. I now run for Jessica via the non-profit group 'I Run 4 Michael' - she is a young lady with a diagnosis of Rett Syndrome and she cannot run. All of my training and running miles are dedicated to her. Running is a great way to stay fit and is a great platform for educating and inspiring others. It truly is a gift!

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Guilty pleasures for me has to be the 3 B's--Beer, bourbon and (any kind of) bread.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Know that UBHM is an experience; be ready to take it all in! You can make this a long weekend or week in Louisville AND the course is fast and fun, too!

Justin Carey

Hometown: New Albany, IN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justin.carey.948

Instagram: @thejustincarey

Twitter: @thejustincarey

How many half marathons have you run? 2

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? To help promote running in the area

Why do you run? It makes me feel more awake and energized, but also helps with mental and emotional health

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Popeye's Spicy Chicken Tenders

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Keep at your training! The distance seems like a lot, but you have it in you to knock the race out of the park!

Melinda Edgerton

 

Hometown: Hendersonville, TN

Instagram: @runspast40

Twitter: @msedgerton

Website/Blog: https://melindarunspast40.com/

How many half marathons have you run? 6

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am a Urban Bourbonite because I have never felt so strongly that everyone I know should run a race. From the communication via social media and email before the race, to all of the race day logistics, to free professional photos, to a great course, the race director and team put thought into the individual race participant's experience. Even though I was one of several thousand, the experience was personal and lived up to its reputation and expectations I had after talking to past participants.

The after party is not just about bourbon, although if you love it, you are in luck (they also have beer and other refreshments). It felt like a collective celebration of everyone's training and work to get there. Why have all of those good vibes be over right as you cross the line and hobble to the car? This was the first race where I was not concerned about post-race logistics. I just continued to celebrate with my husband and new friends made along the way, and then explored all of the great food in Louisville.

Normally, I like to experience new races each year, but at the Bourbon Bash last year, I turned to my husband and told him, "this is going to be a fixed date on our annual race calendar." He agreed quickly, and here we are. I am proud to represent this race, and I hope to introduce this race experience to everyone. Feel free to reach out to me on social media with questions!

Why do you run? I became a runner at age 40 after my second son was born. While I could list scores of reasons why I run now, I will narrow this down to the essentials:

  1. I run because I love being outdoors. I crave fresh air, and running fills my lungs with it. It helps me reconnect with the basics of using all of my senses.
  2. I run because it helps me manage grief. I have lost both of my parents, uncles, all of my grandparents, and family friends. I discovered that running is when I can connect to these people that I miss. I talk to them in my head, and sometimes I cry. My mother died of cancer at age 48, just 4 years older than I am now. I run because I can and she can't.
  3. I run because I used to think I couldn't, or that there would be no point to racing if I were not trying to get on the podium. The truth is, every time I line up to race, I smile from ear to ear because I know I did all the work to deserve to be there too. When I finish, I always feel like a champ. Who doesn't love to feel like a champ? Although I will never win a race, I always have personal goals, whether it be distance, pace, or type of race. There are always new ways to keep challenging myself. I think that anyone who feels stuck in a career, or weighed down by parenting, or lacking confidence in any area can benefit from tying on some shoes and seeing what is possible.
  4. Finally, I have discovered that I am part of a rewarding and inspiring community of runners, both locally and nationwide. Whether online, at races, or in local running groups, I have made great friendships with other people who share my love of the sport. Runners are quick to share tips, encourage you, and to make you feel like you are winning at life. It is hard to find a more positive and welcoming group of people. I was intimidated when I first began running that I didn't belong in these communities, but I encourage everyone to reach out and give some groups a try. Even if you are an introvert like me. There is bound to be another introvert who also loves quiet company on a run.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Girl Scout cookies (Tagalongs)

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? This is more than just a race. It's a weekend experience. If you can, try to spend extra time before and/or after the race enjoying Louisville and all of the extras that the UBHM can provide to make this a unique experience. The Bourbon Bash after the race will make you not want to leave, so keep the fun going! Whether or not your friends or family typically come to cheer you on at races, they will want to come along this time. Louisville has so many things to offer to keep your friends/partners/children happy.

Ari Fleeman

 

Hometown: Columbus Ohio

Facebook: Facebook.com/ari. fleeman

Instagram: @running_nerd18

How many half marathons have you run? 3

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am a bourbon enthusiast almost as much as I'm a running enthusiast. I saw a bunch of postings on Instagram showing off the medals and the engraved bottles and knew immediately I had to join this race. And I already tell all my friends about races and bourbon so why not combine the two.

Why do you run? I run to be a healthier version of myself and to get better every day. Running is my time to get away from it all and let all the stress and anxiety of the week melt away

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Donuts

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun, running should always be fun but don't forget to train for those hills

Paul Fleitz

 

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.fleitz

Website/Blog: http://beerfleitz.blogspot.com/

How many half marathons have you run? Close to 30

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Having been born and raised in Louisville, the Urban Bourbon is a great opportunity to come home for a visit. It is also by far the best half-marathon course I’ve ever run and has the best after party ever. I am hoping that I can spread the word to Ohio runners.

Why do you run? I hope that it will help keep me healthy.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Craft Beer, and Louisville is a great place for that, including race sponsor Falls City.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Enjoy it. Make this your fun race. If you PR, that’s just icing on the cake.

Felicia Hager

 

Hometown: Louisville, Ky

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1484516662

Instagram: @feliciahager

Twitter: @feliciahager

How many half marathons have you run? 7

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? To encourage others my age to run, to lead by example in keeping physically fit and to help spread the word about one of the best half marathons in the country.

Why do you run? It calms me. It is also a way for my daughter and me to have some great conversations. We love to run together.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Graeters ice cream

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Take is easy, enjoy the scenery and look forward to the party at the end.

Kelsey Hager

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Hometown: Louisville

Facebook: facebook.com/kelsey.hager.549

Instagram: @kelseyhager27

Twitter: @kelseyhager27

How many half marathons have you run? 9

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon was the first half I ever ran and I completely fell in love with everything about it. From the challenging course to the post race treats there are few things not to like about this race! As an urban bourbonite, I can't wait to help others fall in love with it too!

Why do you run? I run because it helps me clear my mind and allows me to focus on the right now instead of stressing about the million other things I need to do. I run because there are few things better than the feeling of accomplishment you get after a tough run. I run because I absolutely love it.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Ice cream

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Increase your mileage slowly. There's nothing worse than overtraining and injuring yourself before the big race! Also practice your fueling for the race during your long training runs so you don't end up with an upset stomach on race day. And lastly don't forget to soak in all the beautiful views during the race, running through Cherokee is my favorite!

Michelle Hills

 

Hometown: Minster, OH (I moved to Louisville in 2010)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timmerman.ml

Instagram: @hills.ml

Twitter: @timmermanml

How many half marathons have you run? 16

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I've run the Urban Bourbon multiple times and it is always fantastic! I love the atmosphere of this race and I want to help encourage more people to participate so that they can experience it for themselves.

Why do you run? I run for the community and my well-being. I have met some amazing people through running which has led to lasting friendships. My running crew is always supportive of me in everything I do. I also run for both my mental and physical health. Running is a way for me to relieve stress after a rough day. Regardless of how the run goes, I always feel better after I'm done. Keeping active through running helps me maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? I have a major sweet tooth, so any dessert! And a nice cold beer after a race.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Have fun and trust your training. Enjoy the scenery of the course and look forward to the awesome after-party once you cross the finish line!

Benjamin Jordan

 

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.jordan.9803

Instagram: @ben_jordan88

Twitter: @BenJordan88

How many half marathons have you run? 4

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in 2017 was my first half marathon and I loved it. I didn't really know what to expect, but in 2018 I got considerably better by cutting almost 32 minutes off of my time. I knew what to expect the second time around. Now it's my time to give back!!!

Why do you run? I run to live a healthier lifestyle.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Mt. Dew :o)

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Run your own race!!!

Stephanie Lehr

 

Hometown: Louisville KY

How many half marathons have you run? I've run two half marathons, the 2018 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon being my very first half marathon. I've also completed the Louisville Half and will run the 2019 KDF Mini

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Why would I not be!

Completing the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon last year was such an amazing moment in my life. From the swag (training tanks, awesome tech t's, engraved bottles of bourbon oh my!) to the training program for accountability to the nonstop party feel of running past live music bands, water stops from the most amazing run supporters and an after party full of bourbon, music, friendship and laughter... I couldn't imagine NOT being an Urban Bourbonite and spreading the word of the greatest Half Marathon!

Why do you run? I run to the clear my mind. I run to burn all the calories. I run to laugh with friends, but I run to cry with them as well. I run to keep my heart healthy. I run because I can when so many cant.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? bRUNch! I love brunch time at Highland Morning, plantains from Ramsey's, and sushi and pomegranate martinis from Sake Blue

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Come run some training runs with me!

Seriously... it's ok to slow down. It's ok for you to keep your eyes open and enjoy everything surrounding you as you run. Friends and strangers cheering you on. The beautiful trees through Cherokee Park. Just take it all in!

Kristi Roach

 

Hometown: New Albany, IN

Facebook: facebook.com/kristina.brianne

Instagram: @kristi_roach

How many half marathons have you run? 3

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The 2017 UBHM was my first-ever half marathon, which automatically makes it my favorite! I am an Urban Bourbonite because I want others to love this race as much as I do!

Why do you run? In 2014, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and controls functions of almost every organ in my body. Exercise intolerance is a symptom of this illness because my body doesn’t properly regulate my heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to passing out. I was always told by doctors that I would never exercise again, and for a long time, I believed them... Until I found running. Running is physically hard on my body, but mentally, it keeps me fighting. Running helps me escape my chronic illnesses, and each finish line I cross reminds me that I can overcome my body’s limitations and be unstoppable.

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Be prepared for the hills at Cherokee Park in the middle of the race, and don’t give up! You CAN do this, and you WILL do this!

Chantica Runyon

 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky - originally from Portland, Oregon!

Facebook: facebook.com/chanticarunyon

Instagram: @crunyon

Twitter: @chanticarunyon

How many half marathons have you run? Two!

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I am an Urban Bourbonite because I love the Louisville running scene, and am beyond stoked to be even a little part of such an amazing race! I'm originally from Oregon and I mentally relate Louisville to both Portland and Eugene, which have deep roots in running history. The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon takes the love of running and mixes it so well with the love of all things Bourbon and Kentucky!

Why do you run? I run for so many reasons! For my physical health, my sanity, my fiance's sanity(!), for my dogs health... I run because it makes me stronger, both mentally and physically, as well as happier! I can honestly say I am not as happy as a person when I don't run. I suppose if I try to generalize it, I can say that I run because I want to be better. A lot of people will take that as I mean I want to be a better runner, but I believe it helps me be a better person as well!

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? I will admit that I love a good fun run that includes beer; so I would have to say that while I'm running I may or may not be thinking about a good IPA at the end of my miles!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Get involved in local running groups; I have met some amazing people that I now call good friends just from going to weekly groups!

Deborah Stafford

Hometown: Vine Grove, KY by way of the US Army after I retired

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.stafford1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/excel001/

How many half marathons have you run? 47

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I really enjoyed the first time I ran the Urban Bourbon in 2017. The course went through parts of Louisville that I've never been before. I was specially impressed with the after-race party. I am usually in such a hurry to go home after running a race, but that wasn't the case with the #UBHM. I wanted to stay until the end. I loved the race so much that I convinced four of my friends to run the race with me last year. I've been recommending the #UBHM to all my friends who are looking for a must-do race since my first UBHM. My friend John convinced me to be officially an Urban Bourbonite. And here I am!

Why do you run? I run for fun. I run for my peace of mind. I can run and not think about any worries in the world.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Bacon and a big, juicy steak

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Enjoy it. Unless you are running the race to win, you should just enjoy the running tour of Louisville. And definitely stay and enjoy the after-race party. Enjoy the local bands (they are amazing), the Bourbon tasting, pizza, local beer and the famous burgoo.

Susan Watson

 

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Facebook: Facebook.com/Sv_watson

Instagram: @sv_watson

Twitter: @Susansassmouth

How many half marathons have you run? 7

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Because I love to spread the good word of running, that and the race is baller.

Why do you run? To clear my head

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Fresco Melt ftw

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Get a running buddy!

Nicole Weaver

 

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Facebook: Facebook.com/nicole.marie2

Instagram: @mrsweaver0525

How many half marathons have you run? 0

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? This is my first half marathon. I love the city of Louisville and fitness! Picking the UBHM seemed like a natural fit for my first race. I want to help grow a race that brings together three of my favorite things: Louisville, running and bourbon!

Why do you run? To feel strong. Weights make me feel powerful, running makes me feel strong and empowered.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Graeters Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? I'll give myself advice here, have fun!

Kim Weiter

 

Hometown: Louisville

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kim.weiter

Instagram: @hammertime1202

Twitter: @KAWeiter

How many half marathons have you run? 20 (UBHM 2018 was my 20th!)

Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? It's the race that reminded me of how much I love running. I've run it the past five years and have special memories from each race. I want to spread the news about a race that means a lot to me to others that may be in search of something more!

Why do you run? I run to be a better version of myself.

What is your guilty pleasure food/drink? Pizza!

What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Reflect on why you are running and go with it. Enjoy the journey. The course is Louisville friendly and will put a smile on your face. Take your "why" and celebrate all of your hard work on race day! Also, enjoy the after-party! It's well deserved!