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 2020 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 2020 Urban Bourbonites below.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I love running and the UBHM is where I really started to fall in love with it. The beauty of the run, my half marathon PR, and the tribe that supported me started with this race.
Why do you run? I run to let it all go and to stay fit and healthy. I enjoy the people I have met, the races I have done and doing runs I never thought I would ever do.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? It's hard but you get what you put in. Every mile is worth it and the challenge will become such an accomplishment. Enjoy the fresh air, the tribe you will surround yourself with, and learning about yourself.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? As I get older, I want to stay as active as possible. I try to lead an active lifestyle for my children. The biggest reason are my children. I want to be able to keep up with them and to be as healthy as I can for them.
Why do you run? The Louisville Sports Commission, I'm an ambassador for NUUN, I volunteer for as many races as I can and I also volunteer for LIBA.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? It may not be unique but I'd like to get more African-Americans involved with running. In my opinion, a lot of the running clubs are predominantly white and it can be intimidating. It was and actually still is to me.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Running, Bourbon and the best afterparty of any race I've ran! The fall scenery at Cherokee Park almost makes you forget about the hills. The weather is typically perfect on race day.
Why do you run? Running is very important for my mental health. There is no better way to relieve stress or boost my spirits than getting out to pound some asphalt. Plus, the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? You do not have to be the fastest, and you don't have to run the entire 13.1 miles. Many people, myself included, do walk/run intervals and several people walk the entire race. Whether you're in the front, back or somewhere in the middle there will be a crowd cheering you on and people crossing the finish line alongside of you. You can do this! Oh, and it is ok to get emotional at the finish line, it gets me every time!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Because this was my FAVORITE race last year!
Why do you run? The sense of accomplishment and healthy lifestyle makes me a better mama!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Run the mile you are in - one foot in front of the other - enjoy the race - every step of the way - look around, have fun - appreciate the spectators and fellow runners and if you see someone struggling, encourage them because it will help you too!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? I've been a participant of this race twice. The first time was in 2012 when it was the Louisville Sports Commision Half Marathon and the second time was in 2018 as the UBHM. In 2019, instead of running I volunteered at a water stop. Having seen both sides of the race, it is by far one of the most energetic and fun races in which I have ever been a part. For 2020, I want to take my participation to the next level by becoming an Urban Bourbon Bourbonite and sharing the fun of this race with all my friends and family.
Why do you run? So many reasons! I love the social benefits of running. I've made so many new friends via running groups. I love the physical benefits of running. My body is able to do more than I ever thought it was capable of due to running. I love the mental benefits of running. Going for a run keeps my mind clear and allows me to reduce stress. I love the spiritual benefits of running - I have my best talks with God then.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? In the months and weeks leading up to the race, train properly. Don't be afraid to join a running group. Reach out to runners with the same pace and ability as you. Group runs are very motivational and beneficial. The night before the race, have everything you need for race day grouped together. Lay out all your clothes and supplies. Remember to set your alarm! On race day, give yourself plenty of time to get to the race, find your corral, meet up with your running friends, and take a potty break. When the race starts, smile and enjoy it! Whether you are a race runner or walker, keep a smile on your face and enjoy the view. Take in all the beautiful sights you will see along the course, enjoy the music, have fun at the water stops, and have a blast at the after- party. When you get home, relish in your accomplishment. Go out to dinner later that day and be sure to wear your UBHM shirt and your medal. You earned it!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? This year will be my third Urban Bourbon and it is one of my favorite races. The season is perfect, the course is beautiful and the post-race party is unlike anything else.
Why do you run? The sense of accomplishment through training and race day. The ability to not only compete against fellow runners but against myself as well.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Save your energy during the first few miles. You will need it when you are running the Cherokee Park hills. Afterwards, it's flat to the finish allowing you to finish strong.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The UBHM represents my love for the city of Louisville and I am thankful to be part such an awesome event!
Why do you run? A couple years ago I was at my lowest in both mental and physical health. I had run a bit in high school and decided to give it a try again in 2018 and have been in love with the sport ever since. It has done amazing things for my health, introduced me to new friends, and given me a new appreciation for running outdoors. I am constantly trying to achieve new personal records and run new races to become a better runner!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? When doing training runs, don't always be concerned about timing, just relax and enjoy the distance, and enjoy the views if running outdoors! The most important thing is to keep going and finish the run even on the days you don't feel like running. If you push yourself to always keep going you'll be amazed at how much you are constantly improving.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Urban Bourbon combines all of the things that I love - running, drinking, pizza and Louisville! The course is beautiful, and the atmosphere and after-party are amazing! I have run over a dozen half marathons, and UBHM is the most fun race I have done!
Why do you run? I started running to get in better physical shape, but over the years have grown to use running for mental health as well. A run is a great way to clear my mind of the stress of the day and focus on taking care of myself.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Find a group to train with. Runners are the most friendly, inspiring group of people. I have never met another runner who wasn't willing to offer advice, encouragement or even a sip of their water when training on hot days!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? UBHM was my second half, and it's when I fell in love with the running community. The atmosphere, people, course and overall sense of connectivity between participants and the city confirmed to me that I wanted to be a runner. This is my time now to to give back to the running community and share the joy that comes with it and UBHM.
Why do you run? I started running first for my physical health, but slowly started to realize the impact it was having on my mental health as well. When I was out of running for almost a year due to a hip injury, I noticed how important it was to me and worked my butt off everyday in PT to get back to running shape. I love running and the cross country connections that I've made!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Be kind to yourself! Its a journey, not a sprint. Don't think you have to do more to get better. Make small deposits in your training, and they will add up over time. You will be surprised how far it will take you.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon was my first half marathon in 2017. Back then I was challenged by someone who said I did not have the "runner body" to complete something like a half marathon. I did, and was so impressed by this race, I came back in 2018 and ran it on my wedding day! I want everyone to experience the excitement
Why do you run? Why I run is pretty fluid and changes daily. Some days I run for me, it being out of happiness or if I need a positive stress relief. Other days I run for family members or friends, maybe for a birthday or honoring someone passing. I also run to remind myself there are those who cannot run, and I will run for them. I never take the ability to do anything physical for granted.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Take yourself seriously to a point. You need to believe you can do anything and not let fear and worry competely overcome you. Fear of the unknown is a good thing, let it drive you to success! But also have fun during your training and your first race, make new friends along the way, learn something new about running you might have never known. Lastly, have TRUST in your training. Races are mostly mental. You've put in the hours of running/ walking/ cross-training; now is the time to let that training go to work!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? For my stepdaughters who I have been raising since they were 6 and 8 (they are now 15 and 17). I want to show them dedication, perseverance and what a strong female role model looks like. They came from a rough beginning, and I want them to see the positives that come from living a lifestyle where you are strong and healthy. I am also doing this for me. Three years ago I shattered my ankle on an obstacle course race and gained more than 50 lbs during the recovery process. It took two surgeries and a lot of physical therapy; looking back it helped me get where I am today. It pushed me out of my comfort zone so that I wouldn't be afraid to try new things. I'm not a fast runner, but I work hard for everything that I do. Finally, I love being able to show my journey on my social media pages. I'm not an elite athlete, I am a small town girl with regular goals and dreams. In this process, I am showing others that if they put their mind to it, they can achieve their dreams too.
Why do you run? I run because this is my therapy. I have made some of the best friends who get me. They are my sounding board, my cheerleaders and my support system. I also run because it challenges me to be better. Being (step)mom, wife, coworker, a lady with many hats, I need an outlet to release the daily frustrations, and running has been the perfect venue for me to do it. I can go downstairs at work and just take my anxiety out on the treadmill, I can have a chance to talk about life with my running group and it helps me stay in shape so that I can be in the best health I can be in for my girls.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Plan for the unexpected. Not all runs are going to be the same. You are going to have some of the best runs and you will have some runs that will make you feel defeated...don't give into the defeat. Push through. It will be so worth it when you cross that finish line.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Other races are fun, but the atmosphere around Urban Bourbon makes you forget you're running a half marathon and instead feels like you're at a large block party with thousands of your friends. I've enjoyed that feeling every time I've run UBHM, and being an Urban Bourbonite gives me the opportuinity to help spread the word about this great event.
Why do you run? I run because it's a great way to stay healthy, lower stress and feel better overall. And, to enjoy certain foods and beverages with less guilt.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? First, don't try to rush getting ready for race day; take the time to train up the right way. Next, find friends or groups that can help you get ready and/or run with you on race day. Finally, have fun! Enjoy the experience and worry about your finish line time later.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? This is my favorite race: the season, the course and the post-race party!
Why do you run? In all of my life seasons, the good and the bad, running has been my constant. It grounds me.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Be accountable to your long run each week. And when race day arrives, enjoy that feeling of achievement! You've put in all the hard work in the weeks leading up to this: trust your body and embrace the experience.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The 2019 UBHM was my first-ever half and I had such a great time that I want to share it with others!
Why do you run? I love running because you don't have to be an elite athlete to do it. It's incredibly rewarding to challenge myself and meet my goals. It also helps with my anxiety and depression.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Strength and cross-training! It makes all the difference. Also listen to your body and let yourself bask in your accomplishments!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The UBHM is a mix of my two favorite things -- running and Bourbon. Why not promote and share those two things with friends and fellow runners on a great course with a great after-party.
Why do you run? I run to clear my mind; I run to relieve stress and have fun with friends; and 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? Take it all in and enjoy everything from the training to the after-party. The atmosphere and excitement of your first half marathon is electric and something you will remember forever. If you're able to take pictures along the way, do it because that will be a great memory you'll cherish always. Also, if you have to take it easy for a few miles that is okay -- don't be hard on yourself. Your race; your pace.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The Urban Bourbon is one I will always remember. It is a beautiful course with a great amount of support and inspiring runners. The first year I did the race I was an active runner, the second year I was a pacer and had the privilege of supporting a group of people reach their 2:30 goal and now I have the opportunity to be a Bourbonite. This allows me to continue supporting others and promote a very inspiring run that I have fell in love with and want to share with others!
Why do you run? I run for my health. Running clears my mind. It allows me to have some personal time to stay fit and fresh for my family. I run because I want to be a role model for my kids and teach them that anything can be done if they practice and stick with it. Four years ago I set a goal to lose 100 pounds. One year later I met that goal and want my kids to know never to give up.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Follow a structured plan and make sure you have a plan for hydration and fuel on race day. The day of the race don't stress, have fun and live in the moment.
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Urban Bourbon was my first half-marathon. It's the race that made me love the distance. The crowd support is like no other, the beautiful sites you get to see along the race. So I want the chance to share my love for this race and hopefully help others fall in love with it as well!
Why do you run? Five-and-a-half years ago I weighed 423 lbs., and wouldn't even think of exercising. Then I made the decision to live a healthier life and started by having weight-loss surgery. Since surgery I've lost more than 200 lbs. Then a few years ago, I witnessed my best friend Jennifer complete the Disney Princess half-marathon. Right then I decided I wanted to run too. Ever since then I've loved running. It's my escape from the stress, the manager to my mental health and a support to maintaining my weight-loss.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? First find a training plan that works for you and your schedule and stick to it! Find others to hold you accountable. Don't worry about your pace, just focus on getting in the miles. Never say you're slow, instead say "I enjoy running at sexy pace!"
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? The UBHM is one of my favorite races of the year. The crowd, energy and after-party make this one of the most fun races I run. I'm a Bourbonite because I want to be able to share this experience as well as help grow the event.
Why do you run? I run to stay physically and mentally fit. It's the time I give myself throughout the week to clear my head. I've made a lot of close friends through running who I would not have had relationships with otherwise.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Take the time to join a running group or research and develop your own training plan and follow it through. Remember nutrition is key and always stay hydrated!
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? While this will be the first year I've been able to run UBHM, I've been a spectator at each of the previous years' races and we use the race as the goal half for our FFRC training group. I am always happy to support a local running event and would be glad to leverage my role as the head coach for Fleet Feet.
Why do you run? 1. Seeing others achieve their running goals. 2. The stress relief that comes along with hitting the pavement. 3. Sharing the love of being active with my daughter and husband.
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Fleet Feet; Moms Run This Town; Louisville Park Run
Why are you an Urban Bourbonite? Urban Bourbon is a full-experience half marathon. It has always been well-organized, offers a beautiful course and a top-notch after-party! I have loved every minute of all three I have done and would love to share it with others!
Why do you run? I run to challenge myself mentally and physically. In 2019, I challenged myself to my first full marathon and accomplishing that goal has translated into confidence in all aspects of my life. Having my kids at the finish line was the icing on the cake. Showing them how much fun staying active and challenging yourself can be is the best!
What is the advice you would give to someone running their first UBHM? Pick a training plan and stick to it. Post it everywhere (refrigerator, work desk, car, etc.)! Find friends or new groups to run with and enjoy the journey. On race day, soak it all up and enjoy the results of your hard work!