2021: The Bluegrass BAMR’s Year in Review

Not gonna lie; 2021 wasn’t my favorite. The good news is it was slightly better than 2020. ūüėČ And, despite all of the challenges, there were some great things that happened in my running journey that I want to reflect upon with you. So, here we are, my 2021 Year in Review.

  • Served as a BibRave Pro Team Captain – I had an amazing 2021 leading a wonderful group of runners from across the United States. It was a challenge with races being on pause and no in-person meet-ups for most of the year, but I loved every minute of it.
  • Returned to Running after a 2020 COVID-19 Diagnosis -ICYMI check out my blog post on it!
  • Bourbon Belt Challenge Team helped me regain my confidence; thanks to my team “You Can’t Run with Us” for an amazing 571 miles across Kentucky.
  • Participated in the 2021 BibRave Pro Virtual Summit -it is always a blast to hang out with this amazing running community and learn about all things running!
  • The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast returned for Season 2 – I was so humbled and proud to connect with so many amazing women and share their stories.
  • Ran the 2021 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon as a guide runner. This by far was one of the most fun but most challenging experiences I’ve had in racing.
  • Honor Run Half Marathon 10K was my first in person race since 2019 (pre-COVID)! I took home second in my AG.
Me (far right) with my friend Jayne (hands raised in the air) during the 2021 UBHM.

Check out all of my 2021 race (virtual and in-person) reviews here as well as what is in the works for 2022. Here is hoping you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast Episode 31: “Embrace Challenges to Create Change” with Kelly Doyle

Stephanie wraps up 2021 by talking with Kelly Doyle about the magic of embracing challenges and seeing changes in yourself! Kelly is a native Louisvillian, mom, wife, sister, and amazing cheerleader. In this episode, Kelly tells us about the start of her running journey, her setback when fighting choriocarcinoma (cancer), and her comeback to running in 2016. She gives some great advice on being open to challenges (and change) and demonstrates how she was open to change and in turn completed her first Half Ironman this year.

No doubt you will be inspired and motivated by Kelly’s story – enjoy it and share with other women you want to encourage. Click here to listen now!

Spring into 2022 Training with The Run Show USA in Boston

Disclaimer: I received a ticket to The Run Show USA Boston to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Have you heard of The National Running Show in the UK? I will be honest, I had not until this summer. I started reading more about it and then BibRave asked if some of the BibRave Pros would like to attend the FIRST EVER ‘The Run Show USA’ in Boston, January 29-30, 2022. Of course, I said yes! It seems like an amazing event with so many running-related topics under one roof. The goal is to provide running enthusiasts inspiration, kit, tech, nutrition, and advice needed to achieve their running goals -what is not to love?

After reading more on the website, I can tell you I am super-pumped about the schedule. With everything from a run clinic, recovery zone, and treatment room, there is an abundance of hands-on information runners can take home with them. I also love the speakers line up for this event! I cannot wait to get a major dose of inspiration while I am in Boston.

So here is the short list of why you should join me in Boston January 29-30th:

  1. This event is for everyone! Trail runners, road runners, sprinters, long distance runners, recreational runners – this event has something for every runner. You do not need to be an elite runner to attend the event and take away some fresh gear and great advice.
  2. The event is in Boston. The Run Show USA will be in the Hynes Convention Center. Meet up with old and new friends in the running community for the event. I am so excited to get to meet up with my BibRave Pros! Once we mark all of the schedule items off of our list, we can head outside to visit the city. There are so many great places to eat and fun things to do in Boston.
  3. The event helps kick-off your Spring Training Season. This expo isn’t just about your race goal. It is about all of the things that lead up to hitting that goal! You will learn so much about nutrition, stretching, gear and technology at the event. Check the What’s On section of the event site to see allll of the deets.
  4. FREE Tickets. Yes, you read that right! If you use my code BIBRAVEBOSTON when you register at the link below, you can reserve up to 10 FREE tickets. So get your friends together and register today!

Use code BIBRAVEBOSTON to register for FREE tickets to the Run Show USA Boston at https://bit.ly/RunShowUSABR

Still not sure? Check out fellow BibRave Pro articles on more reasons to attend The Run Show Boston below.

Jessica

Vanessa

The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast E 30: ‚ÄúRunning, Yoga, Family‚ÄĚ with Tavi Tichenor

This week Stephanie welcomes Tavi Tichenor, ultrarunner, mom, wife, yogi, and all-around BAMR, to the show. At the start of this interview, Tavi is fresh off of back-to-back Barkley Fall Classic and Chicago Marathon finishes! She talks about her start in running, her recent running adventures, as well as the joys & challenges of being a new mom! Through her work as a local yoga instructor as well as a member of the Fleet Feet Louisville Elite Racing team, Tavi supports many runners in the Louisville community. I hope you enjoy the chat. (As an additional note, Tavi wants all of the listeners to know that she is mental health advocate/in recovery from an eating disorder- please reach out to her or anyone you trust for support on these topics!)

Tavi is the Race Director of Louisville’s Ugly Sweater Run. Find more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/357438416021664

Follow Tavi on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tav_wall/

Catch Tavi at a yoga class:  https://www.yogaonbaxter.com/schedule/

Listen to this episode now – click here!

Honoring Those Who Served at the 2021 Honor Run Half Marathon 10K

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Honor Run Half Marathon 10K to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

In 2019 I ran the Half Marathon distance at this race. The race was virtual in 2020. In 2021, I decided to go the 10K route at the last minute due to a recent illness and other life circumstances. I was not disappointed! The route is 6.2 on the dot and still contains those rolling hills at the beginning and the end that I remember in the half marathon route.

The morning started out interesting. I was meeting a fellow BibRave Pro friend, Jaimelee, that had picked up our packets the day before. I let her know when I was about 20 minutes from the start area as I drove into town that morning. While the half marathon started at 7 am, the 10K & 5K didn’t start until 7:45 am. As she headed to her car to meet me at the start line, the hotel informed her she could not leave her hotel parking lot due to the roads being closed for the half marathon! I found the entrance to the plaza across from the mall and parked there, which gave me a good little .50 mile warm-up to the start. After a few confusing (and stressful) minutes, my friend was able to find a back way to the start line and met me with about 3 minutes to spare before we started! We had a good laugh about it and then went on our way, hitting the start line under the beautiful American flag that is part of Honor Flights to D.C. It was a chilly start to the morning but made for good running weather once we started.

I ran with my friend in the first mile and then she told me to take off as she was going to do intervals. The race felt smaller this year, no doubt due to COVID restrictions. But the atmosphere was still amazing- there were so many people on the course who were veterans or running for veterans! Many wore bibs or shirts with veterans’ names on them. I had a list of veterans’ names in my pocket. This run was for them and so many others who have helped to defend our freedoms. Around mile 3 I decided to pick up the pace because it felt good; my goal was then to run a little ‘harder than easy’ but still feel good at the finish.

The 10K course is nice- I was happy to see spectators out on the course cheering us on and the water stations were stocked well. I ran and chatted with several people; we shared who we were running for or just how well everyone was doing on the course. At around Mile 4, we passed several of the 10K runners on a small out and back and I was able to give my friend a high-five! Mile 5 the hills hit again, but I was ready for them. I loved running into the finish line and seeing so many smiling faces cheering us on. The announcer does a great job as well, celebrating all branches of the military and all of the veterans crossing the finish line. I ended up surprising myself with a 2nd place age group placement-I didn’t plan that at all, but I will take it.

The finish line area had the same things I know and love at this race, including the ever-popular complimentary Skyline Chili Dog! There was also plenty of bagels, bananas, and chocolate milk for everyone. I grabbed some water and food and went back to watch many finish-perhaps the most inspirational was an 82 year-old Marine who completed the 5K and crossed the finish line carrying the American Flag!!

An added bonus to this race is the swag and medal. The race shirt is a nice long-sleeved tech tee. The race management company was kind enough to send out communications that the medals had not yet arrived due to supply issues, however, they would let us know when they were in. They were also kind enough to hand out medals from another year if we wanted to take one of those home with us. I will definitely share the 2021 medal once it arrives.

The best part of this race is the charity! All proceeds go to the Honor Flight Tri-State. This year, the race was able to raise more than $40,000 to help veterans travel to see their war memorials. Pretty amazing, right? I highly recommend this race for anyone who loves to run for a good cause-it might just inspire you, too.

Catch my Bibrave.com Race Review here. If you ran the race this year, don’t forget to leave your review over there as well.

The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast Episode 29: ‘Showing Up is the Hardest Part” with Marcie Prather

Marcie Prather, mom, runner, and cancer survivor joins Stephanie for episode 29. After chemo and 33 radiation treatments in 2016, Marcie decided that if she was strong enough to battle cancer, she was strong enough to return to running.  Marcie talks about her experience running with other women and how this impacted her running journey – she even completed her first half marathon virtually!  Listen in as Marcie talks about the transference of strength among women; the support she has given (and received) in the running community is immeasurable. Get ready to be inspired by this episode and remember: “You can do anything for a minute!”.

Listen to the podcast episode here or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts!

Visit Louisville and Run the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K in 2022

Disclaimer: I received a Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Louisville to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I am excited to say I am running the 2022 Hot Chocolate 15K in Louisville on April 2. I completed the 2021 race virtually, and really enjoyed everything from the race management communications to the swag. (There is also a 5K option for those wanting to join in the fun but not ready to tackle the 15K.) Don’t want to run? That’s okay, you can walk!

Here are 4 reasons why you should visit Louisville and participate in the race:

  1. The Charity – This year’s race will support St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.
  2. The Chocolate – Need I say more? The chocolate is everywhere, including at the post-race party, where you will receive a finisher mug that includes fondue, dippables, and your very own hot chocolate!
  3. The Swag – All finishers receive a very cool medal and finisher’s jacket, along with the post-race party goodies! BONUS: this race is timed and you get FREE high-res race photos.
  4. The Location – Louisville is such a fun city! There is so much to do – come in early and experience all that downtown offers, including The Slugger Museum, historic Churchill Downs, and the Bourbon Trail are all “must-dos” while you are in Louisville, just to name a few.
My medal from the virtual race in the Spring of 2021!

You can register here – don’t forget to use code “HC21” for a free Buff!

I can’t wait to see you in Louisville in April!

The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast Episode 28: “Run with Your Heart” with Madeline Rivera

Stephanie sits down to talk to Madeline Rivera in this latest episode of the podcast. Maddie happens to be a BAMR that has finished race distances from 5K to 100 miles. She tells us a little bit about when she started running (later in life), gives new runners some great advice (spoiler: consistency is key), and talks about the importance of volunteering/giving back to the sport of running.  Maddie also happens to help her husband Will Rivera manage a local running store, Running Soles, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I hope you enjoy her story and find some motivation to run with your heart, no matter where you are in your running journey.

Show Notes

Running Soles

Running Soles on Instagram 

Listen to the episode here.

Honor Veterans – Run the Honor Run Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a registration to the Honor Run Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

As you consider the remainder of your race calendar for Fall 2021, have you considered a race that gives back to those who served our country? The Honor Run Half Marathon in Florence, KY on Veteran’s Day (11/14/2021) is the perfect race that fulfills this objective.

The Honor Run Half Marathon started in 2014. All proceeds from the race are “donated to Honor Flight Tri State to help send our local Veterans who have served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to Washington DC for the day to see the memorials that they have earned.” Since it’s inception, the race has donated over $240,000 to Honor Flight Tri State and has served 434 veterans.

I first heard of the race in 2018 when my friend Corey raced there. His review of the race was amazing. I decided to make the short trip to Florence in 2019 to see it for myself. You can read in detail my experience here; needless to say I am making the trip back in 2021 after the race went virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Other than an amazing cause, I am looking forward to these aspects of the race:

  • The atmosphere: I love that so many people running this race are running for a family member, friend, neighbor or loved one. I personally ran to honor my father-in-law and pinned a photo of him onto my hydration vest. I also carried a written list of friends’ veterans in my pocket, as a way to honor so many others who served.
  • The course: If you like rolling hills, you are going to love this course! There is also a small portion that is “out and back” so you can cheer on/support other runners in passing.
  • The finish line fun: There is music, great food and lots of cheering on runners and they come down the finisher’s chute.

This race is top-notch! Don’t believe me? In 2020, The Honor Run Half Marathon was named in the Top 10 Half Marathons of the Decade by the BibRave 100.

Race Details

Sunday November 14th, 2021

Florence, Kentucky


13.1 Mile Half Marathon 7:00am


10K and 5K Run/Walk 7:45am

The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast Episode 27: “Enjoying the Gift of Running” with Lorri Roberts

Lorri Roberts identifies as a runner, artist, and coach, but she is also a BAMR. In this episode, Lorri talks with Stephanie about the start of her running journey, the day she knew she was a runner, and her love of the Louisville running community.  Lorri is a head coach at Fleet Feet Louisville and she credits this group for keeping her accountable and enthusiastic about running. She also talks about her feelings on body positivity and how important it is to be “comfortable with the skin you are in”.  

Show Notes:

Fleet Feet Louisville Coach Bio

Find Lorri on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/turtlegoesforarun/

Lorri is a 2021 Urban Bourbonite Рregister for the UBHM and use her code ROBERTS2021 for 10% off

Click here and listen to the episode now!

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