STANFORD — Lincoln County had a good showing in more than one way during the annual Bourbon Chase running event Sept. 28 and 29.
A team of runners based in Lincoln County improved their completion time of the massive 200-mile competition and Stanford was declared the best exchange point along the whole route.
The Lincoln County team — "Energized and Bourbonized" — completed their run across the Bluegrass in just a little more than 30 hours, placing 159th out of 287 teams and 86th out of 179 teams in the open mixed division.
Last year, the group placed 197th overall and 111th in its division, with a finish time of more than 31.5 hours.
David Grigson, one of 11 members on the 12-person team who live in Lincoln County, said running the Bourbon Chase is a "truly unbelievable experience."
"Running is really an individual sport but this one time during the year, we come together," he said. "Not often in an individual sport do you get to compete as a team."
The 36-leg foot race winds from Jim Beam's distillery in Clermont through multiple small Kentucky towns and communities, past many more famous Kentucky distilleries and along long stretches of back roads until it ends in Lexington.
It's so long, it lasts from Friday morning until Saturday morning, with a large portion of the race taking place overnight.
The route passes through Lincoln County and Stanford, entering on U.S. 150 south coming from Danville and leaving along Knob Lick Road heading to Junction City.
This year, Stanford was voted by the competing teams as the best exchange point along the whole route, beating out Perryville and Midway for the title, Energized and Bourbonized team member Angela Todd said.
Justin Poynter, another member of Energized and Bourbonized, said many of the team members are good friends and often run together in other events like 5Ks.
"We all started running … on our own and everybody on the team kind of knows everybody else, so we started running together," he said.
Poynter said one of the legs he ran traveled through Midway, where there are a lot of scenic horse farms. But while it's a scenic route, Poynter said it's also "probably one of the hardest legs I've ever run" because of the hilly terrain.
The way the race is organized, each team member winds up running three separate legs. Vans stay ahead of the runners and cart team members from point to point — and back to bed when there's time — as the race progresses.
Grigson ran the leg that started in downtown Stanford.
"I really like running in Stanford. A lot of friends come out and support our team there," he said. "This race runs all over Kentucky and it's neat that it runs through Stanford. It's exciting to me to be that one guy on our whole team who gets to run in our hometown."
SO YOU KNOW
Find out more about the Bourbon Chase and view race results at www.bourbonchase.com.