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Flocks of runners will pass through Washington County on Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, as the Bourbon Chase returns this year.
The Bourbon Chase is a team-relay run that starts in Clermont and finishes roughly 200 miles later in Lexington. Nearly 4,000 runners participate.
The fun begins at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont. The finish-line celebration takes place on Saturday from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Main Street between Broadway and Jefferson in downtown Lexington.
There will be a total of four sections that pass through Washington County this year, with some changes from years past.
Between 12:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., runners will pass through Manton en route to Makers Mark.
Then, later in the day, runners will make their way from Lebanon’s farmers market to Springfield’s farmers market, a nearly-nine mile stretch, one of the longest of the 200-mile relay.
“I feel like we’ll get some of the really good runners because they’ll have to have the stamina to be able to go the nine miles,” Kathy Elliott, the Springfield Tourism Commission executive director, said.
Elliott said she welcomes the route change and is glad that the exchange by Country Place was moved.
With Ham Days going on this weekend in Lebanon, the exchange at Country Place would have been worse due to increased traffic.
She’s glad the exchange will come to the farmers market, where runners will have a sheltered area, a restroom and parking. She thinks it will be a little bit safer.
The state is providing flashing message boards, she said, to alert drivers to runners on the road. The message boards will be placed north and south bound on KY 55.
Runners will cross from KY 55 onto Lebanon Hill Road, thus causing a need for extra alert.
Elliott said an emergency vehicle would be at the location, as well, flashing lights.
“We want to make it as safe as possible there,” she said.
Runners will pass this exchange zone from 4:15 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
From the Springfield farmers market, runners will travel the length of Main Street before leaving town to follow US 150 going towards Boyle County.
After 5.8 miles, runners will exchange on the left, with parking at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Spectators can expect runners at that exchange from 5:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.
The final leg in Washington County will follow US 150, departing from the church.
Runners will go 5.1 miles and exchange at the intersection of US 150 and Deep Creek Road, with parking at Beech Grove Baptist Church.
Runners will be at this exchange from 6:45 p.m. until 2:15 a.m.
Elliott said she is still looking for volunteers to work the exchange by Beech Grove Baptist Church. The shift starts at 10 p.m. and goes until runners have cleared the area.
Anyone wishing to volunteer can call Elliott at 336-5440.