Runners sharing stories with every step ahead of the Bluegrass 10,000

fun run bluegrass 10,000.jpg
Posted at 8:35 AM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 08:35:05-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Come Monday, July 4 the roars of cars in downtown Lexington will be replaced with thousands of feet ready to hit the ground running.

Organizers expect around 2,000 runners for the annual Bluegrass 10,000, kicking off the city’s Fourth of July festivities.

It’s a tradition dating back to 1976.

“They decided on July 4th they were going to have a run. According to a lot of runners of this race over the years. It was a hot summer day and the souls of their shoes actually melted,” Lexington Parks and Recreation special events manager Jessica Piersol said.

46 years later, the race is still going strong and so are some of the runners.

Bob Barnes has participated in every Bluegrass 10,000 since it’s inception, a stat that keeps him motivated to come back and run every year.

“If a year comes along that I don’t want to do it this year, I look at myself in the mirror and say ‘you have got to do it this year,’” Barnes said.

Terry Foody has a similar love for not just the event but running in general.

It’s a passion grown from being picked on as a kid.

“I didn’t start out running to run. Kids were teasing me about having bird legs and being real skinny when I was in high school,” Foody said.

“I just went out and ran around the block by myself to try and get muscles in my legs and I discovered that I enjoyed feeling my body running through space.”

Food attributes this annual race as helping open her up to a lot of opportunities to run at a high level.

“It sparked it for me. I’m in USA track and field, I’ve run at the national level, track, cross country, road races, all because of this blossoming with the Bluegrass 10,000,” Foody said.

While this race has been a staple for decades, there have been some recent changes.

Last year, organizers changed the race route, making it a mirror image of the original course.

It’s an alteration made official this year and will stand for at least the next decade.

“We’re running through parts of Elm Tree Lane, Short Street, Pleasant Stone Corral, getting onto Midland and then still keeping that traditional u-turn on Richmond Road where we’ll have a band playing for everyone doing the u-turn to head back down to Main Street and finish,” Piersol said.

Though the course is changing, organizers still view the Bluegrass 10,000 as a great event for the community that brings generations together for a fun run.

“A lot of mothers and sons. Fathers and daughters that have done this race together. We’ve seen some really cool stories of people finishing with their uncle. Last year, actually pushing their uncle past the finish line,” Piersol said.

“It’s just a wholesome 4th of July event.”

The race keeps people like Bob Barnes going, ready to enjoy the next moment made during the race.

“Two of the best things a person can do for their health is to keep moving and to socialize. The Bluegrass 10,000 makes sure you keep moving,” Barnes said.

Festivities begin with a wheelchair race at 7:25 a.m. on Monday, July 4 with the Bluegrass 10,000 quick to follow at 7:30 a.m. at Main Street and north Limestone Street.

Saturday, July 2 is the last chance to pick up a race packet, except for runners coming in from out of town.

That pick up is 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. in the Artworks at the Carver Center parking lot.