Although the organizers behind the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run had to delay their 2020 event at State Dock Marina in Jamestown, Ky., a month and follow some strict social-distancing guidelines, they were grateful to even be able to put on the run in mid-July being that many of their fellow poker run organizers were forced to cancel their events last year.
The Lake Cumberland Thunder Run returns to the Kentucky waterway on June 18-19. Photo by Kevin Johns/Instant Memories Photography
This year, the Lake Cumberland Powerboat Club is excited to get “back to normal,” which for one of the primary organizers of the event, Tennessee’s Justin Lucas, means continuing to make adjustments or implement new things. Just five weeks away, registration for the 13th annual event is starting to fill up, according to Lucas, who expects little to no restrictions at the run that starts on Friday, June 18 with a fun run and bonus card stop at Boy’s Camp Cove in Beaver Creek sponsored by Roberts Packaging Group.
The main event—Saturday’s five-stop poker run—starts at 11 a.m., and includes a raft-up at the one-and-only Harmon Creek (above) in the afternoon. The fifth stop is back at State Dock where participants can turn in their hands before 8 p.m., and enjoy dinner and an awards ceremony at 8:30.
The highly energetic and crowd-pleasing Naked Karate Girls are set to close out the event on Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
“We actually have the Naked Karate Girls lined up to play the party barge stage on Friday and Saturday night this year,” Lucas said. “We didn’t try to do ‘too much’ this time around; we’re just happy to have it back on its regular weekend and be business as usual.
“What’s cool is that I’ve been seeing a lot of new registrants entering,” he added. “Of course we’ll have a lot of the regular folks that never miss a Thunder Run, but it’s always good to attract newcomers. My friend, Mark Godsey, is signed up with his new Project Mayhem MTI 390X catamaran and we’ve got a lot of our sponsors coming back, including Bill Day of Day’s Boat Sales. We even added a new sponsor—Jason Roberts Painting & Remodeling—for the third stop, which is at 76 Falls this year.”
While registration, all of which is now done online, can be handled on site during check-in, Lucas recommends handling it ahead of time and doing it sooner rather than later. Eliminating paper forms is one thing he said they’re implementing from the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. Another thing is the electronic booklet and map they put together for last year’s event, which was well-received, according to Lucas.
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