Continuing with the good-natured fun, in case anyone was left wondering, the 14th annual Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky did indeed have an official Stephen Miles sighting. The “superstar” painter behind Stephen Miles Design in Owensboro, Ky., enjoyed the run in his 34-foot MTI catamaran alongside several friends, including Chris and Shelby Mattingly, Chuck and Shannon Stark, and many others.
More than 90 boats took part in the 14th annual Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Seriously, Miles and his better half, Heather, had a great time at their first Thunder Run at State Dock.
“(Thunder Run organizers) Justin Lucas and Dan Wiess have supported the Kuttawa Cannonball Run since its inception,” Miles said. “Jeff Hoefling and Terry Martin (Miles’ fellow Kuttawa coordinators) have always attended to support the Thunder Run. It was nice to join them finally.”
To complement the camaraderie amongst the participants, Miles and the nearly 100 other boat owners and their friends and family members were treated to good weather, great stops and excellent entertainment.
“The weather was beautiful and we had a blast as usual,” said Tennessee performance boater Chad Collier, who enjoyed the run with his wife, Heather, in their MTI-V 42 luxury performance center console. “Justin (Lucas) always is so organized and has it all mapped out for the entire weekend. Lake Cumberland is one of, if not the cleanest and most beautiful lakes in the Southeast!
“It was the first event in our new (to us) MTI and it went great,” he added. “We love the new boat. We had Kenny Ray Schomp and his significant other, Cassidy Boyer, out with us and we all had a great time. I also got to drive one of the new MTI 390X cats for the first time—my friend Mark Godsey’s Project Mayhem, and I was super impressed with it as well.”
Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden said his first trip to the beautiful Lake Cumberland won’t be his last.
Texas performance boater Bill Picot said he and his crew had a lot of fun in his 30-foot Liberator catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 300R engines.
“The event and the lake itself were great—the run, which I believe was about 105 miles, was awesome,” Picot said. “The only thing that sucked was that there were lots of logs in the water with the lake being high from spring rains. The locals told me that all settles down by July. I saw on the Lake Cumberland FB page where a lot of guys lost lower units, etc., this weekend because of it. Either way, we would go back next year for sure.
“I loved the shotgun pace boat start of the poker run—that was fun,” he continued. “I also loved that runs between stops were long so it gave us a chance to stretch the boat out and run it hard.”
Hoefling, who lives in Indiana and brought his new-to-him Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats 39 GTX to the event, said he had a great time running the boat, despite suffering some damage to his drives’ lower units from debris in the water.
Boats from the likes of Baja Marine, Cigarette Racing Team, DCB, Donzi Marine, Eliminator Boats, Fountain Powerboats, MTI, Midnight Express, Nor-Tech, Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, Sunsation Boats and more took part in the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run.
Adding to the entertainment for this year’s Thunder Run, another Indiana performance boater, Nick Evans, gave away a 26-foot American Offshore catamaran as part of his Recovered Money YouTube channel promotion. The owner of a 50-foot Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats catamaran, Evans announced the giveaway winner during Saturday’s awards party and the lucky boater was Brian Belanger of Verona, Ky.
“I’d like to thank Justin and Dan for letting us have the giveaway at their poker run and give a big thanks to everyone who helped make it happen,” Evans said.
Lucas said he’s glad everyone had a good time and that they were safe.
“Things went smooth overall this year,” said a rather exhausted Lucas. “We had a decent turnout—I think we ended up with 92 boats total. There was some debris in the water again, but overall it was less than we had in 2021.”