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Lake Cumberland Thunder Run Turns 10

It wasn’t really a “good question,” but Justin Lucas, one of the primary organizers of the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run, told me it was when I asked him if it was hard to believe he’s been doing the Thunder Run for 10 years. Well maybe it was a good question, it just wasn’t an original one—and as reporter I try to come up with questions that most people wouldn’t think about asking.


Longtime Lake Cumberland Thunder Run participants (and sponsors) Matt Garland and Kenny Ray Schomp are expected to attend the 10th annual event in their 40-foot Skater catamaran. Photo by Jacob Davis/Lake Life Photos

Either way, Lucas took a moment to reflect on the question and immediately said that it doesn’t feel like 10 years has passed since he and his good friend, Dan Weiss, decided to act on an impulse idea they had to bring an event to the popular Kentucky lake in June because there wasn’t much else going on locally at the time.

“It’s kind of a surreal feeling to think about where we started to where we’ve come with the Thunder Run,” Lucas said. “It doesn’t feel like 10 years, but then again the event has definitely evolved. Although it’s never been easy, organizing this run is probably one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life because we’ve been able to impact a lot of different people by putting it together. Plus I’ve met so many incredible people from this event not to mention all of the others I’ve traveled to mainly because I got more involved in this lifestyle than I ever thought I would.”

Lucas, who owns a center console and is as passionate about the Thunder Run as he is about every other event he attends with or without his supportive wife, Erin, admits that organizing the event can be stressful but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He enjoys trying to come up with a little twist each year as well as gathering new prizes and/or sponsorships.

In what is easily the event’s most major change in its nine-year history, Lucas announced earlier this year that the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run is moving to State Dock in Jamestown, Ky. In the past, Grider Hill Resort and Marina hosted the run.

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