The First Annual Rugged Red Trail Half Marathon Was A Triumph!

The Appalachia region has been a victim of poverty for time immemorial. We are trying to help ourselves make a new vision, a new future, that maintains our environment and culture but bring us up to being more economically stable. We were told by the State of Kentucky to put on events to bring in people for tourism; use the breathtaking landscape to our advantage, not destroy it with mining and rock quarries.

We took their advice to heart and began planning for The Rugged Red trail half marathon in the Red River Gorge and mostly on the Sheltowee Trace trail. We had a few glitches, which is to be expected when you are doing something for the first time. However, to hear the runners, it was a tremendous success. They have posted all over the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We did get some negative reporting from Lexington News Channels and the runners were on it responding positively about all that went right about the event; how beautiful the Gorge is and the pride they took in facing the challenge of The Rugged Red. The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team were correcting their story about those who required aid. We are eternally grateful for the Tri-County (Wolfe, Powell, and Menifee) Search and Rescue Teams, EMS, etc involved in this race. They came through for the runners who were having difficulties in muscle strains, sprains, and overheating; which is typical for this kind of event. This is not your granny’s stroll in the park, this is The RUGGED Red.

We had Gerry Seavo James of @ExploreKentucky down taking photos of the race. He posted on Instagram about his involvement with a photo of me starting the runners off. Check out his great endeavor of getting more people involved in exploring Kentucky at


Gerry Seavo James IG Rugged Red



Andrew Carter blogged about his experience with The Rugged Red at his website Infinite MPG….


“All year I’ve been looking forward to going to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge to run the inaugural Rugged Red Trail Half Marathon. Yesterday, it finally happened! My first trail half marathon – and it was certainly rugged, as the name might suggest. More on that later.” Read more


One of our own locals Chris Chaney  had plenty to say on his blog at The Chainring Report…

Hare or Tortoise: Local Boy Represents!

“I saw the sign next to the trail:

Mile 12

The Rugged Red 

Half Marathon

Ever fiber of my being wanted to begin my kick.  I was on a downhill with a short creek crossing and insignificant climb out, then a gradual downhill, a short bit on the road and into Gladie Creek historic site to the finish.  I wanted to kick.  Actually there were some fibers of my being that didn’t want to kick.  My energy was gone.  My engine was boiling over and running hot; ready to ‘splode.” Read More

I’m Calling You Out

“It’s called the Rugged Red for the Red River Gorge.  The Gorge area is a rugged terrain that has thwarted persistent human settlement.  The landscape confounds even foot travel with its steep slopes under towering cliffs below rocky ridges choked with scrubby pines and greenbriars.  Some of us frequently walk in its shady hollows and along its rushing streams that crash all toward the Red River.  We drink it in.” Read More


Rick Hamon posted on his blog a video of the planning and subsequent action of the Search and Rescue Teams important role in The Rugged Red.


You can check out what others had to say at our Bowen Farm Bed and Breakfast Facebook page, The Rugged Red Facebook page, The Rugged Red Twitter and all through Instagram with the hashtag #ruggedred. Thank you to all those who helped us make this an adventure, especially the rescue workers, volunteers, runners, and their families.

Kickoff of The Rugged Red Trail Half Marathon

Kicking off the inaugural Rugged Red trail half marathon! We have been looking forward to all the runners, volunteers, family, and friends coming up to join us on this exciting adventure. We are rearing to go on all the fun to be had up here. Thanks to everyone for all your help and support in making this happen!!! Did we mention that we named The Rugged Red RUGGED for a reason? It’s gonna be rugged out there today. The rain came back forcing us to move parking; the trail is going to be muddy and wet making it true to its name. The race went off on time and we have 380 runners on the trail. They are running in what is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the South which boasts over 100 natural sandstone arches. We are stoked!!!