• Bill Caine, Contributing Writer

Local runner completes her fifth Bluegrass 10K

FROM LEFT are Brooke Godman, Drake Godman, Susan Godman, and Lee Godman at the Bluegrass 10,000. (Photo submitted)

The 41st Bluegrass 10,000 was held on July 4 in Lexington and is one the city's most popular traditions. For Versailles resident Susan Godman, this was her fifth time running the race. "I started running 5Ks in my mid-20s, and when I turned 30, I ran a full marathon, which was incredible," said Godman. Five-Ks and 10Ks have increased in popularity on a yearly basis across the country with people deciding to become more active and run. The social impact is tremendous as well with the popular road races. Runners form groups to train together and create new friendships at the events. "I've done the Iron Horse half marathon here in Kentucky and the Thoroughbred Classic on Thanksgiving," said Godman "I will be taking part in the Bourbon Chase this year as well with a team of runners." The Bourbon Chase is a 200-mile relay that travels the bourbon trail through Kentucky's famous distilleries all the way to the finish. "I like to challenge myself," said Godman. "I want to be better than I was the year before. That is normally my inspiration and what I strive for. "My biggest challenge was when I ran the full marathon and did so in honor of my mother, who had leukemia at the time." Godman said. "I ran that in San Diego as part of the Rock and Roll Marathon series and it was a very emotional experience for me. I hit the wall around mile 18, but I rebounded and pushed through the physical limits and knew this was for my mother. It was a physical, spiritual and emotional journey." The next step for Godman is to get her children active and participating in races with mom. "It's very important that my children see that exercise is important and that you can set goals and meet them," said Godman. "My son, Drake, and I ran the Southside school back-to-school race last year, and we will run it again this August." Many runners take pride in knowing that their entry fees go towards charities as well. It adds incentive for miles put on their feet knowing that their contribution may feed someone in need or put clothes on a child's back. Coordinators are finding more ways to bring new runners onto the scene. With events like the Color Run or the annual Tiki Trot in Woodford County, more first-timers are coming out to try a race, and many of them will return a second time. Events like the Tiki Trot in Woodford County encourage runners to dress up in their favorite grass skirt or Hawaiian shirt and embrace the theme. Ideas for these laid-back races take the pressure off and make first-time racers feel more at ease and enjoy themselves instead of worrying about their times. With opportunities for road races in Kentucky on the rise, both casual racers and competitive runners can take their picks in the future.

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