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By MARTY FINLEY
ELIZABETHTOWN – Central Hardin High School will be decorated with chrome Saturday.
The school is the final stop for the Charity Motorcycle Run IX, which raises money for the WHAS Crusade for Children. Central Hardin has been the finishing point for the run since 2003, said Frank Owen Brockman, event coordinator for the run.
The event, which began in 2000, has raised more than $32,000 for the crusade with about 2,500 riders from 19 states participating over the years. The event averages about $4,000 per year, Brockman added.
Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives sponsor the event, which will have two starting points: an east leg in Jamestown and a west leg in Bowling Green.
But the run isn’t simply a bike ride through parts of the Bluegrass. Along the way, riders will play a hand of poker and the players with the best and worst hands are rewarded with cash prizes at the end.
Patsy Whitehead, spokeswoman for Nolin RECC in Elizabethtown, said the riders draw two cards at the start sites and will have the option of buying two more cards at $1 each. Extra hands can also be purchased for $5.
From there, the riders will follow their routes and make two stops along their way. The east leg will make its first stop in Danville, then travel to Lawrenceburg and draw three more cards before arriving in Elizabethtown. On the west leg, the bikers will depart from Bowling Green, stop and draw three cards at Hart County High School, then make another stop in Clarkson before meeting up with the east leg at Central Hardin.
Whithead said the bikers are scheduled to end their run at 4 p.m., with an approximate 15-minute difference between the two legs. Free refreshments will be on hand for the bikers when they arrive, she added.
Once there, the rider with the best hand, second best hand, worst hand and second worst hand will be given their awards. Cash prizes will also be awarded for the oldest bike ridden full distance, longest distance ridden to the event and oldest biker.
Joy Bullock, representative for the Jamestown leg, said the riders have a lot of fun with the card game along the way.
“It gets competitive,” she said.
She said it was also a fun way for the riders to see the countryside.
Rick Carroll, coordinator for the Bowling Green leg, said the route for the west leg has been changed this year, taking the bikers through Mammoth Cave National Park.
“I think it’ll be a much more scenic ride,” Carroll said.
Raffles will also be conducted on both legs, with half of the prceeds going to the crusade and half going to the winner. Bullock said that the winners traditionally donate their half to the Crusade as well. Cash door prizes are also available as part of the event.
Whitehead said Nolin RECC is planning to accommodate about 400 bikers this year at Central Hardin.
“We’re expecting a big event,” she said.
The first 75 bikers who register will receive 2008 limited edition Touchstone Energy Motorcyle Run bandanas.
Marty Finley can be reached
at (270) 505-1762