The Murky Mile brought some normalcy into Eastern Kentucky through the swimming community.

The race served not only as a relaxing and fun activity Saturday, but also a beacon on how to continue events in the face of a pandemic. Through countless hours of planning, 110 people were able to attend the event for a ninth year at Cave Run Lake’s Stoney Cove.

“This is just a sign that despite all the changes that are going on within our community, all the restriction that are going on, is that we do need to have some sense of normalcy,” said Tom Viney, owner of Pannel Swim Shop and host. 

“To have something that is showing that we can get back to a normal life even within the extra safety precautions we are taking.”

Murky Mile

Swimmers compete in a race at the Murky Mile on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Cave Run Lake. Photo by Hannah Bartley | The Trail Blazer

The three races – a half mile, a mile and a 2.4 mile – all had many extra precautions set in place to make it both a safe and fun event including wearing masks, running the races in waves and social distancing. 

Returning attendees of the Murky Mile had a moment of relief and excitement when they heard the event would happen this year.

“It’s a family event all the kids are here, the wife is here, everybody is swimming,” said Frank Kraft, 5th year attendee from Winchester. “It’s great, it’s just something you can work on a look forward to.”

Murky Mile

Frank Kraft flips his son Patrick Kraft, 8, while waiting for the Murky Mile to start Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Cave Run Lake. Photo by Hannah Bartley | The Trail Blazer

New attendees joined the returning swimmers in the water to share in some normal summer activities that thee missed because of quarantine. 

Viney had some advice for other events on how to help bring more normalcy and community activities back into the area.

“I think a lot of it just goes into planning,” said Viney. “Be willing to make adjustments to what you have been doing for the past eight years. It really just gets back to we’re serving the community.”