KR255 Stage Race

This year’s KR 255 is being run as a stage race. The race this year will begin on Monday morning September 16th and finish on Saturday afternoon, September 21st.  This is still the full 255 miles, but you have to be faster now, you will only have 63 hours of actual racing time to complete the distance.  However, you will also get rest, because after each stage, we will take a break and restart the next stage as a group. 

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  • Having stages will allow us to keep the race closer together, provide a higher level of risk- management, and a better overall experience.  It will also allow us to open up the race to people who want to race for points rather than overall glory.  

  • Unlike the racers who intend to complete the entire 255 miles, who will be placed on total accumulated time, the points race will allow racers to strategically skip certain stages if they wish, so they can push harder on other stages where more points may be available.

  • Like in the past, there will be time cut off’s, however, if you miss a cut off you are able to continue on the next stage, you just no longer qualify for placing in the 255 overall race.  You can still compete for points.

  • Some stages are “required” and in order to continue to compete for points you must complete these 7 mandatory stages at a minimum.  There is at least one each day.

  • Stages can vary in length and in how points are given.  The race will have 12 total stages, but not every day has two.  For example Tuesday has only one, marathon style, stage. This stage will go from below lock 12 in Ravenna all the way to Ft. Boonesborough state park, and the portage at 11 is timed as a part of the stage.  Other short stages that stay on one pool will not have timed portages, eliminating the backups at the portage points and relieving the stress.

  • Three stages will be open to paddlers NOT COMPETING in the KR 255.  These stages will be named as individual races, and YOU WILL BE COMPETING against the racers that are only doing those stages.  However, these racers will not affect the competition within the full KR 255 for either points OR time.




Stage 1

Beattyville Boat Ramp to Lock 14 in Heidelberg, KY

  • Monday: 9.16.2019  

  • Start Time: 08:30

  • Finish cutoff : 1030

  • Stage allowed time – 2 hrs

  • Stage length – 6 miles

Stage one is also being run as the inaugural Lee County Dash!  This 6 mile run from under the bridge at the start in Beattyville down to lock 14 in Heidelberg passes through the beautiful Daniel Boone National Forest.  The portage will be on river right, on the upstream end of the lock wall and folks can gather in the public park there at the lock property in Heidelberg.

Stage 2

Heidelberg, KY to Lock 13

Monday: 9.16.2019  

  • Start Time: 08:30

  • Finish cutoff : 1030

  • Stage allowed time: 2 hrs

  • Stage length: 10 miles

Beginning in Heidelberg below the lock, stage two is one of the more remote stages. Even when you get to the finish after 10 miles of paddling, you are really out there. Almost entirely encompassed in the Daniel Boone National Forest, access at lock 13 by road may be more difficult than by river!

Stage 3

Lock 13 to Lock 12

  • Monday: 9.16.2019 

  • Start:15:00

  • Finish cutoff – 19:00

  • Stage allowed time – 4 hrs 

  • Stage length – 19 miles

Paddling from the boat ramp below lock 13 down to lock 12 in Ravenna KY is your first introduction to the long pools on the Kentucky River.  With a little civilization as you get close to the end of this 19 mile stretch, this stage takes you from the Cumberland plateau region of eastern Kentucky into the Bluegrass of central Kentucky.

Camp 1

Ravenna, Kentucky

Camp one for the race will be at lock 12 in Ravenna Kentucky.  The stage cut off time is 1900 so we expect people will go into town to get some dinner, we will have portapotties and a large tent pavilion set up for a hang spot, but there is little additional infrastructure, you will need to have arrangements in the form of a support team or the like to get water and food, the race will not provide rides into town for these purposes.  We plan to have limited water available for people to fill bottles to keep hydrated while at the campsite. We will also prepare a tenting area for racers to set up that is quiet. It is possible there will be additional infrastructure in the way of trash cans, etc. the gate into the camping area will be locked at 2200 to ensure safety of campers and boats/gear.

Stage 4

Lock 12 to Fort Boonesborough State Park

  • Date: 9.17.2019

  • Start: 0730

  • Finish cutoff: 1830 

  • Stage allowed time: 11 hours 

  • Stage length: 45 miles, including a timed portage at lock 11

Day two is unique for the race.  It is the only day with only one stage, and boy is it going to challenge you.  After departing from below lock 12 in Ravenna, you will spend your day paddling to Ft. Boonesborough State Park, portaging at lock 11 along the way.  This portage is counted as part of your race time, making this 45 mile marathon of a stage the longest run for this year’s race.

Camp 2

Fort Boonesborough State Park

Camp two will be a more low key affair, we will reserve a large section of the primitive sites at the campground at Fort Boonesborough State Park. The early finish today, after the exhausting marathon stage, will allow racers to get a shower in the campground shower house. Local eats are available for those who wish them, but sleep is important tonight because of the grueling stage and tomorrow isn’t any easier.

Stage 5

Lock 10 to Lock 9

  • Date: Wednesday September 18th, 2019

  • Start: 0730

  • Finish cutoff: 1230 

  • Stage allowed time: 5 hours

  • Stage length: 19 miles

Stage 5 is a familiar one to the Kentucky paddling community, because it is the same route as the Bluegrass River Run.  This beautiful routes takes your under I-75 south of Lexington and past the historic Valley View Ferry.

Stage 6

Lock 9 to Lock 8

  • Date: 9.18.19

  • Start:1400

  • Finish cutoff: 1830 

  • Stage allowed time: 4.5 hrs 

  • Stage length:18 miles

Stage 6 begins to pass through the palisades section, primarily along Jessamine and adjacent counties, in the Central Bluegrass.  This and the next two stages are considered by many to be the most beautiful.

Camp 3

Lock 8

This will be our second primitive camping location.  Lock 8 is remote in Jessamine County, and will require similar infrastructure to lock 12 campout.  We need to do all the same things and also keep it secure.

Stage 7

Lock 8 to Lock 6

  • Date: 9.19.2019

  • Start: 0730

  • Finish cutoff:1830 

  • Stage allowed time:11 hours 

  • Stage length : 44 miles including a timed portage at lock 7

Stage 7 is another marathon, this one is 44 beautiful miles of palisades, passes under High Bridge, and has a timed portage at lock 7.  Another notable point on this stage is that you will pass the half way point of the Kentucky River.  The mouth of Jessamine Creek on your right is an appropriate half way point as its namesake county has more river miles than any other on the Kentucky.

Stage 8

Lock 6 to Lock 5

  • Date: 9.19.2019

  • Start: 2000

  • Finish cutoff: 2300 

  • Stage allowed time: 3 hrs 

  • Stage length:14 miles

Stage 8 is the only time paddlers will be out in the dark this year!  And you must have your boats appropriately outfitted to meet the law.  This medium length stage finishes out the palisades region, and will take us to Lock 5 near the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg.

Camp 4

This camp is at Lock 5.  The road access is across private property, so we need to work on this.  It will also be a night arrival, so we need lots of lighting and lots of safety at the lock, perhaps multiple boats in the water for safety. Should try to get all the infrastructure here as well.

Stage 9

Lock 5 to Lock 4

  • 9.20.2019

  • Start: 0630

  • Finish cutoff: 1000 

  • Stage allowed time: 3.5 hours to complete 

  • Stage length: 17 miles

Stage 9 is the race to the capitol city!  Paddle under I-64 before you come in to the most populated and developed stretch of the Kentucky River in Franklin County.  Beautiful parks, homes, and historic buildings are just some of the draws of the Kentucky river landscape in Frankfort.

Stage 10

Lock 4 to Blue Wing Landing

  • 9.20.2019

  • Start: 1100

  • Finish cutoff: 1930 

  • Stage allowed time: 8.5 hours to complete 

  • Stage length: 34 miles

This is our final marathon stage, including a timed portage at lock 3.  This 33 mile run is also the Frankfort to Fallis Kentucky River Marathon.  This stage doesn’t finish at a lock, but finishes at Blue Wind Landing in Owen County.  This beautiful and historic property is one you will want to come back and visit again.

Camp 5

This night is at Blue Wing Landing, we need to make it a party, and they should host!!!  Could be huge for them if we get it right, because people that are just doing the day race are also allowed to camp if they would like to!!!!

Stage 11

Lock 2 to Lock 1

  • Saturday September 21st, 2019

  • Start: 0700

  • Finish cutoff – 1400 

  • Stage allowed time: 7 hrs 

  • Stage length: 27 miles

Stage 11 takes place on the longest single pool of the Kentucky River.  Racers will paddle down and portage past lock 2 from Blue wing.  The racing starts below the lock and goes to the finish, 27 miles later, at lock 1 in Carrollton.

Stage 12

Lock 1 to Point Park Boat Ramp

  • 9.21.2019

  • Start: 1500

  • Finish cutoff: 1630 

  • Stage allowed time:1.5 hrs 

  • Stage length: 4 miles

Short and Sweet, this stage, also the Carrollton Crush or Cruise, is a fun 4 mile run to the Mouth of the Kentucky in the Ohio river.  The race will finish here at Point Park in Carrollton where racers will be given a break to clean up and eat before the awards ceremony and finish party in the park!