Runner Gets Abducted by Hillbillies at Franklin Half Marathon

Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell

A strange turn of events took place on the race route of the 2015 Franklin Half Marathon in Leiper’s Fork, TN on Saturday, June 6.  A band of moon-shining yocals were interrupted by runners after they stayed up all night on a rural stretch of Bailey Road.  This just happened to be near the turnaround for both the half marathon and 5K race courses.

We had all stayed up drinking moonshine all night and next thing you know a bunch of people in tight shorts started running by,” said Red Duck, the leader of the group they call the “Bailey Bottom Boys.”

The first runners that passed by thought this was a planned part of the race.  One runner was quoted as saying, “I thought they were in costume until I got closer and realized that there were no costumes.”

This notorious gang of talented moon-shiners and musicians is well-known by the local residents. “That’s the fellars that run off with my overalls and my pickup shackled up with a load of 100 proof mash ready to make a run to Atlanta. Dagnab ’em,” said a man on Facebook that goes by “Harry.”

April Cantrell, was the passerby who was able to record video and snap photos at a safe distance across the street.  While her photos may look innocent enough, she was able to capture an abduction where runner, “Ollie,” was barely able to escape the clutches of one of the gang members.  The video also captures the Bailey Bottom Boys heckling runners.  They seemed attracted to the runners wearing blue, as they mentioned blue shoes and the attempted abduction, the runner had a blue shirt.

Race Director Andy Johnson expressed his concerns. “Our number one goal is the safety of the runners. We do not intend to cancel or divert this race, however, in 2016 we suggest that you leave bright blue colored clothing at home.  We will have local law enforcement sweep the area to try to keep it clean, but we make no guarantees these folks will be deterred.”

“You’ll see those guys out here doing these silly things all the time,” Cantrell said. “You never know where that batch of boys will show up, dancing and playing music and being themselves” according to the Tennessean article.

Abducted runner, Ollie, has reported that he is doing well, but feels he may benefit from “a little counseling.”

If you have any photos of this incident, please email them to rd@franklinhalfmarathon.com or forward them to the Leiper’s Fork Volunteer Police Department.

Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell
Photo Credit: April Cantrell