Power walking duo return for their second Ky History Half
During the inaugural Kentucky History Half Marathon last fall, we had the great pleasure of meeting Dawn Bittner (shown above, left) and Donna Sarky (right), who traveled from Cincinnati for the event. They loved the race, and we loved having them. When we saw they had signed up for Year Two, we had to get in touch.
Kentucky History Half Marathon (KHHM): You two are power walkers. How long have you been doing road races? Do you travel to many other events?
Dawn: I have been doing power walking and road races for 11 years now.
Donna: I’ve been doing races for about six years.
Dawn: At first I didn’t travel, and did maybe five races a year, including just one half marathon. And then my competitive side began coming out—from growing up playing sports. I started racing more. My goal was to do two half marathons a year … now I do at least five a year. I love traveling for races but that whole money thing gets in the way. [Last year] I stumbled upon your race surfing the Internet. I showed the information to Donna and we fell in love with the description of the race. It was a great experience.
Donna: We liked the idea of doing an inaugural race. In addition, it’s not far from Cincinnati, and Frankfort has a small town feel.
KHHM: Do either of you have Kentucky ties?
Donna: I was born and raised in Newport, Ky. I moved to the east side of Cincinnati when I got married in 1986. I still have family in Northern Kentucky.
Dawn: I am from Cincinnati. No specific Kentucky ties, other than walking or driving to Kentucky all the time … being so close to the Ohio River.
KHHM: What was your favorite part of last year’s event?
Dawn: I loved the different areas we raced through. I loved the Buffalo Trace area. That was so pretty. It was a challenging course, but it was my fastest half marathon to date. I am hoping the weather cooperates this year and is cool again!
Donna: My favorite part of the race was the cemetery, and listening to “Taps.”
Dawn: I also loved going around the State Capitol building, and seeing the Governor’s Mansion. It was cool having that climb leading up to that beautiful landmark.
Donna: The whole atmosphere of the race was great. It was challenging but fun.
KHHM: Donna, you mentioned Frankfort Cemetery. The biggest physical test of the Kentucky History Half Marathon is the nearly half-mile climb up to the cemetery. What’s your advice to those taking on that big hill for the first time?
Donna: My advice for the big hill is to keep moving, just tackle it!
Dawn: Be consistent with your pace going up the hill, so you have energy to maintain.
KHHM: What do you think of the theme of our race? Do you consider yourselves history buffs?
Donna: I don’t know if I’m a history buff, but I love it … and am fascinated by it.
Dawn: I love history, and learning all kinds of new things I never have before. It was great to read all the history behind the racecourse.
KHHM: Do you have any other plans while you’re in Frankfort? Is there any sightseeing or shopping on your itinerary?
Donna: We’ll check out the small shops and a couple of restaurants.
Dawn: I would love to walk around this year. Last year, with the rainy weather, we just made it to get some delicious bourbon balls to go.
KHHM: What would you tell someone who is still on the fence about participating in the race?
Donna: I would say—do the race! It’s fun, friendly and quaint. The shirt and medal are terrific.
Dawn: It’s small, so there is more room to move. It’s low maintenance but a great challenge for a race. If you are UP for it!