My 1988, -89, -90 miniMarathon T-shirts

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Spring is in the air. The birds are chirping, the trees and flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer.

For most, Spring in Louisville, KY brings images of the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby. For this Louisville native, the Derby isn’t my favorite race in the Spring. My favorite race occurs one week before the Derby, the Kentucky Derby Festival mini/Marathon.

The first mini was held in 1974. One hundred and fifty runners crossed the line that year. Today, the mini (13.1 miles) attracts 12,000 runners.  The Marathon (26.2 miles) debuted in 2002. About 3,000 runners sign up for it each year.

This year will mark my 17th KDF miniMarathon.

My first KDF mini was in 1988. I remember being so scared. Can I finish this distance? Have I trained enough? Well, the answers were both “yes”. I finished that race and kept coming back for more.

This event brings many happy memories and stories:

  • Running it with my aunt and uncle, Joan and Joe. It was fun sharing a healthy pastime with them.
  • My dad and his brother, Herman, would drop me off at the start and be there cheering me on at the finish.
  • Modeling the latest running “fashion” at the expo the night before with my best running buddies.
  • Setting a PR (personal record)

So many life events have occurred in the last 31 years, but a constant has been the KDF mini. It is a part of my life, and for me, marks the changing of seasons and the passing of time.

As I prepare to run the mini one more time, I recognzie that my times are slower, and that I will (likely 😉 ) never set a new PR. But I also recognize that my love for running, Spring and The KDF mini have not diminished over time, and that I am very aware and thankful that I can still run.

Donna Giovenco
Donna has 25+ years experience in diabetes nutrition counseling, weight loss, general wellness, and sports nutrition.

3 Thoughts on “KDF mini/Marathon”

  • You can always set a new PR, each one is a PR for a different stage of your life. I have my before/ after Sydney, before Forrest, and after back surgery ones. Wish I was there to run with you this year and chat the time away!

  • You post leaves me anxious to read more! …in the best way. Like more race stories, pics, 😊, how the race & Running in the Ville has changed over the years, running before vs after having kids, your worst KDF experience & best, most inspiring KDF runners you’ve seen…. as you see- I love your blog & writing style!

  • Ahh yes, I remember those days so fondly. So proud of you and your continued commitment to fitness all of these years. Joe would be so proud too. Love you!

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