Kharkiv Marathon – 2018

Karen Kramer and I had the unique opportunity to mix two of our loves, the city of Cincinnati and a Marathon in our sister city, Kharkiv, Ukraine. About a year ago, when this idea was presented to us, Karen jumped at the chance; she has over 100 marathons under her belt and was ready for a unique experience in a city not on most marathoner’s radar. I, on the other hand, thought my marathon days were over until I saw this invitation. My family hosted a student from Ukraine in 1995 and I still had ties with him and others in Ukraine. So, I starting training.

Kharkiv sent several runners to the 2017 Flying Pig. As a result of their exceptional trip here, the Kharkiv marathon director thought it would be an excellent idea to have people from Cincinnati run in their marathon the following year. I am so glad Karen and I said yes.

Most importantly we got to know the amazing people of Kharkiv. The generosity of time these new friends gave us during our stay was nothing short of spectacular. Just as we love our city, they, too, love theirs and wanted to share all it has to offer. On April 29th Kharkiv closed its streets to hold its 5th Marathon. We had the good fortune of meeting people from some of Kharkiv’s other sister cities. If you have ever thought about doing a race outside the US and want to share a little about Cincinnati do not hesitate to sign up for Kharkiv’s 6th International Marathon.

– Mary Beth Donelan

Kharkiv Marathon 2018