Man, woman set to 'Race Across America'

Amy Preskitt and Donnie Dow walk on treadmills at the Levitow Fitness Center Tuesday. Preskitt and Dow are the first participants in the Race Across America fitness event to reach the 500-mile mark. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Jacob Corbin)

Amy Preskitt and Donnie Dow walk on treadmills at the Levitow Fitness Center Tuesday. Preskitt and Dow are the first participants in the Race Across America fitness event to reach the 500-mile mark. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Jacob Corbin)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Amy Preskitt, a fuels apprentice instructor with the 366th Training Squadron, and retired Master Sgt. Donnie Dow have surpassed the 500-mile mark in the fitness center's Race Across America program. 

Preskitt is "midway" through the state of Arizona with 522.67 miles and Dow is approaching the Great Salt Lake in Utah with a total of 660.21 miles. 

The Race Across America is a program offered by the fitness centers that tracks a participants journey while exercising either outdoors or at the gym. 

Anyone can join the race to walk, jog or even run the width of the United States. 

Each runner had their own varied reasons for wanting to race across America, Preskitt wanted to cut down her run time for her PT test. 

"I got a 92 on my last test," Preskitt said. "That's ten points higher than last time." 

On the other hand, Dow said that it gives him something to focus on during his retirement. 

"It's like having another job," Dow said. 

Finding the time to make a cross-country journey isn't something that seems to bother either of them. 

"I run five or six days a week," Preskitt said. "I started out walking my dog in the mornings, but had to begin leaving him at home as I out ran him." 

While an ankle injury prevents Dow from running daily, he does take the time to walk, he said. 

"I want to stay healthy and live longer," the 71-year-old Dow said. "I don't want to just sit around the house, people my age hardly move around." 

Preskitt also wants to stay healthy, not just now, but in the future as well. 

"I want to be active when I retire to be able to keep up with my kids," she said. "Walking doesn't take much, but it helps you be healthier and live longer." 

Those who want to travel by foot from the west to east coasts shouldn't be discouraged, Preskitt said that you don't even realize how much you're doing. 

"You can add steps to your day easily," Preskitt said. "By increasing the steps you take, you're improving your health." 

Dow and Preskitt said that the greatest tip they could offer would be to purchase a good quality pedometer to measure the distance you walk. 

"A pedometer can really motivate you," Preskitt said. "You don't realize how much you're doing everyday." 

Both of them plan on continuing, and hopefully finishing, their journey. 

Dow said he's going to keep going as long as he can last.
Preskitt said now that she's started, she's become almost addicted to it. She'll start out walking somewhere, but end up jogging by the time she's done. 

Also, she wouldn't mind being able to say she'd walked the length of the United States. 

"I think it'd be neat to say I walked across America," Preskitt said.