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The Flying Pig Half-Marathon

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Last weekend it was off to Cincinnati, Ohio for a guys weekend which included brewery tours, a Reds game, German food delights and a half-marathon known as The Flying Pig. I have always heard a lot of tell about The Flying Pig so was excited when my friend Matt and I were able to parlay our annual guy’s weekend with three other buds into running the half-marathon at The Flying Pig.

The race takes place bright and early on Sunday morning with a starting time of 6:30 AM. The weekend features a number of other races including a 10k and a 5k along with the half-marathon and marathon events being held on Sunday. Notably this year, the 10k race featured Olympian Ryan Hall streaking to a first place finish and besting the course record. Hall did not run the half or full marathon on Sunday, so I bested him in the half-marathon. Matt and I took a Saturday morning 4.5 mile training run over to the 10k course and were able to catch Hall at the start, around the mile 5 marker and coming into the finish line. It was pretty awesome to be able to see a running legend!

The expo took place throughout the weekend and we opted to pick up our number and hit the expo on Saturday morning. An impressive selection of racing vendors, upcoming road races and more were present at the expo and the flow of the event was perfect. A rather impressive expo by most standards.

Sunday morning Matt and I made the hike from our hotel on the Covington, Kentucky side of the river across the bridge to the starting line on the Cincinnati side. A corral setup was present and allowed racers to slot themselves accordingly. Security was noticably present and gave runners a feeling that safety was a key priority of this race.

Once the starting gun went off, Matt and I were out onto the course and stuck together for about the first 8 miles or so. The race took runners across another bridge back into Kentucky and then across another older bridge back into Ohio. Our buddy Nick struggled to wake himself up and saw us around the 3 mile mark or so. Matt and I ran a fast first couple of miles and were at a pace that was at times faster than either of us had expected given a lack of sleep, an abundance of chowing and a couple of wobbly pops over the course of the weekend. Matt and I split around mile 8 or so as my legs began to feel a little rubbery coming off of the Boston Marathon just two weeks prior.

What was amazing about the course was the amount of fan support along the way. The half-marathon route was jam packed with people and musicians, bands and other performers added to the overall experience of the race. The water stops were sponsored by different groups and runners had to vote on which water stop they thought was the best after the race was over.

Cincinnati is a rather hilly city and the course for the half-marathon definitely did not disappoint when it came to hills. There seemed to be a lot of climbing up until the point of around Mile 10 when all of the climbing elevation seemed to dump into a nice downhill stretch that was fast and furious. Water was available through the entire race, as was Gatorade, but my favorite station was just past the Mile 11 marker where volunteers were handing out Swedish fish! Mile 12 brought runners back into the downtown area and the band there was blasting Fleetwood Mac which got the mojo flowing again and lit a fire for the last mile or so. The final mile headed back toward the waterfront and down toward Great American Ballpark where again fans lined the route and cheered you into the finish line.

I finished The Flying Pig Half-Marathon with a time of 1:54:58, good for 8:48/miles. Thanks to the fine people of Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio for being gracious hosts and for putting on one heck of a run!

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