It’s been a long two weeks of traveling, but I’m glad to be telling you about my experience The Flying Pig Marathon. If you’ve been a long time reader, you might remember I attempted Flying Pig three years ago but switched to the half because I found out I was pregnant. I went back to claim my marathon that I missed three years ago. I don’t want to bury the lead. I had a FABULOUS time at the Flying Pig marathon.
Flying Pig is a race weekend for everyone. There are toddler races to big kids; there’s a one-miler, a run for dogs, a 5k, 10k, marathon relay, half marathon, and marathon. Everyone can enjoy this great weekend of running events. Plus, this is the first race expo I’ve been to this big in a long time. There were many vendors, and you could buy lots of cool things.
There was one thing I wanted to do while in Cincinnati/Kentucky. Let me be real; I needed to go to the Hofbrahaus to enjoy this gigantic beer and eat pretzels and a brat. Pregnancy stopped me from having all those things before, so this time I wanted to enjoy it all. I lived my best life in the Hofbrahaus. The sauerkraut may have been a little too sweet for me, but it still tasted delicious.
Let’s talk about the races:
Flying Pig offers a challenge: the 3-way (10k, 5k, and half marathon) or the 4-way (10k, 5k, and marathon). I’m a sucker for a challenge, so I decided to take it on. This is the hardest 10K I’ve ever run. The HILLS were disrespectful, and I felt like I was dragging. I didn’t want to take it too fast because my main goal of the weekend was the marathon. Running 9.3 miles before a marathon may not have been the best idea, but I needed to take on the challenge. I ran the 10k in 1 hour and 17 minutes. That isn’t too far off my current 10K time.
After the 10K it was time to run the 5K. After the 10k, I was a bit tired and couldn’t decide if I was going to run the 5k or walk it. I didn’t know if the time on my feet or using actual effort would hurt me more for the marathon. I did a slog and finished the 5k 39:52 which is far off my regular time, but I needed to pace myself for the marathon the next day.
Marathon morning had a glitch. For some reason, my phone decided to switch back to the central time zone in the middle of the night. I almost missed the race. Thank goodness my running watch didn’t change, and I was able to make it to the start line just as the first corral hit the streets. Everything was rushed because when I realized the time was wrong, I hadn’t eaten yet. We walked to the corrals as I shoved raisin bread in my mouth.
I also think my race number was a bad omen. The night before I was making a video and I pulled my race number out and it 6660. It upset me to see that, but I tried to take in stride, but I knew something was going to go wrong. Thankfully, it wasn’t me not finishing the marathon. In the end, I made it on time and started my race. At that moment, I decided any goal was not as crucial as finishing the race upright and within the time limit.
The first half of the race was very hilly. It was tough. The hills kept going up and up. We ran from Cincinnati over the bridge into Kentucky and back through Cincinnati. The crowd support for the race was amazing.
We ran with the half marathon course until mile 8, and then we split off on our own. Usually, this is when crowd support ends, but not at this race. It was nice to see the city come out to support. Those are the best kinds of races. Let’s say; I made a few character stops along the course. Sometimes I have to give in and have fun. It makes the time pass faster.
I finished the marathon in 6:08:04. At the time, I thought I finished at the same time in my December marathon, but now I know this was 5 minutes faster than before. The Flying Pig course is a hard marathon. I am beyond PROUD that I improved my current marathon time by so much. I am thankful to my running coach for telling me I can do hard things because I kept that in my mind the entire time. Everyone on course commented on how positive I was the whole time which made me feel like I was doing it right. I may not win the race, but I put in the time and effort to cross that finish line just like everyone else.
What I learned from the Flying Pig Marathon:
Don’t run a Flying Pig challenge if you have a serious marathon goal. This course is hard. The challenge is for fun and puts some serious miles on your legs. I think it’s a great incentive to run the races. You should have a weekend goal instead of a marathon race goal if you decide on the challenge.
Flying Pig is a party. Embrace the party. There are bacon stations, popsicles, cookie stations, and alcohol on course. Take what you want and leave the rest for others to enjoy. I ate a few popsicles.
Take the time to enjoy the after party. I know everyone is tired and it’s hard to want to do anything after running. Flying Pig has a great after party with beer and vendors right on the river. It’s a great place to get a post-race photo.
Flying Pig is a must run race for any distance that you choose. I recommend doing the challenge and getting all the medals. Have fun with the weekend and stay downtown if you can. It’s much easier to enjoy everything.
Do you want to run Flying Pig next year?