Showing posts with label FlyingPig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FlyingPig. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Flying Pig Half Marathon

I'm a Flying Pig!

I finally ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon and I dragged my husband along with me! We arrived in Cincinnati on Friday evening and met up with family and friends for dinner. The weather was gorgeous  and the Flying Pig weekend festivities had already begun. 

After breakfast at a great downtown restaurant called First Watch, we spent Saturday morning at the Expo. They had an interesting zig-zag layout that steered you through all of the booths to get to the race shirt pick-up. At first we didn't mind this layout, but when we wanted to make our way back to something, it was difficult to move against the sea of people and took way too much time. After running with his water bottle for the last two years, I finally met Simple Hydration designer Brian and hung out at his booth for a bit.

The race had an early start of 6:30, but fortunately we were only a couple of blocks from the start line at the Millennium Hotel. We didn't have our normal pre-race breakfast, so we substituted bagels from the hotel cafe. I could only eat half because I was so excited to get going. The weather was predicted to be 50+ so I was comfortable selecting a Nike racerback and running skirt. I also chose my Flying Pig Sassy Bands and Mizuno Wave Creation 14s. After mixing up some Nuun (I forgot to pack the Cytomax) and packing some post-race clothes in my gear bag, we were on our way.

We walked the few blocks to the starting line and located the not-so-easy to find gear bag busses. By then the sun was beginning to rise over the city. We took a few minutes to stretch before entering our corral.

For nine weeks I had been preparing my husband to run his 3rd half marathon. We planned to take it easy in the beginning, manage the two+ mile uphill into Eden Park, and then cruise to the finish.

Running with my husband was easy. The first six miles over the river into Newport, across Covington, and back through Cincy's west side was manageable for us. The hard part for me was dealing with three port-a-potty stops. I guess he forgot to reduce his fluid intake!

We knew the tough part of the course would begin at about mile 7 as we started the 280 foot climb into Eden Park. When I saw the Elsinore Castle, I knew it was time to dig deep.

The good part about the climb was that it leveled off a little in places, like Mirror Lake. This was one of the picturesque views along the course.

The pain of the next part of the climb was lessened just a little by the appearance of Elvis near the Krohn Conservatory. We saw crazy, fun stuff like this all along the course.

After making our way out of the park and through some rolling hills, we started the cruise to the finish line. The downhill view of the city and descent helped increase our pace.

The last .20 of the course was a straight away lined with cheering spectators all the way to the finish. After crossing the finish line in 2:17:03 (PR for hubs!), we made our way through the finisher's corral where we received our medal and more food than I have ever seen at a race. It was awesome! Just minutes after exiting the corral, a light rain began. I was grateful that I packed some extra clothes in my gear check bag. Thanks to the Flying Pig tracker app, my mom was right there waiting for us. We walked around for a bit, got a quick massage, and then decided to head to the hotel to get dry.

I loved this race. It was challenging, but tons of fun. There were more bands/music on the course than the Rock-n-Roll events I have done. The cheer zones and fluid stations were filled with rowdy, happy people. The entire weekend was packed full of events going on downtown including the Expo, 5K, 10K, full marathon, relays, kids races, a family festival, and fireworks. Participants received awesome swag before and after the race: tech tee, poster, cooler, and finisher's certificate.

We had been warned about THE hill leading into Eden Park and more importantly the downhill that followed. Day three post-race my quads are finally starting to recover.

This race is only 15 years old, but attracts over 33, 000 runners to it's weekend events that sell-out. There were more than 100 people who participated in the full marathon for the 15th year in a row - The Streakers! I hope to run this half marathon again too!