General Discussion Race Reports! » Flying Pig Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Flying Pig Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Cincinatti, Ohio
United States
Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
52F / 11C
Total Time = 4h 12m 17s
Overall Rank = 1626/4030
Age Group = M 50-54
Age Group Rank = 107/249
Pre-race routine:

Eh, where to start?

How about 12 weeks of marathon-specific training in which I ran 579.26 miles, average of 44.56 miles per week; took me 92 hours, 4 minutes and 12 seconds, or 7:04:56 per week, to run those miles...

We got to the airport in Northern Kentucky about 2:30pm Friday, got our rental car and were at the motel about ten minutes later. Nice family-run Super 8 in Fort Mitchell, KY, owners were hard-working and very helpful, motel was clean and reasonably priced. Certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a convenient, affordable place to stay for this race.

Went for quick 2-mile run after we checked in, area was nice but very hilly. Showered and changed clothes, then we went to the expo for packet pickup. Decent enough expo, big enough that we spent a couple hours there. In addition to a cool-max Asics T-shirt, we also got a pre-boxed poster and a pig-logoed messenger bag with our packets.

Dylan was entered in the half marathon; he also entered the Pump-and-Run competition, where wou lift a certain percentage of your weight and they knock 2 minutes off your time for every repetition you bench press. Age group winners of this net time get an award. He managed 28 reps, good enough for "Silver Medal" status, and 56 minutes off his time.

Saturday morning I went for a three-mile run through the same hilly residential area, then, for lack of anything better to do, we drove most of the marathon course. We expected rolling hills but not as many and as severe as what we encountered. Any thoughts of a PR or even a sub-4 race were adjusted downward. After lunch we went to the Cincinnati Zoo, then dinner at Carraba's and to bed.

Race morning, woke around 3:30am, bagels, coffee, showered, dressed, got in car and drove the 10-15 minutes to downtown. Forecast was for 60% rain and, sure enough, there was a steady light drizzle. Parked under an overpass in Lot A (note: Lot D is a lot closer to the finish!), put on our disposable ponchos, and walked to Paul Brown Stadium. The upper level of the stadium was open, giving us a dry place to wait the hour or so for the start with access to restrooms.

Time came to go to the start, and of course my stomach started acting up. Made a final trip to the portapotty, and was in line when the starting gun when off. Took care of business, then got at the back of the pack and waited for it to start moving.

Event warmup:

Kind of a slow-moving shuffle to the start. Got there 12 minutes or so after the gun went off.
  • 4h 12m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 38s  min/mile

Very slow going at the start, took maybe four miles before I could go any faster than the crowd dictated. From Paul Brown Stadium, past Great American Ballpark, then right over the Ohio River toward Kentucky and onto the first of three bridges. These bridges had fairly gentle slopes, the third bridge had probably the longest climb of the three. At this point I'm just letting the crowd and my body set the pace, trying to stay hard/comfortable and not trample any walkers.

Back on the Ohio side, we pass a Butternut Bakery with great fresh-baked bread smells. I follow the lead of several other guys and go between a line of bread trucks to water their wheels. From there, the course takes a right onto 7th Street, goes back through downtown, then up a slight upramp onto Gilbert Street at Mile 6. Garmin has 6.12 miles at this point, I've adjusted the splits accordingly:

Mile Time
1 10:08.5
2 09:38.5
3 09:33.5
4 09:15.5
5 09:36.5
6 09:15.5

At mile 6 the climbing begins, 280 feet of gain over 2.5 miles, 2% average grade that looks like Mount Everest to this flatlander, so I try to crank back on the pace to maintain a consistent effort. The climb almost-but-not-quite peaks at a nice scenic river overlook in Eden Park. It's still a half mile later before you reach the high point of the course in front of a convent. By now my legs are hurting, earliest I can remember in a marathon.

7 09:51.0
8 09:33.0
9 09:26.0

After the climb, the course takes a right on Madison, and the (lucky) half marathoners turn off and head back to the finish. Just after that we pass a nursing home where they had wheeled out about a dozen or so residents to sit out in the drizzle and cold to cheer us on. This was the start of my favorite portion of the course, which I describe as a group of urban villages strung together: O'Bryonville, Hyde Park, Madisonville, Mariemont, Farifax. Seems like each of these neighborhoods had their own personality, downtown districts and tons of spectators.

10 09:05.0
11 09:14.0
12 09:23.0
13 09:41.0
14 09:05.0
15 09:26.0
16 09:22.0
17 09:22.0
18 09:35.0

Do have to comment that at this point the local water, which tasted nasty from the start, was starting to get to me, as was the gatorade which had the consistency of pancake syrup. Every water stop I'd grab a cup of gatorade, water it down with the nasty water and drink. Also during mile 19, digestive system was acting up, forcing a portapotty break. No line, back on the road fairly quickly.

Saw a sign, "Strong and Steady," that became my mantra. Swear I never heard it before in that race but heard it from at least three spectators over the last six miles.

This Columbia/Eastern stretch is described as the most boring as it's wooded and fairly flat, not as many spectators.Pretty uneventful for me as I plodded along.

19 11:39.0
20 09:18.0
21 09:20.0
22 09:33.0

After Mile 22 you hit Riverside Drive, a three-mile stretch along the Ohio, mixed neighborhoods that lead back to downtown. Here I started to fatigue, walked through the waterstops but maintained my pace in between.Still hurt like I did back at Mile 9, but no more than that.

23 09:51.0
24 09:40.0
25 09:37.0
26 09:36.0
0.37 03:13.0 (8:37 pace)

Riverside turns to Pete Rose Way about a mile from the finish swine. They put a timing mat out there and (I found out later)give awards for the fastest last mile. My mile time was a blazing 9:21. True to its nature, the course is hilly right up to the end. It's a long straight stretch to the finish but you can't see it until you're a block away because you're running uphill. Crowds were great and noisy over that last mile or so.

What would you do differently?:

Train more on hills, pick a flatter course, lose more weight so I don't have as much bear butt to carry uphill.

Given the challenge of the course, I'm happy with the results, only 17 minutes slower than PR and had a lot of fun. Oh, and finished my first marathon in 30 months, 15th in 14 states.

Not quite equal splits, but close. The second half took 2:06 longer than the first half, most of that was in the Mile 19 portapotty ;^). Comes out to 49.73%/50.27%.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through a longish "Recovery Area" where they had plenty to drink, then chips, oranges and bananas, yogurt and other goodies. Got toward the end and felt my legs going out, so grabbed a couple of ding-dongs and a water and collapsed in a folding chair. After about fifteen minutes, I got enough strength back to call Angel, found she was trucking in from Mile 20, so I decided to hang aroung the finish line and wait. Called Dylan, he eventually called me back as he was sleeping in the car.

Left recovery and went to the "Victory Party" where they had a decent band playing. Walked around, looked at the booths that were set up there, browsed the finisher's gear, and eventually found a bench where I guess I took a little nap.

Checked on Angel's progress when I got up, found she was only a couple miles away, so made my way to the finish swine. Legs felt much better and I was able to easily navigate several flights of stairs up and down to get there. After she finished, we walked together through the recovery area, then at least two miles to the car. From there we went straight to Chipotle.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Good, well-organized race, over 15,000 runners (4,030 marathoners, 8,587 in the half, and 2,472 in the relay), events went off on time, plenty of enthusiastic volunteers and spectators, waterstops and entertainment every mile.

Too crowded at the start, nasty-tasting water, waterstops need specific instructions on how to mix the Gatorade concentrate.And kind of hilly.

All in all, a great race. Highly recommended.

Oh, and Dylan won his age group in the Pump-and-Run!

Last updated: 2009-02-14 12:00 AM
04:12:17 | 26.2 miles | 09m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 107/249
Overall: 1626/4030
Performance: Average
HR data:
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-05-06 2:24 PM

User image

Resident Curmudgeon
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: Flying Pig Marathon
3105 JohnHebertM50541626107/2491172/23911:06:141:54:532:05:283:09:194:02:564:12:179:38


Edited by the bear 2009-05-06 2:27 PM

2009-05-06 2:25 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Great report!   Welcome back to marathons!!!!
2009-05-06 2:37 PM
in reply to: #2134617

User image

Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Congrats on adding another state!

It is supposed to be one of the best finishers medals out there.  My boss has done it one or two times.
2009-05-06 4:57 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Queen BTich
Gold member
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Great job!

That is funny, I remember the water being nasty last year too, so I tried to drink as much Gatorade as possible. Overall, I thought it was a well run race and with tons of community support.

Was the choir, or men's group at the Eden Park overlook?  I loved that part of the race as well. Not the hills by the Botanical Gardent though.

"Finish swine," funny.
2009-05-06 5:33 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Nice job knocking down state 14. Congrats!
2009-05-06 5:39 PM
in reply to: #2134612

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon

Looking good there, bear!

Way to go, Dylan, too!

But, were there really any flying pigs?

Edited by 1stTimeTri 2009-05-06 5:39 PM

2009-05-07 9:18 AM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Glad you enjoyed our marathon, Bear. Hey, I was at the zoo Saturday too with my family. The hills at the zoo could have been a good preview of the marathon course.

2009-05-07 9:18 AM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

North Alabama
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Congrats on the finish. Way to go at it and push through.
2009-05-07 12:19 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Surprise, Arizona
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon

Congratulations on a good race on a tough course.  The hills are deceptive, and they really catch up to you by the Eden Park stretch.  Hope you had a good time in Cincy, where I grew up.  Reading your RR brought back memories for me - I did the 1/2 last year and thought it was one of the more enjoyable events I had done.  Way to go with knocking out anoher state!!

2009-05-07 7:53 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Calgary, Alberta
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Congratulations Bear.
2009-05-07 8:41 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Props to the Bear!

Another Marathon in the books and another state done.

Rock on.

2009-05-07 10:42 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Ah, the hills of Cincinnati...I know them well (lots of family there)!  Congrats on a good time on what I know had to be a rolling course at its flattest.
2009-05-08 9:56 AM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon

nice job, I was impressed with the splits for the later miles.  Pretty consistent.

2009-05-08 10:40 AM
in reply to: #2134612

Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon

Great job, The Bear My ex-boyfriend is from Cincy - he did the Flying Pig a few years ago as his second marathon ever and had a blast! If I end up liking Marine Corps, perhaps I will add it to my list.

2009-05-08 6:35 PM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Wow, AWESOME!!  Hope I can get there one day.  A marathon seems so far to me right now. . .
2009-05-14 11:22 AM
in reply to: #2134612

User image

Resident Curmudgeon
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: RE: Flying Pig Marathon
Found a good image of the elevation profile at In hindsight, "severe" is probably the wrong word, "constant and neverending" might be a better description. Nothing too steep, but you were always climbing or descending and there were very few flat portions.

(Flying Pig Elevation.JPG)

Flying Pig Elevation.JPG (19KB - 26 downloads)

General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Flying Pig Marathon Rss Feed