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a5mowat REPEAT RUNNER '17

This was my first year running the 3-way challenge and my third time running the Flying Pig Half Marathon. I keep coming back to this race because it is so … MORE

This was my first year running the 3-way challenge and my third time running the Flying Pig Half Marathon. I keep coming back to this race because it is so well run and so much fun. I hope to eventually run the full marathon.

Expo:
I went to the expo around lunch time on Friday. It was quite busy at that time but you were still able to move around the vendor booths. The expo is huge with a lot of different vendors to browse. The packets were at the entrance (I personally had 4 packets with the 3-way challenge and the Little Kings Mile) with the shirts and other items at the back of the expo. With the 3-way challenge you received a plaque to hang the medals from the races, a race shirt for each race (5k and 10k shirts cotton and half marathon tech tee), a backpack, a poster, and a 13.1 magnet. Great amenities and plenty of freebies from the vendors (particularly P&G) at the expo.

10k
This was my first year running any of the Saturday races. The 10k was the first race and I went in deciding to go for a PR. The 10k started similar to the half marathon going across to Kentucky and running through Covington and then back to Ohio to finish. I loved the course. It has 3 water stops with Gatorade (I didn’t take the first stop) and had 3 food stops (cookies, pretzels, and candied oranges). I don’t take food while running but it was nice to see all of the volunteers along the course. Plenty of crowd support and the hills on the bridges kept the course challenging. I did get my PR by a minute so that makes it much sweeter. Finish area had a few snacks as well as water and Gatorade.

5k
The 5k race route was very similar to the last half of the 10k and it is common in these 5k and 10k double events to share courses. I ran the 5k with my dad so I took it at a slower pace than I typically race a 5k. We started in corral D which was middle of the pack. The 5k definitely had a lot more families running and a lot more walkers. It definitely had more of a family fun run atmosphere than the 10k earlier. The last 2 miles of the course were the same as the 10k and included 1 water/Gatorade stop and 2 food stations (pretzels and candied oranges). Finish area had fewer snacks than the 10k but still had your fluids (I know my mom wished there were bananas though). I had fun but I definitely enjoyed the 10k race more.

Half Marathon
The race that keeps bringing me back! We took advantage of the free carpool parking offered by the race which parked us close to the start area. Gear check was easy, just find the bus with your bib number and there were a lot of port-a-johns by the gear check with short lines. I’ve learned my lesson not to use the restroom in the corral since those lines are super long. There is a ton of energy at the start from the other runners. The course is hilly. With running on Saturday my quads were feeling the hill on miles 7-9. There were plenty of water/Gatorade stops (I believe there were 11 on the half marathon) and lots of snack stops along the course. Plenty of crowd support (cheers to the guy motivating us to “get the F up the hill”!) and a large enough race where you are always running around other people. The last 3 miles of the half are downhill and flat making a great end to the race. I did my best time this year for this race.

Overall I will definitely be returning to the Flying Pig. I will definitely consider doing the 3-way challenge again and I hope to do the full marathon some day (I am planning to run my first marathon in October!).

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '16

I ran the Kentucky Derby Marathon Saturday and the Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday making it a double weekend, but it was worth it. The Flying Pig was one of … MORE

I ran the Kentucky Derby Marathon Saturday and the Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday making it a double weekend, but it was worth it. The Flying Pig was one of the best city marathons I have run. The start is by Paul Brown Stadium which was very cool. I stayed downtown and it was easy walking distance. The finish isn’t far away, at the Cincinnati Reds baseball park, right down the street, so again, easy walking distance back to downtown hotels. The expo is also downtown at the Duke Energy convention center and it was great. TONS of vendors and great swag! Fun shirt (the logo this year was awesome!), plus a poster, plus a nice gym/duffle bag. Logistically, this is a pretty easy race on all fronts. Stay downtown, or even right across the river in Kentucky and you can walk everywhere.

The race start was well organized with corrals (pig pens). The course is really great. There are numerous hills, but it’s kind of known for that. Cincinnati really seems like a cool city – we ran across a few bridges, through the city, by the river, next to parks, and ultimately ended up back downtown. Really scenic for a city marathon. The crowds were fantastic too. It’s not Chicago, but I swear it was just as good – they were enthusiastic the whole way. Great volunteers and 25 (!!) stocked aid stations. There was plenty of water and Gatorade, plus chews, and stations giving out bacon, fig newtons (pig newtons), twizzlers, chips, peppermint patties (pig mints), beer, cold wet towels, Swedish fish…and much more. No need to carry your own water as there is plenty of support along the way. It got hotter and sunnier than any of us expected (initially called for rain, then storms, then just overcast…don’t know where that sun came from!) so people brought out hoses to spray runners. It never felt too bad because it was a 6:30 start, so you’re done fairly early in the day.

The finish line (actually the Finish Swine) was festive and the medal was really cool. I LOVE how this city and race embrace the logo and name – everything is pig-centric and fun. They did an absolutely wonderful job organizing this event and made it so simple for runners to enjoy the actual run and not sweat the logistics. Highly recommend the Pig!!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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