|Half Marathon State # 10
Half Marathon #20
On Sunday, May 03, 2015, I ran in the 17th Annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon. It was reported that it was a record Flying Pig weekend, as 37,770 registered for events during the three days. This was the second leg of a back to back half marathon weekend, as I did the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon the day prior to accomplished two states in one weekend toward my 50 By 50 Challenge. Because of the back to back races, my only goal for the race was to finish in under two hours.
The weather for the race was a little cooler than the race before. It was around 46 degrees at the start and increased to around 53 degrees at the finish. The humidity was at 100% with little to no wind.
The morning started really early. Our friends we stayed with live about 35 minutes outside of Cincinnati. It was awesome we had him, because he was able to navigate the traffic on race morning, and take back roads to get us to the parking. Because the race start was at 6:30a, we had to get up around 3:45a. We had prearranged carpool parking which was close to the start, which was great. However, after the finish it was a 20-30 minute walk back to the car (could have taken a shuttle).
I was in Corral C for the race. That made it easy since I was in Corral C for Saturday’s race in Indianapolis also.
I arranged a meetup for our Fifty States Half Marathon Club at 5:45a prior to the race. It was a great turnout. We even had Jim all decked out in the pig outfit.
Now, on to the race. The starting area was easily organized and easy to maneuver through the crowds.
The start was really neat since I am a pyrotechnician. They had fireworks and flame effects for each corral start.
What a demanding course! Before we go through the course, let’s discuss the route and elevation. Here is a course map and the elevation chart. Wow, now that was some hills. This was probably my most challenging half marathon to date with the hills. I trained for them on the bridge we have (only hills we have in Charleston, SC), but that did not do it justice. There are some serious hills from miles 5.5 to 9.5. After that, it is a 3 mile downhill glide to the finish.
As a sports junkie, the first mile of the race was really neat as you ran past the Cincinnati Bengals Stadium, and the Great America Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds MLB team.
Paul Brown Stadium
Great America Ballpark – Cincinnati Reds (Home of the 2015 MLB All Star Game)
Following the sports venues, you loop around and head over a neat looking bridge and cross over into Kentucky for about a mile.
After about a mile in Kentucky, you return over another bridge back into Ohio. You can see Paul Brown Stadium again, so really to this point, you have made about a 3.5 mile loop.
After you come off the bridge, you run through the city a little more, and then about mile 6.5 you are greeted with the hills. You wind yourself up vertically through the hills for about 3 to 4 miles until you reach the top. Well, the top was worth it, what an awesome view of the city when you got there.
After the mountain top experience, it is pretty much all downhill from here. 3.5 downhill miles to success. It really helps if you were not happy with your times on the uphill, you can make up some here for a great finish.
Now while I was out running, my friend Chris and my wife went up to his office in one of the skyscrapers in Cincinnati. From there they had some awesome views of the city, ballpark, and us runners (we looked like ants).
Along the route, like most races you see many dogs on leashes as people come out to see the race and cheer the runners on. Well as I was running, I glanced in the crowds because I saw a leash, and I am a sucker for dogs. Well to my surprise, it was not a dog on a leash but a pig. I had to slow up and do a double take to process what I was seeing, or was I blacking out? It was in fact a pig! I did not get a picture on the course, but my wife was able to get these near the finish line of the “guy and his pig.”
The Finish Line, or Finish “Swine” as they called it was about 3/4 of a mile from our starting point, near the US Bank Arena.
After going through the finisher chute and getting my medal, you then proceed through the finish area, like most races, to get post race snacks. Well this one took the cake. We got so much stuff, I had to fold out my mylar sheet they gave us to hold it all. We got water, gatorade, yogurt, fruit cups, power bars, cliff bars, bananas, apples, gel samples, crackers, cookies, etc. The only thing we did not get was “Chocolate Milk.” That is the only complaint I had, there was no chocolate milk at the finish.
For all the hills and this being my second half marathon in as many days I was impressed with my time. I ran a 1:56:06 for this race at a 8:52 pace.
Here was the race medal and bib from this race. You can also view the standalone medal on the Ohio Medal Page.
Here is the Medals & Bibs for both races for this weekend.
Because I was doing the two half marathons in two days, going to the expos would have made for a logistical nightmare. Thanks to our friends we stayed with in Cincinnati, they braved the beast and went to the expo for us, so we could go from Indianapolis, straight to their house, then dinner! When we got to the house and they gave me the packet, wow the stuff they provided. Along with the race bib & tech shirt, we got a neat poster and a book sack (not your normal drawstring bag you get at most races).
I wanted to quickly cover our post race lunch before discussing the cupcake store visit, because it was in a famous locale. We had lunch at The Blackhorse Tavern at The Golden Lamb Hotel in Lebanon, Ohio. Presidents have stayed and given speeches on the lawn of this hotel. It is the oldest business in the state of Ohio dating back to 1803. Check out the plates, it was awesome. The waiter tried to make sweet tea for us, it was ok. I told him nice start, more sugar!
Now typically this is where I review a specialty cupcake place in the town where I run the race. Cupcake Crazy was actually a co-sponsor for the Cincinnati Flying Pig race weekend. So what better establishment to support than them, since they supported us runners. Well after lunch we headed in their store direction. When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw some work being done to the front of the store. When we got out, we realized it was the owner, and he was replacing some windows with plywood. He noticed that I had run that morning, thanked us, then dropped the bad news. No cupcakes. While they were out at the race, someone broke into the cupcake store! WHO BREAKS INTO A CUPCAKE STORE???? Needless to say we did not get cupcakes in Cincinnati. Bummer!
So this concludes my back to back race weekend in Indiana and Ohio to cross two more states off my 50 By 50 Challenge. This makes the 10th state I have completed, and my 20th half marathon. Next up will be another back to back weekend in October, when I do the Baltimore Half Marathon (Maryland) and the Hershey Half Marathon (Pennsylvania).