I've got to admit that I was less that excited to go to Cincinnati to their Flying Pig Marathon last weekend. Cincinnati is a dirty, ugly industrial town . . . or so I thought! What I found was a really nice place! Clean, interesting downtown area. And the area is filled with lots of neat small villages, each with their own unique identity.
Several months ago a small group of RMEC runners decided to go see "pigs fly" at this popular marathon. Little did we know how much we would all love the area and the event! One of my co-workers, Amber Poole, and her significant other, Jon Shingleton, decided that since the group going Amber would try her first marathon and Jon would run his second half marathon. Also going was Ursula Forrester, Eric Pate and Ron Fleming (also doing his first marathon!)
Amber's training had issues! Problems with blisters plus just normal life interruptions brought her to the event with a maximum long run of only 13 miles! But she was determined to do this. And she did! In amazingly good form! I held her back for the first 20+ miles, but in hindsight, she could have done this on her own . . . better and faster!
I loved the course! A quick loop downtown, over for a short loop through Kentucky, the back through downtown and up to the top of the hill surrounding town. Then through village after village, each with it's own personality and charm! Beautiful homes and super friendly people everywhere. My favorite was a village called Mariemount . . . really neat and GREAT fans! I truly considered doing the Mariemont loop again, just to experience the crowds!
Course then looped around and ended up coming up the river back to downtown and the finish.
Amber held back at my semi-insistence. But I really believe she could have run faster without my "help"! Finally, in the last 1.5 miles she ran on . . . leaving me in her dust!
And when we finished we found out that Jon got his PR (this course was significantly more difficult then where he had gotten his previous PR!), Ursula also almost PRed and Ron had finished in a fantastic time for his first marathon. Bottomline: only Eric and I have average days!
This marathon was tons of fun and the Cincinnati community was REALLY supportive. Quite an event and quite an experience. One of my top 5 marathons.
But the very best part was sharing all this with some FANTASTIC friends! Thank you all for letting me share this time with you!
Here are some pictures I took: http://www.flickr.com/photos/triple_f/sets/72157617703077352/