Thursday, May 9, 2013

Race recap: Flying Pig Half Marathon

Flying Pig Half Marathon
May 5, 2013

State: #12 (Ohio)
Half: #33

The weather forecast for race morning wasn't the best.  There was an 85% chance of rain and this is what the weather map looked like before I left my hotel:

slightly ominous, no?
But the temperature was perfect.  It was slightly humid but as the rain got closer that dissipated.  Our hotel was only a 10 min walk from the start line which was right next to Paul Brown Stadium (the football stadium).  Fortunately for me, it did not start raining until after I was done.

Before the start, they had a brief prayer (as someone reminded me, we were in the Midwest), followed by a moment of silence and bagpipes for Boston.  While waiting for the start, I knew the rain wasn't going to stay away for the entire morning.  I grew up on boats and there is an old sailor motto "Red sky at night, sailors delight.  Red sky at morning, sailors warning".  Let me tell you, while the sunrise was pretty - it was RED.  Knew the rain was coming.  The below photo (borrowed from the Flying Pig facebook page) does not do the red justice.

Pretty sunrise, right?
After the bagpipes, they had some brief announcements and then off me went!  The humidity was gone by mile 2 for me which was fortunate.  The first part of the course took us through Kentucky and back into Ohio.  The first 6 miles were pretty flat.  I had looked at the race course and knew there were about 4 miles of hills starting around 6.  And let me tell you - those hills were no joke.  We'd go up, they'd flatten out or go down slightly and then go up again.  I tried not to push it too hard on the hills as I didn't want to die towards the end.

What goes up must come down, right?
Fortunately, just past the 10 mile marker, the elevation went in reverse and gravity gave us some assistance.  My pace definitely picked up for the first downhill mile, but it was pretty steep and I didn't want to risk tripping so I tried to control it.  But mile 12 I really started to pick it up as it was going downhill, but not as steep.  I think I conserved too much in the beginning because my last mile was a 7:48 pace!  The downhill helped, but I still had energy left to push it.  Good to know I can hold that pace (even if it was gravity assisted).

I finished and made my way through the finishers shoot.  It was pretty well organized - heat sheets, medals, water, Gatorade.  Then came the food section.  Holy cow!  I have never seen so much finishers food in my life.  And it was take as much as you wanted.  There was fruit, chips, Powerbars, candy, soup, peanuts and more.  It was awesome!

Some of my finisher's food spread
Following the food, I got my baggage and made my way to cheer for the rest of the girls.  I missed Michelle, but got to see Nicole, Megan and Pam head to the finish!

All in all, I was very impressed by Flying Pig.  The expo was solid and had lots of stuff to check out; the start was organized and well set up; the course provided some challenges but ended on a nice downhill; the finishers food was some of the best I've ever seen.  Plus the medal is super cute!

Of course there is a flying pig on it!
If you are looking for a race in Ohio, I definitely recommend the Flying Pig events.  It takes place during the first weekend of May every year.

Official results: 13.1 miles, 2:03:54, 9:27 pace
Garmin: 13.31 miles, 2:03:55, 9:19 pace

Look at those finishing paces!


  1. I am planning to do this race in 2015, as a part of a back to back weekend with the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on Saturday, and this race on Sunday. 2 states in one weekend. Those hills look pretty rough, but do like the looks of the downhills near the end!

    1. I really enjoyed it as a race - it's really well organized, has a great expo and finisher's area. I heard a lot of other runners talking about the Indy race and had done both. The hills are pretty challenging, but the downhill is nice!