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Flying Pig Marathon–May 5, 2013 by Don Manfria

The Flying Pig Marathon recap:

It all started back in October when I was looking for a spring marathon with a good atmosphere. So after pulling out back issues of Runners World I settled on this one. After speaking to a bunch of people at Fleet Feet runs about 10 us decided to make the trip. The ERC group included Craig Van Doren, Paula Fields Fields,Pia and Ryen LoPresti and myself . From Fleet Feet was Stacy Marcus, Jon Alaya, Roselyn Bedoya, Tim and Mary Panebianco.

The race was all it was cracked up to be what a great weekend it was too. The expo was one of they better ones I have been to, the main sponsor P&G did a great job. The race organizers did neat things that were cool. Every mile was a water stop but 12 of them were handled by local groups. After the race,  runners were given a ticket to place in box assigned to each water stop and the best water stop was given a size able donation by the race organizers. Two notable ones were local Boy Scout troop (mile 20) and all volunteers were dressed as the “Blues Brothers” complete with music, and the Parrot Heads at (mile 18) a Jimmy Buffet themed water stop with gatorade, water or coconut water. There was a section that went through an Industrial area so they bussed in 4 bus load of cheer groups. But my favorite spot was when we ran past a senior care facility and a lot of the residents were out on the lawn cheering “We can’t do it but you can run,run,run”

The race started with a moment of silence for the people killed in Boston and that lead right into a bag piper playing Amazing Grace. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the pig pens (their name for the corrals). We started out between Paul Brown Stadium and The Great American Ball Park,and after running through the city we headed into Kentucky (the home of drive through liquor stores) for 3 miles. Coming back into Cincinnati, this is where the fun begins. Here we start a climb that lasted for about 5 miles then after that it had a few rolling sections. Craig Van Doren had put together some great routes for our 3 20 mile training runs that included many hills. But unfortunately not like this. Snake Hill or Mt. Hebron are steep but short. In Cincinnati the hills just seemed to keep climbing. I ran with the 4 hour pace group and the pace leaders did a great job pacing us and trying to explain strategies that they had for the group. For me things were going well till bout 18.5 miles, on another hill climb when, BAM my calves said “where do you think you are going!” I stopped and moved over to side and started to stretch. After about 2 minutes I started to run again when my brain “said you can do this” and my legs told my brain “don’t write checks that your legs won’t cash.”  So after walking for a while I tried to mix some walking with jogging by mile 22 with all hopes of beating my PR of 4:09 gone, I rallied a little and when the 4:20 pace group (read into that whatever you wish) caught me and I was able to run a respectable 19 minutes with them in sight for next 2 miles. That was a quick high (sorry couldn’t resist that pun) until my legs told my brain ” that’s it from here on out we are calling the shots” so I was back to a jog, walk routine to cross the finish swine in 4:36:35. If this was any other marathon I would have been really ticked off but with all the local support and great planning and execution it was a great experience. So if you want a marathon that mimics NYC in term of crowd support and atmosphere, and don’t mind a few hills you have got to run the flying pig.

Results
Ryen LoPresti 3;12;36
Pia LoPresti 3:44:18
Craig Van Doren 3:50:11
Stacy Marcus 3:57:45 (1st time under 4 hrs and a PR)
Jon Alaya 4:18:50
Roselynn Bedoya 4:18:50
Don Manfria 4: 36:35
Tim Panebianco 5:11:05
Mary Rose DiBiano 5:11:05
Paula Fields 7:08:09 (1st Marathon)

 

 

 

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NYC Marathon Bus

NYC Marathon Bus

Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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