Last weekend I was back in Cincinnati for the Flying Pig Marathon weekend. I was coming off an injury and not sure if I was going to be able to run all the races I had registered for, but I did! I did the Little Kings Mile on Friday night and both the 10K at 8a on Saturday followed by the 5K at 10a.
I went to the expo early on Friday to pick up my bibs, etc. with my parents. It was total chaos in the Millennium Hotel where we picked up our packets, but the expo was a little less so.
I enjoyed browsing the various booths and picked up a few new things including a special Sweaty Band. I should have grabbed more that were Cincinnati-Flying Pig themed, but one only has so much money. I had also hoped they would have had the sorority bands available for purchase, but they didn't. However, I spoke to someone they gave me a business card and told me to email them for free shipping. Win!
There were a ton of vendors and several races had booths as well. I enjoyed getting a sneak peak at the medal for the Air Force Marathon. I am running the 5K and the half that weekend and they had the medal for the marathon on display; the 5K and half medals are same design, just smaller. The Queen Bee Half also had a booth and I managed to snag a few goodies (lip balm, mirror, and chocolates) from them. I'm really looking forward to coming back to Cincinnati to run that in October. I swear I need an extra set of legs and a money tree to run all these races I am interested in.
Along the way, I managed to get this photo op with Jimmy Hart. Yea, I'm at a race expo, and I take advantage of a photo op with a WWF legend. Go figure.
Two friends came down from Dayton to run with me - the 1 mile on Friday night and the 5K on Saturday. Obviously they were not as insane as I was to do two races in the same day.
We checked into our hotel and browsed the expo together before heading down to catch the shuttle bus to the starting line.
This race started up in Over The Rhine and was a downhill course ending at The Banks. I was a little nervous as it was my first time running in 2 weeks since my ortho shut me down due to achilles tendonitis. However, I taped myself up and felt good.
I wasn't as fast I would have liked, but I finished (12:14) and earned my first medal of the weekend. It's a big honking medal too. Next year I want to make sure I get back for all three races in the Moerlein Beer Series and earn Brew Hog status.
On Saturday morning, I got up earlier than my friends since I was running the 10K that went off at 8a. I found my way down to the start and found my corral (or pigpen as they call them during this event). I actually dropped back into a later corral since I wasn't sure I'd be able to maintain the pace I stated when I registered.
I ran the 10K with Olympian Ryan Hall - although just a little bit slower, finishing in 1:32:19. Having lived in Cincinnati, I was aware that there were hills, but living on the Jersey Shore now, I wasn't ready for them. The approach to the Clay Wade Bailey back into Ohio seemed like it was never going to end. When I turned from 3rd Street to Broadway and saw that incline I screamed, "Cincinnati, I hate your hills!" and got a few laughs from others around me.
My mom and step-dad came down to cheer me on during the race and mom had her cowbell which she rang for me. They met me at the finish line and I handed off my shirt and medal to them and went back up to the start line of the 5K to meet my friends.
I had about 25 minutes between races and I was glad it wasn't more. I connected with my girl friend and we started out together, but as we turned onto 3rd Street, I told her to go on without me and I'd meet her at the finish line. I was quite frustrated with the number of walkers in the 5K and trying to dodge them was irritating me more. I ended up walking more of the 5K than I intended and finished in 51:30. Still, I collected my medal for that race as well.
It was a great weekend and I'm glad I pushed myself to do both races. I look forward to coming back next year for the Flying Pig weekend and attempting the 3-way challenge (5K/10K on Saturday, half on Sunday). Now that I know better what to expect, I can train accordingly. With a little luck, I'll not be injured and able to run at my usual pace.