Sunday, May 06, 2001

RR Flying Pig Marathon

Race Report
Flying Pig Marathon
Cincinnati, OH
May 6/01

Howdy - I'm Bacccckkkkkkkk!

It was a good marathon - the conditions, course and weekend were very similar to the previous weekend in Nashville.
The weather was sunny and warm, 58 degrees at the 6:30am start and mid-70s by 10am. The course for the 3rd 'Flying Pig Marathon' started in downtown Cincinnati, wound through the downtown area, then travelled through the eastern suburbs which presented us with some great views of downtown and the Ohio River. The first half was very hilly -even hillier than Nashville and the steepest and nastiest hills ran continuously from mile 3 to 11. As I crested the hill at mile 11 in 88 minutes I was surprised and concerned about my time - much too fast for those hills! The next two miles along the the river were downhill and fast so I cruised through the Half under 1:45. At that point my legs were already beginning to feel heavy so I knew that I had two options: 1) slow down a little now or 2) continue at that pace and slow down a lot in 7 or 8 miles! I wisely chose #1, threw out an anchor and immediately slowed the pace to 8:10/mile. At 20 miles the course passed through the West End where I did a routine 'gut check' and determined that my legs still felt heavy but no worse than they did at the Half. So I decided that I wanted to beat my time of 3:33 in Nashville. To do this I would have to get the pace down as close to an 8:00/mile as possible for the last 10K. Miles 20 to 23 were flat and fast but from 23 to 25 the course had three bridges as we crossed over the Ohio River from Ohio to N. Kentucky and back. And believe me, they didn't make those damn bridges flat! As I was coming off the final bridge at 25 miles I calculated that I had to run the last mile under 7:30 to achieve my goal. So I dug deep, found that there seemed to be some energy still left and ran my fastest mile of the race. And the nicest part was that I was still having fun as I sprinted across the finish line in front of Cinergy Field in 3:32:16 - more than a minute faster than my time at Music City! I was surprised to learn later that my time was only good enough for 4th place in my age group -obviously there was better competition at this race!

The race and the organization were good. But if anyone is trying to decide between Music City and the Flying Pig next year (I do understand that few are as crazy as the Maddog and want to do BOTH!) I would recommend Music City. The course is easier, the organization and festivities better, and Nashville has much more to offer than Cincinnati.

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