Sunday, May 4, 2014

Midwest Race-cation day four: Flying Pig Half Marathon race report

The morning went smoothly -- got to the start just fine, had plenty of time to relax, felt okay.

Having no loudspeakers meant we couldn't hear the start, but after several minutes we started inching forward. 

The course was nice and wide, and it didn't seem like there was much bunching. There were, however, a lot of people walking. Not run-walking, but walking. I wondered how they had been placed in corral F or higher, given their time. But whatevs. I would be doing plenty of walking of my own later! (OoooOOOOooooh, foreshadowing!)

After a very short time, we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky.  

(Okay, so it's blurry.)

The Ohio River sure is big:

We weren't there long -- only about a mile, I think. Highlight of Kentucky? The guy at the water stop saying "Last water stop in Kentucky!! You don't want to drink the water in Ohio!!"

So far, things were going really well. I felt good, was having fun, etc. And I was still on course. 

At some point right around mile 5 we started running through downtown. Nice spectator support, a DJ playing music, pleasant. I was singing along with Bon Jovi (a clear indication that I was having fun), chatting with runners, loving life. I slowed for my walk break, and when started running again I had shooting pains in my right ankle/foot. I don't remember turning an ankle, though the road was really uneven in places. I tried to loosen it up, but no luck. I simply couldn't run on it. It was only mile 5.5 or so. Boooo. 

I could walk on it, but I knew it would be much slower going. Still, finishing and picking up state #24 was key. So on I went. 

Mile six is when the hill started, and it went on and on for a couple of miles. 

Up up up...

The view at the top -- well, 2/3rds of the way up -- was pretty spectacular, however!

I don't have a ton of memories from the rest of the race, just scattered thoughts: 

May the Fourth Be With You gal!!! (Later I saw her taking a picture with two little boys who were wearing a storm trooper and a Yoda costume!)

Bring on the dancing horses... Is that California Chrome on the left? They were dancing to "Lady Marmalade", btw. 

Big, pretty church at the top of the hill. 

Do it for the bacon. Or the tofu. Or whatever. 

Finally, close! 

And there's the Finish Swine!!!

The finish area was odd -- they didn't keep runners moving, so you had to press through crowds to get your medal and such. I was able to get some water and fruit, but I passed on the snack cakes, trail mix, and so on. 

I definitely felt the difference between being toward the front of the pack, rather than toward the back -- the finish was super crowded, and the water stations were in disarray. 

I really just wanted to be done -- four days on my own is too much! -- so I didn't linger. I decided my legs would be happier if I walked the 2.4 miles back to the hotel. Of course, that meant this:

But I did get to cross the famous "Purple People Bridge":

... and I got one last nice view from a bridge over the Ohio River:

I am trying to separate my performance from my experiences in the two races. I do think that Indy Mini was better organized than Flying Pig. The Pig had less entertainment on course, far fewer water stops, and fewer spectators. I still think I would have enjoyed Indy Mini if I needed to walk half of it. If I were offered the chance to run either race again, I would pass on the Pig, but happily run the Mini. Which is saying something. 

Still, the medal is heavy and handsome... AND I just picked up state #24!


  1. I like that they have official hill sponsors.

  2. They should have had MULTIPLE hill sponsors! But maybe most businesses don't want people swearing at the thing they're sponsoring...

  3. Great recap! Race the half on Sunday as well. This was my 3rd in 5 weeks, so I have no clue how you did back to back on consecutive days! If you are a fan of hills (sarcasm intended), check out the Run The Bluegrass Half in Lexington in April.

  4. @Mark, doing back-to-backs was pretty grim this time! I just try to remember what my goal is for any individual race. This one was simply "finish and pick up state #24… " I usually don't mind hills that much -- at least, going UP them -- but Sunday was rough for me.

    Congrats on completing your "13.1 Trifecta"!

  5. Great job! I had several friends doing this one too.