Yes, people actually dressed like that in the pig suit. I wanted to run the Flying Pig because I had heard such great things about it, and man was I right. This race was incredibly well organized, from the expo to the start line to the race itself.
When you fly into the airport, you are already greeted by the flying pig volunteers who hand you a bag of goodies and water. The expo, which was in the downtown area and close to the hotel, was by far the best expo I have been to. I typically don’t buy much at the expo except for maybe some granola bars or if something is too good I have to have it. At this expo, not only did they have the typical stuff, but they also had stations where you could screen print a special marathon design onto whatever shirt you’d like, and yes Lululemon was doing this.
Next P & G was giving away a lot of stuff to everyone as they were one of the main sponsors. Next we would walk around and past some local stores who were having incredible discounts off of everything. The previous weekend I bought a sports bra at the rock n roll race and it was full priced. At Flying Pig, it was half off! Thank you local stores! Then we continued to walk around and found the brand new Fresh Foam Zante’s on sale (love these shoes BTW). As we continued to the next local store, they had all the winter and spring/summer stuff on sale, so I was able to stock up on gear that was 75% off.
Race day started at 6:30 am and began right outside of Paul Brown Stadium (where the Bengals play.) Yes, they let us use those bathrooms inside the stadium which was very much appreciated. Everyone was assigned a pig pen and the staff was very strict on making sure you went into the correct one. The race began with fireworks and some fun music playing.
The course then took us past the Reds stadium and across a bridge into Kentucky. I swore I saw a guy handing out bacon at mile 1.5 but even if he wasn’t, I heard later on that the marathon runners were given bacon on donuts and all sorts of other bacon products throughout the race.
After we crossed back into Ohio, the course took use through downtown and then out to the suburbs. The aid stations were run very well and full of Gatorade and water. There were also lots of cheering squads at each aid station and many spectators (except on the bridges.) Miles 6-8 were not fun as they were a constant climb up a very large hill, but we got to see Elvis. At mile 9, the half marathoners and marathoners split off which I thought was interesting that we were given our own course for the last part of the race.
The only part that the marathoners merged back into the half marathon course was the last mile. This course was very fun seeing all of the local schools out and cheering us on at the aid stations, handing out candy in their All-Star Grunt shirts. My favorite was the Football team aid station just because it was nice to see guys out there being silly and having a blast with decorating their station. This really was a hometown race and everyone was very happy to participate. The winners were even locals.
The weather was humid, but chilly in the morning and very warm by the time we finished. We finished right outside of the baseball stadium and arena and finished under the Finish Swine sign which I loved. Plus seeing all of the pigs throughout the expo and finish area was cute. Oh and did I mention there was a ton of candy and sweets being handed out once you finished.
I was excited to see the medal had a flying pig on it, even though our ribbon and medal wasn’t as big or pretty as the marathoner but still I like it.
Overall this was a wonderful race, challenging at times but very well run, a lot of fun and very different. I definitely recommend it to anyone considering doing it or wants to cross Ohio off of their list!
Perks: Expo was awesome and plentiful, course was very pretty once you reached the burbs and run very well, medal was cute, running past other sporting venues, bathroom options before the race
Ehh…not a fan: Shirt you get for being a participant was ugly, big hill at mile 6-8.