Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon 4-way Challenge Race Report & Tips for Running Back to Back Races


The alarm went off at 4:30 am and soon we were up for the 6:30 am start of the 15th Anniversary of the Flying Pig Marathon 4-Way Challenge.  Shelly, Alison’s sister, was running the Half and Alison and I the Full.  Having run both the 10K and the 5K races the day before, I was a little tired and cranky for the start of the marathon.  I think both Alison & I were thinking to ourselves (see photo below right) – “why do we continue to subject ourselves to these ridiculous back to back races?!!!  This is stupid, stupid, stupid!!!”  But I know why – we are mentally unbalanced AND to earn the bling baby.  This race would earn me my 7th State (12th full marathon) in my quest for 50 marathons in 50 states by age 50.

“There is nothing fun about 4:30 in the morning” and to corralstartmake matters worse the forecast was calling for rain.  Armed with our Mylar blankets from the previous day, we got in the car headed for the “Carpool” parking lot.   From there we would take a bus to the start.

After gettingIMG_4576 off the bus we were greeted with a row of fresh port-a-potties for pit stop #1.  Bag drop was also located here in school buses.  We skipped the bag drop and made our way to the corrals.  Since I registered late for the race, I wasn’t assigned a corral, so I went with Alison to Corral F.

One of myIMG_4579 favorite things about the Flying Pig Marathon – potties were placed in each corral – BRILLIANT!

The race began on time, but it took us a few minutes to finally cross the start and then we were off!  I hadn’t run more than a 13.1 miles and was not trained for the full marathon!  My goal was to finish and I was expecting to take 6 hours considering I had run the day prior.

It was a pleasant run with a few major hills, but nothing ridiculous.   There was plenty of crowd support and the miles flew by.  Soon we were at mile 9 and it was time to say good-bye to the half marathoners.0042t

IMG_4640Somewhere around mile 15 I needed to use the potty and said good-bye to Alison.  I switch from the Jeff Galloway’s run/walk of 2 min run/30 sec walk to a 30/30 ratio instead.

I knew that I needed to stay positive and the shorter intervals would help me mentally get through the miles.  I also stopped taking photos because of the rain, but broke out the camera to capture mile marker 22.IMG_4646

The course was very well-marked.  There were plenty of volunteers at the water stations.  There was also entertainment on course.  As a back of the packer I didn’t feel that the marathon was closing down around me and abandoning me in the middle of nowhere – which has happened on other marathons.

This is a well-run event will plenty of support from the city and the community.  I would highly recommend it for your 50 Coast to Coast Quest.  I will be back for my half marathon medal soon!

Tips for running the Flying Pig 4-way & Back to Back Races:

  1. Mental reset:  I had an hour break on Saturday between the 10K and the 5K and used that time to mentally regroup for the next race.  The time between the finish of the 5K and the full marathon, I reset my focus to the marathon.  I try “my best” to stay positive.  Sometimes trying to stay positive doesn’t work and during those times, you need to just SMILE.  The action of actually putting the smile on your face does work – even through gritted teeth.
  2. Hydrate:  Drink electrolyte drinks, caffeine, water, water and more water.
  3. Refuel:  Eat protein and whatever you normally do to prepare for a single race, you must eat well for the race on the following day even if you are tired and don’t feel like eating.  Eat.
  4. Rest:  I like to take a short nap (30 mins to an hour) in the afternoon between races.
  5. Stretch & flush out the muscles:  A massage is best, but if a post-race massage is not offered, roll or use your stick.

Finish Swine Results:

There were 157 Flying Pig 4-way finishers and I finished 122/157 with a total time of 7:07:07 for 35.5 Miles.  Great results for not training!

Bib: #46172 Age Group:  F 40-44  5K:   0:32:13  10K:   1:02:07 Marathon:  5:32:47 Total time for the 4-way:  7:07:07

The number of finishers for the marathon was 4,135; the number of finishers for the half marathon were 11,047.


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