“One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness.” Anne Lamott
In less than 24 hours I’ll be heading north on I-75 with my fun sized twin, T, for the Flying Pig Marathon weekend in Cincinnati! This will be my 8th marathon (not including ultras) and T’s 1st! About 5 months ago, an intrepid group of 2 dozen plus running buddies from the ATL decided to take this adventure to Cincy. We’ve got people running a variety of the events available this weekend, with some running ALL the events (3-way or 4-way plus cheese! Look it up!).
In the fall I contacted the pace group coordinator to see if I could volunteer as a pacer. I knew it was a long shot considering he already had a lot of repeat pacers, and I’ve never even been to Cincy let alone run this race. However, pacing is a really great, albeit terrifying, experience (SO MUCH PRESSURE!), and I’ll be taking a 50% paycut in August to start a PhD, so momma will be a little race registration whore for the next 5 years. Luckily, there was space for me and I have the honor of pacing the 5:15 marathon group! Even better, a handful of ATL runners will stay with this pace group, including T! Not only do I get to experience the marathon journey with a whole new group of runners from all over the world, but I get to experience it firsthand with some people who have become extremely important to me over the last year.
Even though this is my 8th marathon, it has certainly been the best training experience of my life. I don’t think I’ve had to do a single training run on my own. We’ve all had good runs, bad runs, and plain shitty runs since we started the day after Christmas, but the group mind mentality has really made for a fun experience. These piglets already have our wings!
The Flying Pig is one of the highest rated marathons in the country and I can already tell why; pre-race information has been plentiful, the FB page is filled with helpful tips and positivity (if you’ve ever followed a FB page for a race you’ll know that this is not always the case), everyone I’ve interacted with so far (mostly pace group related) has been extremely kind and welcoming, and the start corrals are called Pig Pens. What else can you ask for?
At this point it seems likely that it will rain most of the weekend. I’m so excited to have this experience with some of the best people in my life that I honestly don’t care about the rain. T bought flying pig printed Duct Tape for our shoes and the Atlanta Track Club was kind enough to send us off with warmup jackets for the start. That’s all we need, right? I was explaining this trip and the race to a coworker the other day and found myself getting choked up just mentioning all the awesome people. Visualizing T crossing the finish line just about put me over the edge. I don’t care how many marathons you run, the journey from registration, to training ,to the start, and on to the finish is life changing every time.
READY TO FLY!