Indianapolis and Cincinnati…another back-to-back

Date: May 3, 2014

IN shirt & medal

IN shirt & medal

One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon

Distance: 13.1 (Actual more like 13.2)

Time: 2:30:06

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Date: May 4, 2014

Flying Pig Half Marathon

Distance: 13.1 (Actual 13.3)

Time: 2:38:02

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For the third time, Denise and I completed two half marathons in one weekend. This time, we knocked out Indiana and Ohio (states #28 & #29). These were both really fun races and I would do either one again in a heartbeat.

Indianapolis Race

Denise in front of IN Capitol Building on our way to pick up race packets.

Denise in front of IN Capitol Building on our way to pick up race packets.

The Indianapolis race touts itself as the nation’s largest half marathon. The race is capped at 35,000 participants and –according to the website–has sold out for the past 12 years. The race does not include a full option so everyone running is doing the half, which I think is a really great feature of the race.

The best parts of this race are the crowd support, the mostly flat course, and the fact that–starting at about mile six, runners get to run an entire lap around the Indianapolis 500 Speedway track.

I’m not a car racing fan at all, but I still thought that lap around the speedway was one of those amazing, once-in-a-lifetime moments. Now, every time I see a television clip showing a car race there, I’ll immediately think, “I’ve been there! I’ve run on that same track!”

In terms of crowd support, this race had more aid stations than any race I’ve ever run–we could count on being able to get water or Gatorade almost every half mile. Also, there were more musicians and bands along this course than any Rock and Roll marathon I’ve run (and that’s the branding message for the R & R races).

We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard by the capitol building, and that was a convenient choice–in the morning, we only had to walk about three blocks to the starting line. It was pricey, though, and jacked up by $50 per night over the regular hotel rates. Oh, well. The convenience and that later race start (8:15 for our corral) was worth it. I honestly felt as though I got to sleep in for this race and that was well-appreciated.

Really loved this race.

Flying Pig

At start of the Pig. Football stadium ahead.

At start of the Pig. Football stadium ahead.

The Flying Pig is a very well-known race. And it, too, includes ten of thousands of participants. The entire weekend is filled with various races–kids race, dog race, relay races, 10K, 5K, a full, and the half. There are more related events, I’m sure. Let’s just say it’s a huge party for several days.

The half course takes participants along the Ohio River, past the football and baseball stadiums, over three bridges, into Kentucky for a bit, through a park, and all through several downtown areas. It was hilly, but I loved it. The crowd support was amazing and the scenery was among the best of any race I’ve run. It, too, offered very frequent aid stations and some towards the end even offered oranges, licorice, Swedish Fish, and Jolly Ranchers. I skipped the oranges (too sticky), Jolly Ranchers (afraid I would choke), and the licorice–but only because I didn’t really notice them until I had passed by. I certainly grabbed a handful of fish, however.

The race finished at the baseball stadium, only about six blocks from our hotel so we were able to walk to and from the race in Cincinnati too. I love not having to deal with shuttles or driving to the start, that’s for sure.

View near the finish.

View near the finish.

One of my favorite parts of this race, related to the great crowd support, was seeing all the creative motivational signs.

Signs along the course or shirt slogans that made me smile:

If you are behind me, that means you didn’t train for this race either.

Ryan Gosling, puppies, and wine are waiting for you at the finish. (If you don’t get the Ryan Gosling joke, check out some of these Google images).

If Brittany Spears can survive 2007, then you can survive this.

You look like you have good stamina. Call me.

If this race were easy, it would be called “your mom.”

And, another mom one (held by two young boys): Hey, Mom, Hurry up. Dad said we could get ice cream when you finished your race.

OH shirt and medal

OH shirt and medal

So funny. And, having great crowd support really does make a huge difference. It had been awhile since I had run a large race like both of these were, and that made the weekend really fun.

Denise and I run our next race together in September. Before then, though, I’ve got the Missoula Half Marathon planned. Looking forward to it!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Donna Beitel on May 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It sure makes me realize what I’ve missed these past 67 years! Good for you two.

    Reply

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