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May 3rd: Today was a big day in Cincinnati–the annual running of the Flying Pig Marathon!
Jason is the world’s greatest running race enthusiast, either if he is “running” in his stroller in a race, or if he is cheering on others along the sidelines. In the past, he was a regular both at the Philadelphia Marathon and the Broad Street Run, the two biggest races in Philly. He’s been asking “when is the race?” every day for the last 2 months.
Today, we had an extra special treat. The Flying Pig raises money for charities who provide volunteers for the race. Jason’s hockey sled team mobilized a big group, and both Jason and Pete eagerly joined the group. We had to get there by 6:30!!!
Once we arrived, we hung out with some newly made friends and fellow volunteers on a most beautiful morning. We were in charge of keeping traffic away from the main route on a particular side street, which wasn’t too difficult. Before long, the leaders came by, followed soon by a huge number of runners.
Jason started going crazy and yelled and shouted to everyone going by, “Good Job!” “You can do it” “Almost have it!” This was usually followed by his hysterical belly laugh and a huge smile. Be sure to watch this great video of him here.
Once the “serious” runners went by, most of the runners and walkers started noticing Jason and calling out to him. Then Jason started putting his hand out, and chaos soon ensued. Runners would start to high five him, and once they did, everyone wanted some of his energy. This started causing some major traffic jams as runners would see a line forming and come across the street just to get some encouragement. Some even inadvertently cut off others just for a little love. It was great (and not the first time Jason has had this effect)! Here is a great, great video of some of Jason’s finest work.
Lots of folks were decked out in costumes, including a lot of pink (still not completely getting the Pig/Cincinnati thing). A few had full pig costume, even one with a cute curly pink tail in the back. Pete’s running pal Jill and her husband stopped for a picture on their way for a sub-4 hour time, way to go!
It’s always very inspiring to see so many people of all walks, backgrounds, and body types coming together to persevere over a very challenging goal. The collective time and effort in training and during the race is mind-bogglng, and to see so many looking good and smiling above their effort is quite uplifting. You can feel the positive energy flowing down the street.
Congratulations to everyone who ran the Pig, you are all rock stars!