Thousands flock to Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon
A runner in the 2013 Flying Pig. File photo.
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
From its beginning in 1999 to today, the Flying Pig has been considered one of the elite marathons in the country.
Tomorrow the Queen City will get another chance to show why with an estimated 150,000 spectators expected to cheer on the tens of thousands of runners in Sunday's full and half marathons.
FOX19's Gordon Graham has a few things we need to know about the marathon, which seems to get bigger every year.
Some 36,000 people are expected to run and walk in Sunday's various races and with clear skies in the forecast.
"Everything is in place for a great event …This is perfect running weather. We've certainly tried to prepare for them 51 weeks of the year and I think we're all good to go," said Flying Pig Executive Director Iris Simpson Bush
Simpson says security has become a priority during the event.
"You will see more uniformed officers. There will be a lot of plain clothed officers around that you don't even notice. We'll have SWAT teams and the tactical units and the bomb sniffing dogs, but again it's not because of any imminent threat … I think the norm from here on out," explained Simpson.
It's also part of the norm for the event to donate to charity.
"It looks like it will be in excess of a million dollars once again. We have over 220, I think it was 222 participating charities this year and the thing that we're most proud of every penny they raise, 100-percent stays with the charity," said Simpson.
The growing contribution to charity is due, in part, to runners like Brooke Smith from Toronto.
"I've been looking at the Flying Pig for a couple of years and just found it a pretty interesting race because of the whole like ‘I'll run a marathon when pigs fly kind of thing,' so I wanted to come down and do it I thought this was the year," said Smith.
Cheryl Dortch and Ginger Becker from the Chicago suburb of Woodstock say they like the way Cincinnati treats its visitors.
"It's a beautiful way to see a city, to see different places and so far Cincinnati has not let us down. Welcoming city, everybody here....the volunteers are amazing," said Becker.
Organizers say with the Reds and Cyclones in town, parking and traffic may be a little tricky. They encourage folks to arrive early and give yourself plenty of time when leaving.