This will be the fifth marathon since I kicked off the 10-12-100 Campaign on January 25 with the ING Miami Marathon. Moreover, it will be the much anticipated midway point of my ten marathon effort. As I sit at my desk, taking a break between client call-backs, I started scanning the weather and the local news. The forecast on Sunday calls for 60 and rain, while the news is dominated by reports of Swine Flu breaking out across the nation.
It's ironic that I'm heading to the Flying Pig Marathon on a weekend when the rest of the country is wearing sterile surgical masks out of fear of exposure to a potentially airborne epidemic that's been dubbed the Swine Flu. According to a front page article in today's Washington Post, the Swine Flue started in Mexico earlier this month and has since spread across the country in random patterns, as well as several countries in Western Europe.
The flu's spread has become increasingly rapid, prompting some to warn of potential epidemic status, and has even caused Alabama state high school officials to join Texas officials in canceling all high school athletic contests. (check out the article on ESPN at: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=4116671). Stranger still, is the fact that all of the scheduled soccer matches to be played in Mexico this weekend will be played, but will be done in empty stadiums without any fans, due to concerns about spreading the illness.
Speaking of swine...the Flying Pig Marathon seems to be a GO at this point. I'm looking forward to making the trip, as this will not only be my first time participating in the marathon, but it's also my first trip to the city itself and a rare chance to spend some time with my cousin, Chris. After speaking to race officials last week, the course will certainly be a challenging one, as miles 5-9 provide a solid four-mile uphill climb. As usual, I plan to drive the course with Chris on Saturday afternoon, so I can get a better idea of what it looks like.
The other night I was laying out my race shoes, singlet, Fuel Belt, etc. and I was getting organized, I started wondering why this marathon is called The Flying Pig, so I did a little research about both the city and the race and here is what I learned:
-Cincinnati was the first major pork town in the United States. What Chicago was to cattle and slaughterhouses, Cincinnati was to swine.
-1818: the first slaughterhouse was opened in Cincinnati
-1829: because of its ease of accessibility by river, the city quickly becomes the (then) meat packing capital of the country, earning it the nickname "Porkopolis" (I'm not kidding)
-1861: the Civil War creates an increased demand for the production and circulation of meat, so Chicago seizes upon this opportunity and in so doing, gradually displaces Cincinnati as the meatpacking capital of the U.S.
-1909: the first pig flies. Literally. Apparently, Lord Barbozon--who was the first pilot to have a license to operate a bi-plane in the UK--took a pig up for a 3.5mile ride in his bi-plane over the city of Cincinnati. It is rumored that the pig was wearing a sign that said "I am the first pig to fly" (Seriously, I'm not making this up.)
...fast forward about 100 years
-1998: the Cincinnati "Flying Pig" Marathon is started
-2008: in its 10th Anniversary, the marathon has entrants from all 50 states
From the looks of it, 2009 will be a banner year for "The Pig" as it's commonly referred to in "the 'Nati" and I'm certainly glad to be a part of it. I'll be sure to post another entry before the race on Sunday morning and as always, I'll provide a post-race report as well. Additionally, due to broad demand, I will provide the following:
-updated information on the website (www.dlesports.com) about the easiest way to donate
-more race pictures
-more frequent blog entries
-dedicated media section to more readily follow the coverage this campaign is generating
-the opportunity to order 10-12-100 t-shirts (with all proceeds going to the WWP)
As always, you can contact me directly with comments, questions and suggestions:
I really appreciate the outpouring of support thus far, and I'm going to need it even more over the remaining eight months of '09 as we drive hard toward our goal of raising $100,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. With your help, the 10-12-100 will be an overwhelming success!
Onward to The Pig!