When Pigs Fly 

When Pigs Fly 

    by -

    Ready, set, run! The Flying Pig Marathon is back in 2021 with new perks, safety protocols, and the same supportive community. 

    The Flying Pig Marathon is a Cincinnati tradition entering its 23rd year.

    After a bleak 2020, we’re all look forward to a much brighter 2021. As we continue to navigate the pandemic and hopefully return to “normal,” the question of in-person races is at the forefront of many people’s thoughts, especially in a city so dedicated to its marathons and 5Ks.

    The Flying Pig Marathon is an annual tradition that was moved to virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19, as were many other local traditions that brought the community together. 

    This year, despite the challenges the last year has presented, will be the 23rd running of the Flying Pig Marathon. The race and weekend festivities are powered by P&G and are part of the Pig Works family of events in the area, including the Queen Bee Half and Medpace 4-Miler, TQL Beer Series, and FCC3 in partnership with FC Cincinnati.  

    According to Iris Simpson Bush, CEO of Pig Works, the inspiration for the Flying Pig Marathon was to give local runners a hometown marathon they could participate in rather than travel to another city. 

    “The inspiration for the name was the ‘flying pig’ unofficial mascot that the city of Cincinnati adopted during the 1988 Bicentennial,” explains Bush. 

    For this year’s event, you can expect firm rules for participants to help keep everyone safe. 

    “Protocols for running events are strict when it comes to safety, and local regulations are just as strict, if not more so,” says Bush. “We are in constant contact with our local and state government officials, as well as other marathons, to follow best practices in sanitation, social distancing, etc. The situation changes weekly, if not daily, so we continue to update our own health template in the weeks leading up to the marathon.” 

    Those who plan on participating in this year’s event can expect a continued first-class experience. “Our main goal is to keep lines of communication open and keep participants updated regularly on any local and state regulations that may affect our planning,” says Bush. 

    The Flying Pig Marathon has been around for more than two decades now, and yet the event continues to adapt and remain unique. 

    What Bush says make the marathon unique is its runner amenities, including swag and medals, volunteer interaction, and crowd support from the “Street Squealers.” 

    “Last year’s virtual event changed the dynamic of our event, but not the heart and soul of it, as we continue to be humbled and amazed by the support of those who have been with our event for years – some, like our ‘Streakers,’ who have run all 22 marathons, have been with us from the beginning,” she says.  

    Coming back after a pandemic doesn’t just mean rebuilding, either. It can also mean new opportunities, something Bush and the team behind the Flying Pig have decided to embrace. 

    “We’re excited to introduce a new opportunity for our most dedicated and loyal fans – Pig Works Lifetime Memberships,” she says. “This tiered program offers a lifetime of race registrations for a one-time fee. Sign up once, and never pay to register again. Whether you want registrations for just the Flying Pig events or every event under the Pig Works banner, you pay one price and you’re signed up for life!” 

    You can sign up for the Pig Works Lifetime Membership at pigworks.org/life

    To learn more about the Flying Pig Marathon, visit flyingpigmarathon.com. There you can sign up for the event and early registrants will have the first chance at moving their entry from virtual to in-person, as circumstances allow.