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About Paycor & The Flying Pig Marathon

In 1997, Paycor CEO Bob Coughlin thought a marathon in Cincinnati could fly. An aggressive

marketing strategy and a very catchy name led to a successful first Flying Pig Marathon in

May 1999. Celebrating its 18th anniversary in 2016, the Flying Pig Marathon has become

more than just 26.2 miles: it is a full weekend event for 36,000+ participants that includes

10+ races and raised $1.42 million for 250+ local charities in 2015.

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This Pigtale comes from Tia P.

My favorite moment happened around Mile 4 of the race when someone had an actual pig on the course!

Of course I had to stop and take a picture with the pig. I'm from Tampa, FL and the guy who owned the pig

told me she was from Florida! I had so much fun at that race!

This Pigtale comes from Deborah M.

I met Nicole on a very cold, snowy day a year ago. Only a few showed up for a training run after it had been

canceled. And it wasn’t long before the 2 of us fell behind and were out on icy country roads alone. My first thought

was what am I going to talk to her about for 11 miles? And by the end of that run, I knew I had met my "sole mate",

my running partner, my best friend.

Since that day last January, we have run together almost every single day, we have finished 7 half marathons

side by side. And we ran our first marathon (Flying Pig) together. Stepping on the finish line side by side with

my best friend was the greatest day of my life. I had no intentions of running a marathon. But I tagged along for

most of the training runs- mainly to keep Nicole company. And the week before I realized I could not let my best

friend run alone. I was going to tag along to keep her company.

My biggest fear was dragging her down, becoming a DNF and mostly, letting her down. We said less than

10 words to each other the entire marathon. We were in sync, stride by stride. Never leaving each other's side.

We communicated with looks and facial expressions. I knew exactly what she was thinking at every moment.

I struggled miles 6-9. She talked me through it. She struggled miles 23-24. I got her through it. And when we

stepped on the finish line, we both looked at each other and started crying.

Nicole is there for me during every run. I started to open up to her. I told her about my struggles

with an eating disorder. And dealing with weak legs because of MS. She made sure I ate nutritious

meals during training. She held me up when my legs were jello after a long run. And she was there

the day my life changed forever. The day I decided to step up to the start line. The day I was no longer the

girl with anorexia. Or the girl with MS. I was a Marathoner. There is no one I would rather step up to the

start line with. And I know she will be by my side from start to finish for a lifetime. #FlyingPig2016

This Pigtale comes from Sarah E.

I've never been an athlete. I grew up with two brothers who played all kinds of sports, while I was always

more in the arts. But oh, did I want to be an athlete. I even ran cross country in middle school to try to be

like them, but I wound up trying to injure myself so I wouldn't have to run in the races.

My husband and I moved to Colorado one summer, where I realized that exercise shouldn't just

something to "have" to do, to suffer through a workout to lose a pound, or a means to an end.

I started running. And I liked it. I liked the quiet time, the feeling of accomplishment. We came back

to Ohio and I started running in my free time.

In 2010, my brothers, Eric and Brett, noticed my obvious athlete-ness, and we decided to run a

half marathon. It was rough. We began training, and would text each other every day to check

off our workout. In December, Eric was deployed to Baghdad, but Brett and I continued our training.

On the day of the Flying Pig, Brett and I ran the half in the pouring rain, while Eric ran his half on

a treadmill in Baghdad. Fast forward 3 years, when we decided to register for another half marathon.

Low and behold, Brett was deployed to Afghanistan. Eric and I continued our training and ran the

Indy500 half that year, and the Indy500 race sent a race packet to Brett, who ran his half in Afghanistan.

Again, fast forward 3 years to 2016. Somehow, I'm still running. There have been 3 weddings

and 3 babies. Both of my brothers are out of the army, living across the US, and we decided it was

time to up the game. We are all three registered to run the full Flying Pig Marathon this spring.

We're still texting each other the workouts every morning because I would cheat without it.

I've run a half with each of my brothers separately, and now it's time for all three of us to run a full.

I can't wait. Maybe then I'll actually consider myself an athlete.

This Pigtale comes from Danielle C.

At mile 9 of the Flying Pig Marathon in 2012, my chronic back problems flared up and I completely and

suddenly lost control of my right leg. This sounds like a pretty terrible "pigtale," right?

Well, to be honest, it started out that way. I turned around on the course and hopped my way back to the

half marathon turn-off point and, determined to finish SOME race, started following the half marathoners,

one hop and ginger step at a time. I felt angry, frustrated, and defeated until around mile 12, when I saw

a man slowly jogging in front of me. The back of his shirt said "50. Fat. Diabetic. Ahead of You." and I

burst out laughing right there! I loved it so much that I whipped out my camera to take a picture.

I shared my race report and the photo on my blog, The T-Rex Runner ( a few days

later and thought no more of it - it was just a happy memory in the middle of a tough race. Imagine my 

surprise when, about 6 months after the race, in November 2012, the picture suddenly started flying

around the internet after it appeared on George Takei's Facebook page! I started getting tons of

questions about who the guy was and why he made that shirt, but to tell the truth, I had no idea! To find

out, I started digging my way through race photos and put the pieces together of his identity bit by bit.

I ended up interviewing the man, who turned out to be named Thomas, and I wrote a blog

post about it here: To make a long story short, the

interview and photo ended up being featured by Runner's World, Buzzfeed, Tosh.0, and pretty much every

running website known to man!

Thomas and I ended up becoming friends and have stayed in touch since. I am hoping to come to Cincinnati

this year to finally conquer the Pig, having had back surgery in 2014 and feeling strong again! I want to

finally meet Thomas in person and run this course again - this time, on my own terms!

This Pigtale comes from Mark P.

It was one of the first Flying Pigs when it finished at Union Terminal. It was unusually warm that day, and I was

feeling the effects around mile 23. I normally don't take in anything other than water during races, but I was

struggling so I took some Gatorade around this time. As I was coming down Ezzard Charles Drive towards

the finish I knew I was going to get sick. The Gatorade was apparently the final straw. I only wanted to

make it past the finish line before I blew.

I was within 10 yards of the finish when the runner in front of me stumbled and fell to the ground. I instinctively

stopped and bent over to help him up. As I stood up the quick bending over and standing up motion was all I

needed and I projectile vomited all over this poor schmuck's back. I hurried across the finish line so I wouldn't

get clobbered by the guy. He not only collapsed right before the finish, he had some loser

puke all over his back in purple.

I was hopeful this moment would have been captured by the finish line cameras, because I thought what a

great picture it would be. Unfortunately either it wasn't captured, or the powers to be found it too unsuitable

for publication and deleted it from the race photos.

I have had a lot of great pig moments, but that is my most memorable.

This Pigtale comes from Mark A.

I am "Big on the Pig" because in 2014 I completed my first half marathon. Not a big deal by some standards,

however for me it was a huge turning point in my life.

I am a firefighter and in 2014 I had two people that I knew personally take their lives. I felt compelled to make

sure that their deaths were not in vain. I became affiliated with an organization, Firefighter Behavioral

Health Alliance, which raises awareness for firefighter/EMT suicides. I started training for

my brothers who no longer had a voice.

In the months that led up to the Pig, I was getting more in shape and decided to run in full turnout gear.

I started training in earnest in April 2014 with the full gear. Through the recognition I received by a story

aired on WLWT, we were able to get the message out to the nation and beyond to firefighters in the USA

and Canada and as far away as Australia were tweeting their support. I finished my first half in 2:55. After the

fact I was honored to have been recognized by the Northern KY Firefighters Association as Firefighter of the

Year 2014, University of Cincinnati as the Hometown Hero on October 4, 2014 and the Campbell County

Rotary Club as Emergency Personnel of the Year as well.

But the biggest accomplishment achieved was the weight that I was able to lose and keep off. I lost 125lbs

through my training and have been able to maintain that loss. So, I feel that my story may have helped

those first responders who may have needed to seek help, and also saved my life from a health standpoint.

And that is why I am "Big on the Pig".

This Pigtale comes from Kate F.

Finishing the Fly Pig Half Marathon in May of 2009 was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. I have

struggled with my self-image since I was a little girl. Growing up with two very athletic brothers, I often shied

away from sports because I knew I didn't have the typical "athletic body."

In the Fall of 2008, I decided to start training for the Flying Pig. I could barely believe it when I told people

what I was doing. Two of my biggest supporters were my brothers. I remember being with my family on a

Saturday morning towards the end of my training. I was dreading a long run I had to do and my brother

gave me a pep talk that I'll never forget. He took me outside and he said, "if you do this - it will be the most

athletic thing anyone in our family has ever done." It brought me to tears thinking about all of the things

that they had done as athletes and hearing him say those words to me.

I'm from MA and my whole family came to OH for the race weekend. They made signs and got up early to wait

with me at the start line - both my brothers rubbing my shoulders and encouraging me as we listened to loud

music being pumped over the speakers. It was something I will never forget. They mapped out the course and

were waiting for me at several mile markers along the way.

I remember running through one neighborhood where all the residents were camped out on their lawns,

blaring music, and cheering all the runners about an adrenaline rush. I finished the race and

immediately knew I had done something incredible. I had pushed myself in ways I never had before.

It was amazing to have the support of my family and friends and what felt like the entire city of Cincinnati!

It was a "pigtale" I'll remember for the rest of my life.

This Pigtale comes from Angela M.

My pigtale begins the first day of training for the 2015 flying pig half. I was excited, nervous and bursting

with energy that chilly Saturday! This was my first organized training group I've ever done, and this was my

very first half marathon.

Little did I know I would have an extra surprise when I got home from training that day. This was the same

day I found out I was pregnant with our second child! I asked my doctor if I was able to continue training

and they said I trained and trained, all the way to race day! I was 20 weeks pregnant when I

completed my first ever flying pig half marathon.

Yes, I was slower than I had hoped for, but I finished it! To see family and friends and random people

cheering runners on was so heartwarming and gave me a boost when I needed it! To the lady that gave

me a hug and told me I was doing great around mike 10-THANK YOU! I hope the spectators and

volunteers know how much a part of this race they are.

I have never felt so proud of myself as I did that day crossing the finish line. I am ready to set a new PR

this year with both my girls watching the race this year!

This Pigtale comes from Catie G.

My "pigtale" turned into a fairytale! Last year my boyfriend and I ran the 5K together. We were running coaches

for Bob Roncker's Running Spot, Sit to Fit program. We were each on different intervals, so he finished a little

bit before me. We hadn't really discussed where to meet after the race, so that kept running through my mind.

Low and behold after the race he was waiting at the "finish swine" for me. I walked over with open arms for a

nice big sweaty hug, instead of a hug, he dropped to a knee. He looked at me, and said ‘you're my best friend,

I love you, and will you marry me’?

I thought for sure he was joking...I asked him if he was serious or joking. He said no, I am serious… I said

Oh my gosh, yes!! He told me he had no intention of popping the question that day, but the moment felt right!

My family was there, and caught it on video too! It was perfect, even though I had to wait to get my ring since

it was a ‘pop proposal’.

We are getting married in June 2016!!

This Pigtale comes from John J.

My wife Catherine and I decided to run the Pig half in 2014. This was the first race either of us had ever

run longer than a 5k. We were very excited and started training in December when we found out that

Catherine was pregnant with our daughter, Josie! We decided to run/walk the even though Catherine would

be 5 months pregnant because Catherine is a tough gal and loved the challenge!

I decided to surprise Catherine and request that a sign be made that said "Run Baby J, Run!" (we nicknamed

her Baby J for the pregnancy!), but I realized with all the signs held up along the race we would probably

never see it. Signs and cheering supporters were everywhere, it was such an amazing experience but it felt

unlikely that I would spot our sign. To my surprise, Catherine looked to our left and said "does that say what

I think it says?!" and sure enough, someone was holding Baby J's sign! Catherine immediately started crying,

she was so proud to run this race for Josie and it meant a lot to her that we finish the race. I truly believe that

the sign gave her what she needed to finish.

I am actually submitting this entry for Catherine - she's extremely passionate about running and she's an

amazing mother but I would like her to make more time to run races. Who knows, maybe by the time this

race comes around we'll find out that Josie has a sibling on the way!

This Pigtale comes from Nicole H.

My favorite "pigtale" is of my dog, Buddy's first race last year. He got to do the flying pig as a fundraiser for

Imagine No Malaria (he raised more than I did, I think).

He was so excited to run with all of the other dogs, that we ran our best 2mile time ever! He was not a fan of

the public water buckets, though, so he waited to drink anything until the end of the race, when I got a water bottle.

He stole it from me, and stuck his tongue right in the bottle! Here is a picture of him, post-race,

proudly wearing his first ever medal!

This Pigtale comes from Anne C.

In 2006, I was a junior at the University of Dayton and decided 'Hey, maybe I should run a half marathon'.

Being a 'reluctant runner' I managed to motivate myself to train and successfully completed that year's Flying

Pig Half Marathon, my first half, and first event beyond a 5K at that time.

Now, 10 years later, I find myself again signed up to run The Pig. In between, I left Ohio for graduate school

but returned to my alma mater as faculty in 2013. Then, in August of 2014 my world was rocked by a

stage III breast cancer diagnosis. 2015 was full of a lot of chemo, radiation, and surgeries but once in remission,

I recovered to run again, finishing the Columbus 1/2 in October.

Another surgery later, and I'm training again, this time for a 10th anniversary trip to the hills (ugh) of Cincinnati.

Many things have changed since that first run a decade ago (jobs, permanent residences, my haircut...), but

some things have stayed the same...I have a goal for the future, I know the necessary steps to get there, there

will be support along the way, and that ultimately, the challenge is half the fun!

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