2001-Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon- May 3rd, 2001

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This was the first Marathon for many of the Microsoft folks in Cincinnati.  As mentioned earlier, David (Cincinnati Microsoft Director) worked to create an environment engaging Microsoft Team members and their families in activities outside of work.  This developed a culture in the Microsoft Cincinnati office that encouraged a work/life balance mentality with all the employees.

This was my first marathon.  My dad and sister came in for this marathon to support me in this challenge.  I did not know what to expect .  I had trained hard for this marathon and was hoping that it would pay off.

The Microsoft folks running the marathon all met at the start line.  I cannot explain the feeling I had.  I knew there were going to be a lot of runners 30,000+ but had no idea how this was organized and what to expect once I got to the start line.  Masses of runners all over the place, bending, stretching, racing for the port-a-potties, guzzling water, eating bagels, jumping up and down, smiling, laughing , taking pictures and just plain having fun!!!  The energy was amazing.  I was excited., but of course scared to death at the same time.

This was David’s first Marathon as well.  He was just as scared but knew that we had a team of Microsoft folks that were here to support each other.  He was proud , as he should have been!

The guns went off, we all looked at each other and smiled with that look on our faces that we WOULD all accomplish this goal!

My Memories

– Great team camaraderie great support from bystanders including family

– Course was tough, very hilly

– This was a lot more difficult then my training (even though I had trained up to 18 miles).  I made it through the first 13 pretty easily.  Not sure if after that was a mental game or what but it was very challenging.

– Remember counting down- Ok..I got to 13..only 13.2 more…12.2, 11.2, I kept telling myself just get to 6 more.  I know I can do 6 as that is my normal training runny, easy.  The problem is running this last 6 was the total opposite of my training runs.  My body was done. The pain in my legs and back was excruciating, but I was determined to continue on!

-The finish line- I remember as I got close, maybe 3 miles out.  The bystanders would say “your almost there- keep going, you can do this”, easy for them to say.  All I remember is hearing, you are almost there, you are almost there!  In my mind I was saying ok…well they are saying I am almost there..can I just be there!!!!   I finally was really almost there, I remember seeing the finish line and tears welling up in my eyes.   I had made it.  I am sure I did not look that great as every area of my body ached, but I was crossing that finish line!  I cannot explain the feeling I had when I stepped over the finish line and received my medal- I don’t think that my smile could have gotten any wider!

– I remember telling my family how great it was to have accomplished this, but that I would NEVER do this again.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I just don’t know how runners do these over and over.

– I remember meeting up with the Microsoft folks and having a beer together. Each telling their own story of their journey for the past 26.2 miles.

David’s Memories

– I was surprised that when the starting gun went off – we took two steps forward and then had to pause for several minutes.   This was before marathon events used corrals to start.

– I was amazed that the sheer number of people running.  The streets of downtown Cincinnati were filled.

– We had to run across the bridges across the Ohio River twice – I remember that I didn’t realize that bridges were actually uphill.

– My daughter was waiting for me on the bridge before the finish line and ran with me for a while.  That was a great feeling of support.

– While I had trained using the same shoes and clothing – I didn’t realize how sore I would become with the simple rubbing of the tank top under my arms – ouch!

– I had to drive to Detroit for meetings later that evening – I hadn’t considered how sore every muscle in my body would be – it made driving very painful.

– There were areas that folks were along the roads cheering us on and other areas (Eastern Avenue) that were desolate with no on there.  I hadn’t expected how helpful it was to have folks cheering you on.

Memories from this Marathon:

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