Christie and I were relaxing one evening talking about my plans to run the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, OH as part of my 50 Marathons, 50 States Challenge. We then started looking online for other pig-themed races being we are pet pig owners (can’t you tell by our team logo?). Incredibly Christie found the Catch a Pig 5K race in the Baltimore, MD area right down the street from where my brother and his family live! I had us signed up for the race within a few seconds after seeing our schedule was free for that weekend.
An out and back race along the MA & PA Trail in Bel Air, the concept of this 5K was a fun one. From the race sign up page:
THIS IS A CHASE! We’ll have young runners dressed in pink pig shirts (a.k.a. “the piglets”). They will have a few minutes head start on the pack. Those who pass at least one of the piglets before crossing the finish line get their name into a special drawing for prizes. BUT LOOK OUT! There are also a few BIG, BAD WOLVES who will get a late jump on you. If they all pass you, you’ll lose the opportunity for the special drawing.
Corinne and Caitlin signed up to run as piglets, and I signed up as a regular runner. The “big bad wolves” would be local high school cross country runners. The girls received awesome pink piglet shirts to wear during the race identifying them as piglets. Christie took it a step further and purchased pig ears for them to wear too. If we are going to race a pig race…we are going all (sn)out.
The race was held on a warm, sunny Sunday morning in July with a start time around 8 a.m. Corinne and Caitlin planned to run the race at their own pace for fun and I planned to go all out as this was my first time running a 5K solo for time in years (2005 I believe as I have focused on 10Ks and longer since then). The piglets got a 3 minute or so head start on the trail before releasing the rest of us runners. I shot out with a fast pace I hoped to keep for the whole race.
Once I reached the first batch of piglets going up a hill, Corinne was part of the group and I heard her yell “Daddy! You are close to the front!!!”. That was a boost of confidence and it made me pick up the pace even more. Halfway into the race I passed Caitlin near an overpass you run under and she gave me another shout of encouragement to keep going. For the last mile I increased the pace a little more before hitting the finish line with a time of 21:50 (a PR at the time). I was soaked in sweat from the humidity but felt great. Caitlin finished around the 34 minute mark. Corinne came in around the 42 minute mark, as a runner around her age had slowed down to run the race and make conversation with her along the way. After the race there were door prizes and Caitlin (as usual) came away with some nice swag from one of the sponsors.
An article (read it here) about the race was even published on the Baltimore Sun’s website and mentioned my name among the top 10 male finishers (7th place). I got my name in the paper for a pig race…my life is complete now!