Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

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Racers' Tails
Wendy Sibley

Last December, I found myself -- an overweight, mid-40's, mother of three and part-time tech writer -- at the finish line of my first ultra -- a 50K near Houston called the Sunmart Texas Trails Endurance Run. Prior to that race, I'd never been an athlete and have always struggled with my weight.

Last year, I realized the solemn responsibility I have to set a better example for my children, especially my impressionable 8-yr.-old twin daughters, so I started walking on a treadmill to train for the 31-mile race. Once I had the ultra "under my belt," I wanted to pick a goal for 2000 that "raised the bar" -- and I came up with this hare-brained notion of doing a marathon a month in the year 2000.

Last weekend I completed the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, my fourth marathon this year. For May, there was no question what my marathon goal must be -- the Flying Pig.

Like everyone, I am captivated by your race mascot and the notion of "when pigs fly" -- which must be what everyone thinks when they see a gray-haired, rotund lady like me line up for a marathon: "She'll finish this when pigs fly."

One thing I have learned in my personal marathon tour this year is that these races are filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things -- from the Team in Training folks, to the wheelchair athletes, to the aged veterans who win the 65-and-older age group awards with stellar finishes at the stage of their lives when others their age are settling into rockers.

We can do more than we think we can -- It's a good lesson to learn from completing a marathon, and one that serves us well long after we cross the finish line.

Wendy Sibley