Find below David’s story after his 19th marathon. He let us know how beautiful but rather difficult the run was, and how great the ambiance was in this great city! Our crazy runner sums up his feelings in a few words: Cincinnati? A city you have to discover and a marathon you have to run!
My 19th marathon in the USA after last Sunday’s crazy run
I woke up at 5 am feeling well rested as I had spent the entire previous day in my room. I took my Immun’Âge®, ate a delicious pink grapefruit and got dressed.
I left my room at 5:45 to get to the starting area, a 30-minute walk down by Paul Brown Stadium. It drizzled a bit but the temperature was ideal to run and there was no rain forecasted. I went through downtown taking a few nice pictures. I arrived at the starting line at 6:20 during the national anthem. Since there was no corral number on my bib, I chose corral C for a start two minutes after the gun went off. After a tribute to Prince, we started running to his “1999” song, and right away I loved this run!
I chose a 9.50 minute/mile pace as I decided to take it easy after last Sunday’s crazy run. After the stadium we crossed our first bridge, quite steep. I stopped to take pictures of the iconic John Roebling Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in the US. We crossed the river and reached Kentucky, crossed a second bridge that was not that hard, and then a third bridge that was quite steep before going back downtown.
I reached km 5 in 30 minutes. There was a big crowd and a great ambiance from the beginning. I got a lot of cheers and congratulations, and it was really nice and made me feel really good. We passed through downtown and then left it to get to the start of the hostilities. I had analyzed the elevation map and had noticed that the run went up non-stop for five miles! It is long, I can assure you, but Dirk, my host, had warned me that the run would feel a bit like San Francisco and I knew what to expect! Indeed we ran some roller coaster hills that made my legs cringe, but I tried to keep a steady rhythm and passed km 10 in 1:00 and km 15 in 1:36, which was not so bad.
These hills left traces though and I slowed down a bit in order to better enjoy the run. We crossed through very pretty residential neighborhoods. The sight up there was superb and there were many well-wishers at the side of the road. With the sun that started to shine, the run turned into a very beautiful stroll.
I passed km 20 in 2:12, and the half marathon in 2:20. A French runner called out and two participants recognized me from having run the same marathons as I did, one in Kentucky and the other in Alabama. We reached the very residential Mariemont neighborhood decorated with many flowers, beautifully maintained and with huge houses. Residents were happy to watch us run by in their neighborhood, and encouragements came from everywhere. As we were running this “flying pig marathon,” we got to eat bacon. I loved it and ate on the way! But it made me thirsty and I had to drink a lot after this great food tasting! We started to run back towards the city along the Ohio River bank and we could see the downtown buildings in the distance.
I reached km 25 in 2:53 and km 30 in 3:38. With the sun there, it was really getting hot but because of the very festive atmosphere, I totally enjoyed this beautiful morning. These straight stretches back to town are quite long and not really flat, that is for sure. Indeed it’s a very beautiful and nice marathon but with a really difficult course.
I reached km 35 in 4:25. There were many music attractions on the course and at one point we even got little basket balls to throw through a hoop, quite fun! A few straight stretches, an uphill and the finish line in the distance next to the Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati’s base-ball stadium. I passed the finish line in 5:29 (I ran the marathon distance in 5:25).
There was a big crowd at the finish area and the celebration after the run was really cool: Lots of food to choose from, beer, live concerts along the riverbank and under a warm sun. It was perfect. My host Dirk and his friend André joined me at the finish area to share a cold beer and take a picture with the medal, really nice guys!
It was a perfect morning to run: Beautiful course even if difficult, great ambiance all along the course, excellent conditions (even if a few of us were too hot at the end. It did not bother me, on the contrary) and a great party after the run. The organization was excellent: there were many volunteers, all very friendly; police were great as always to provide both safety and cheers.
This is a marathon that can justly claim its registration fees! Cincinnati is a beautiful city with a long history in terms of geopolitics, economy, culture as well as architecture. I would like to thank again Dirk and his friends André and Josue for the visit of their city and all the super places they took me to this week. I really had a great time there.
Let’s touch base next Thursday in Maryland for my 20th marathon this year. Have a good week.