If you’re coming out to watch someone you know run the Flying Pig Marathon, the most important thing to consider is: location, location, location.
More than 150,000 spectators are expected to gather on Sunday, May 6th as the Flying Pig Marathon winds its way through the Cincinnati area for 26.2 miles. The race begins at Paul Brown Stadium and goes into Northern Kentucky, Downtown, Mt. Adams, and throughout the east side of the city, giving you plenty of options for places to watch. Maybe too many options.
Lucky for you we pulled together a list of seven spots to maximize your marathon viewing potential.
This post is sponsored by Connect Cincinnati.
1. The Starting Line (Mehring Way)
The race begins on Elm Street in front of Paul Brown Stadium at 6:30 a.m. Grab a spot at The Banks or Smale Park and share in the collective excitement of more than 15,000 marathoners and half marathoners as they take their first steps toward completing a goal they’ve spent months training for. Further upgrade your viewing experience by hitting the breakfast buffet at the Moerlein Lager House’s Official Start Line Viewing Party.
2. Northern Kentucky (Newport & Covington)
The marathon course makes a short tour into Northern Kentucky following 5th street in Newport and 4th street Covington for miles 2 and 3. For those who live south of the river, this is the most convenient vantage point. It’s also early in the race giving you an opportunity to jump in the car and make it to another location in time to see your runner again before the finish line.
3. Downtown (7th Street)
Any runner who has done the Flying Pig before will tell you the crowds along 7th Street are some of the best. The marathon has even designated 7th Street and Central Ave. a “Party Zone” where spectators can gather to cheer together and enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages. Whether the crowds really are louder along 7th Street, or it’s just an acoustic effect of the cheers echoing off buildings, doesn’t matter, at this point the runners welcome all the support they can get as they prepare to tackle the climb into Mt. Adams.
4. The Climb (Eden Park)
When the marathon is over, chances are miles 6-8 will be the part runners talk about most. It’s a challenging two-mile climb up Gilbert Ave into Eden Park that is also the one of the most scenic parts of the race. You can be a part of their story (“And that’s when I saw you…”) by cheering them up the hill at Mirror Lake, the Gazebo, the Krohn Conservatory, or the Eden Park Overlook. Take a moment to soak in the view yourself as well. Oh, and did we mention Elvis usually makes an appearance here?
5. The Block Party (Hyde Park Square)
While all the neighborhoods along the marathon route have embraced the race, few have done so more enthusiastically than Hyde Park. The residents of Hyde Park have always been good at finding reasons to throw a party, and that’s what watching the marathon in Hyde Park Square is like. Here you can also find another spectator “Party Zone” with complimentary snacks and drinks. Warm up your high-five hand, the runners are going to be looking for it as they come through.
6. The Picnic Party (Mariemont)
Mariemont is one of the few neighborhoods that can rival Hyde Park’s festive atmosphere, and at mile 15/16 it’s the turning point of the marathon when the runners start heading back toward downtown and the finish line. Mariemont has it’s own Square that is a great place to see and be seen by runners, but the real charm of the area is along the residential streets where many neighbors host breakfast picnics on their front lawns while watching the parade of runners go by. Look friendly enough and maybe you will get invited over for a waffle and mimosa.
7. The Final Stretch (Pete Rose Way)
Prepare to be inspired. Completing a marathon is a bucket list accomplishment for many of the runners who will be participating in the Flying Pig. You don’t want to miss the look on their faces when they cross that finish line. The marathon’s final stretch is Riverside Dr. down Pete Rose Way to Smale Park. If you can, find a spot in the park early for the after party.
After the race, it’s time to celebrate. Use the Connect Cincinnati app to find somewhere close to help your runner refuel – emphasis on close, they did just run 26.2 miles.
You can also celebrate a 20 year tradition of dedication, hard work and giving back with the Flying Pig Ladies Home tee.
We are proud to partner with Cincinnati Bell to give back to our HOME. All profits from this T-shirt go to support local charitable organizations.
For more information on where to watch the Flying Pig Marathon, visit www.flyingpigmarathon.com