CINCINNATI — The Flying Pig is going virtual again in 2021, so a group of runners are getting together and holding their own, much smaller, races in person.
The Performance Project is a group of runners who train together for half and full marathons. Some of their members said there's nothing like participating in an actual race, so that is part of why they decided to hold their own races.
"There's a sense of adrenaline when you've got the streets lined with people with your usual Pig," marathon runner Ahalya Nirmalan said. "It's definitely different, sometimes a little more. You have to work on your mental tolerance in terms of just knowing even if there's not people everywhere, I'm going to push my hardest to do my best."
Head Coach Rick Lukin said it's also hard to tell people who have been training so hard for so long that there's no reward at the end of their training. That's why the half and full marathons are certified so racers can qualify for the Boston or New York marathons.
Lukin also said they are able to hold their race in-person because they will have 71 runners compared to the thousands in the Flying Pig, and they are going to be following COVID-19 protocols.
"We're sending people out in groups of 10 or less from the start so we have a staggered start setup and that will get people out and basically spread out as they get out," Lukin said. "There will also be refill scenarios if you are carrying your own (water), or we will have cups set out and spaced apart on tables where people can pick them up so it's contactless."
The race is happening Saturday morning around Lunken and Otto Armleder Park. Registration for the race is closed.