Upon arrival at Florida I visited the Fit2Run store. If you have never visited one you must! It is a runners superstore and they also publish a monthly timetable of runs in the local area. I saw a run on the timetable that really caught my attention, the Pig Run. After emailing the organisers I had secured my place and was excited to be taking part.
The race takes part in Lake Nona. Lake Nona is a beautiful community. Modern houses, tress and lakes, such a pretty American suburb of Orlando. We were directed to our parking bay by Elvis and enjoyed a short but beautiful walk through the streets of Lake Nona to the local high school playing field.
On the playing field we were greeted with stalls. Some for charities raising money and others selling a variety of running related items. Some stalls had free popcorn, coffee, candy floss and other treats all for a charitable donation. The girls loved this. They loved they had popcorn and candy floss in an unlimited supply. There was a great atmosphere around the football ground as the runners gathered ready for the start. I have never experienced that buzz before on a start line, but it was certainly there at Lake Nona.
As we lined up on the start line we stood to sing the American anthem, unfortunately my knowledge of the lyrics stems to the version Eddie Izzard sings so I opted to simply pay my respects. Then we were off.
The warm morning Florida sunshine coming over the trees and glistening over the Lake as we ran around and through to the houses. Families sitting on chairs in their front gardens cheering us on. Cheerleaders performing routines on the way around. Families running and giggling as we ran past the picturesque houses. Runners asking how far we were going, as it was listed as a 3.1 mile race, in my head I had 5km. The fun however began at 2 miles.
At the 2 mile mark we run into the village square. White picket fences and gazebos and tables and tables of donuts. Upon entering the 'pig pen' you are directed to either spin a wheel or to the table to eat donuts. Spinning the wheel indicates how many donuts you eat and what flavour. Everything from 1 to 12 donuts! Once you have eaten your donuts you are free to leave the pen and continue the run.
It was amazing watching some of the faster runners eating a large quantity of donuts, or the kids who opted for 12 realising it was probably not such a good idea. The final mile runs back to the entrance of the park and a wonderful straight path back into the football pitch.
The Pig Run at Lake Nona has to be on the must do races if you visit Florida. Not only is it well organised, the atmosphere is electric, the route is flat and so picturesque and you get to eat donuts. What more could you ask for?
Oh yes, a medal the size of your head!
Once the main race had finished it was time for the kids race. They were given a technical t shirt, as were adults who took part and they then lined up at the edge of the football field. They had to run from one edge to the other. The race was split into the under 5s and the over 5s. My eldest even though 6 took part with her sister, and actually was the first person back!
Upon finishing the race they were given a medal and a bag of donuts!
I am hoping to recover some footage from my GoPro to put a video together of the day, I have since got a new GoPro so this shouldn't happen again!
The Pig Run at Lake Nona is incredible. It has such a warm, positive community spirit and feel to it. There is a real buzz of excitement and of course plenty of donuts!