"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

Flying High

At the age of 88, S. Joyce Richter completed her 11th Flying Pig half marathon in 2023.

Congratulations to Sisters of Charity Sally Duffy, Annie Klapheke and Joyce Richter, and SC Associate Karen Martin who were four of the 10 persons joining the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center Flying Pig Team to raise money in support of the work of IJPC.

In its 25th year, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon did not disappoint with participants on Sunday, May 7, 2023 braving the elements, which included heavy rain, thunder, lightning and a shelter-in-place order. Each of the four Community members either ran or walked the half marathon (13.1 miles). Challenging, fun and exciting, the Flying Pig brings participants of all ages and abilities together for what many call the largest weekend party in Cincinnati.

S. Joyce Richter, who at the age of 88 was one of the oldest participants in the field, celebrated her 11th Flying Pig appearance in 2023. “It’s the challenge!” she says when asked what calls her back each year. “It’s being part of something much bigger than myself. It’s a great way to keep fit, and I love being outdoors.”

S. Sally Duffy, who this year participated in her eighth Flying Pig, says that the mission of IJPC is the connector that calls her back each year. “IJPC educates and advocates for peace, challenges unjust systems and structures, and promotes a nonviolent society. IJPC and the Sisters of Charity have been dedicated for decades to ending the death penalty in Ohio. If we keep praying and advocating, there is definitely momentum to do so in this legislative session.”

S. Sally Duffy said the mission of IJPC kept her motivated throughout the torrential rain and shelter-in-place order.

This year’s race was unprecedented with marathoners running and walking through torrential downpours and flooded streets. Thirty minutes into the race, thunder and lightning prompted a shelter-in-place order.

“The elements this year were formidable and also energizing,” said Karen, who was participating in her ninth Flying Pig. “There were times of apprehension and many prayers, hearing loud thunder and seeing lightning bolts in the sky, especially while crossing over the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge from Covington to Cincinnati. Once I was drenched and the thunder and lightning subsided, the rain was doable.”

Added S. Sally, “Some of the Covington, Kentucky intersections were like running through streams. Soaked shoes and socks always add a little more weight to lifting your legs while running.”

Each of the four women persevered. The energy and enthusiasm throughout the race kept them going. S. Joyce said being part of a huge group of committed people moving forward with much energy and purpose – all for different reasons, but all for the same goal – was a motivator.

“It is so energizing to be running along with thousands of other people and to have the support of spectators cheering you on,” S. Annie added. “I love how much the city of Cincinnati rallies around the Flying Pig as a major event for the community.”

“There are often interesting happenings, both challenging and inspiring, along the way,” says Karen. “And, there are many motivators: the spectators vigorously cheering with funny and inspiring signs, the volunteers’ smiles and chants at hydration and snack stations, the comfort from the medical and safety personnel, and the energy and camaraderie from all the participants engaged in this event.”

Supporting the mission of IJPC was also an inspiration. “It was the mission of IJPC that motivated me through all my months of training,” says S. Annie, “especially thinking about the stamina of people who labor day in and day out for justice. The work for justice is often a slow, long road, and sometimes it feels like a constant uphill battle. When I felt tired, I would think about social justice heroes throughout history who kept going, even in the face of fatigue.”

“IJPC is an outstanding organization with an important mission and focus to promote the work for peace and justice in Cincinnati,” said Karen. “I walk for them, and all my family and friends who supported me and donated because the work of IJPC is vital in today’s society. I took each step for 13.1 miles for peace and justice and in thanksgiving for IJPC.”

In total Team IJPC walked/ran more than 190 miles and raised more than $16,000 to continue the organization’s education and advocacy work. Congratulations, Team!

S. Annie Klapheke (right) enjoyed the motivation of her running companion, her sister Julie (left); this was the first time the sisters ran a half marathon together.

(From left) S. Joyce Richter and Associate Karen Martin enjoyed attending the Fitness Expo at Duke Energy Convention Center prior to Sunday’s event.

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