A Running Story The Flying Pig - chief Gary auffart

Gary Auffart's running story has transformed from running into burning buildings to running marathons. The retired fire chief is now a dedicated endurance athlete, currently training for his 5th Flying Pig Marathon.

The Pig is actually part of an ambitious year for Auffart, who is also training for his first half & full Ironman Triathlon. "I just love the challenge," Auffart told me in Newport cafe Friday. "I just want to see what my body is capable of doing."

Auffart's running resume is impressive. He has completed several ultra-marathons, including the Dog Gone Long Run 50K at Caesar Creek and the Tunnel Hill 100 miler in Illinois. He will participate in the half Ironman in May and a full in September, both in Chattanooga.

photos courtesy of Gary Auffart.

Serving others has been the family business for Auffart. He was raised in Anderson Township, where his father worked for the Cincinnati Fire Department for 28 years. His brother is a firefighter in Union Township. "It's what I grew up with," Auffart said.

Auffart served Northern Kentucky as a firefighter for more than 21 years, working his way up to the rank of Fire Chief in both Newport and Fort Mitchell. I have never seen him without a smile on his face - and he just puts off a can-do vibe.

"I remember a fire right here on Central in Newport," Auffart recalled. "The whole front of the building burned off while we were in there. You just never know what you are getting into."

all fire photos Courtesy: Katie Woodring Photograpy

I wondered if there are parallels between fighting fires and a running marathon.

"You have to have no fear." Auffart admitted. "When it gets tough, that is when your training kicks in."

Auffart joked over breakfast that people have told him he was crazy for running into a burning building and now say the same for running ultras.

"I just love seeing how far I can push my body," Auffart said. "I love the strategy of the long events and running with other people."

Auffart is running with Tri-State Running Company in Northern Kentucky. This year he is the pace group leader for the group training for the Flying Pig. "I love all of the excitement of the Flying Pig," Auffart said. "Once I ran the Pig, I just wanted to do it again and again."

A Get 'Em to College Running Story

"The vision is that they can be what they want to be, and then their kids will have parents who have been college" Robin Hornberger/Teacher West Clermont High School

I love this story from colleague and wonderful reporter Paola Suro about West Clermont High School teacher Robin Hornberger.

Hornberger is raising money by running a marathon a month for the next three years. Her goal is to raise $500,000 to allow some of her students to go to college. Here is the story from Good Morning Tri-State Monday.

Hornberger is running with support from sponsors such as Chipotle, Perfection Gymnastics and the Tri-State Running Company in addition to taking donations from individuals. Anyone wishing to support her mission and see her racing schedule can do so here. https://westclerscholarshi.wixsite.com/website

Here is the link to the story from WCPO.com. https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/clermont-county/batavia-township/west-clermont-high-teacher-is-racing-to-send-more-of-her-students-to-college.

What is your Running Story?

What inspires you? Why are you running the Flying Pig? Are you on a health quest? Trying to beat your personal best? Where are you from? Why now?

This space is for your story - it will be part video, part written word, part TV news story and part pictures. Hopefully it is as inspirational to read as I find it to gather these stories.

Here is how you contact me: email www.chris.riva@wcpo.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChrisRivaWCPO/, desk phone 513.852.1334

Happy Training - Chris

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