2009 Flying Pig Marathon Recap

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Autumn Ray wins the Flying Pig Marathon
Autumn Ray wins the Flying Pig Marathon



A record Sunday field of more than 16,000 saw Flying Pig newcomers Sergio Reyes and Autumn Ray take the men’s and women’s marathon titles on a fast track in the 11th annual running of the Flying Pig Marathon Powered by P&G.

Reyes, 27, of Palmdale, California, won the race in a near record time of 2:20:37, just 12 seconds off the event record of 2:20:25 set in 2006 by Cecil Franke.

“This is one of the most scenic races I’ve ever done,” said Reyes, who runs for the Asics-sponsored Aggies running club. “The views were truly awesome and the weather was just about perfect.”

Second in the men’s division was Tim Parr, 27, of Gunnison, Colorado, in a time of 2:28:32 and third was 29-year-old Adam Thomas of West Chester, Ohio, in 2:31:25.

“The course was fantastic,” said Parr, who came in sixth in last year’s Flying Pig Marathon. Parr ran most of the course with college teammate Travis Murray, who finished fifth and with whom Parr trained at Western State College of Colorado. “Travis and I stayed together until mile 17, and after that I wanted to pick up the pace.”

Thomas was trailing the lead pack until he passed eventual fourth place finisher Grant Scott with about two miles to go, to claim third place. “Weather was perfect,” said Thomas. “No wind, the rain stopped and it was nice and cool.”

It was Thomas’s third overall marathon and first “Pig,” after leaving home to attend college at the University of Iowa. “I moved back home this year and I wanted to run here to thank everyone who has supported me in my running career since junior high—my parents, sister, girlfriend, this was my chance to give back.”

On the women’s side, Autumn Ray, 29, from Galveston, Texas, claimed first place in her first “Pig” in 2:52:23. “I felt good going into this event, I felt very comfortable,” she said. “It was one of those runs where the energy was flowing.”

It was the fourth career marathon win for Ray, who squeezed the “Pig” in, during a rare weekend break from medical school at the University of Texas-Galveston. “I finished pediatrics on Friday and I start surgery on Monday. I had a weekend off, so I looked for a marathon that would be held this weekend, and I found the Flying Pig. It looked like fun, so I signed up.”

Second in the women’s division was a familiar face in Cincinnati-area running, Tanya Thatcher, 38, of Mason, Ohio, in a time of 2:59:31. She won the PNC Half Marathon in 2006 and finished the Columbus marathon last year in a time of 2:56:33.

“This was a run that was mind over matter,” said Thatcher. “I’m coming off Achilles tendonosis in February, and I have bursitis in my right hip, then last year I tore an Achilles tendon. My finish in Columbus gave me the confidence to come back to the “Pig” because this is home.”

Third in the women’s division was 33-year-old Mindy Leisure of Kettering, Ohio, coming in at 2:59:42 in her first ever marathon. “It was a challenging course, but I really liked it,” she said. “The crowd was great.” Mindy ran the PNC Half Marathon here last year and is a two-time winner of the Air Force Half Marathon.

In the PNC Half Marathon, veteran Cincinnati runner Chris Reis and Dayton native Nicole LaSelle claimed the titles in the men’s and women’s divisions respectively.

The 27-year-old Reis, the winner of this year’s Heart Mini Marathon, placed second in the full Marathon in 2006. He finished in a time of 1:09:09. Second among men is former Marathon and PNC Half Marathon winner, T.J. Lentz, 42, with a time of 1:11:17. Third is 23-year-old Keegan Rathkamp in a time of 1:12:07.

“I train on these roads all the time,” said Reis, who works for Bob Roncker’s Running Spot in Cincinnati. “During Marathon week we’re so busy at the store and at the Expo, it’s hard to prepare properly, but it went well. I liked the downhill at the end.”

For Nicole LaSelle, 31, of Kent, Ohio, it was her second time in the PNC Half Marathon, having run the event three years ago. “It was amazing out there,” said LaSelle, who is finishing up her PhD in counseling. “The spectators are unbelievable.” LaSelle won in a time of 1:21:52.

Second in the women’s division was the only two-time female winner of the Flying Pig Marathon, Rebecca Gallaher, who returned to the Pig for the first time since her back-to-back wins in 2000 and 2001. “I have four kids now, so that limits my training time,” said Gallaher, who finished in 1:22:45.  “But there was great support on the course.”

Third in the women’s division was 22-year-old Leslie Kraus with a time of 1:25:22.

A record Sunday field of 16,762 started at 6:30 a.m. under cloudy skies and a slight drizzle, and a temperature of 54 degrees. Sunday’s field included a full marathon total of 4,891 participants, 9,203 for the PNC Half and 2,668 in the City Dash 4-person relay and Corporate Challenge relay sponsored by the Business Courier and McGowan Brabender.

Sunday’s Flying Pig Marathon powered by P&G caps a weekend of that saw a record 22,285 register for events, including 1,572 for the Toyota 10K, 1,926, an event record, for the Fleet Feet Sports 5K, 489 for the Piglet Fun Run and 1,536 for the Kids Marathon presented by Ernst & Young.

Saturday winners included, in the Toyota 10K, 23-year-old Nazar Trilisky of Cincinnati in the men’s division in a time of 33:30 and 25-year-old Karen Berling of Cincinnati in 39:11. In the Fleet Feet Sports 5K, 35-year-old Jeff Hojnacki of Chicago won the men’s division in 16:22 and Kerry Bogner, 26, of Cincinnati, won the women’s division in 18:58.