This past weekend marked the 16th edition of the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, and runners Ryan Hall, Sergio Reyes, and Amy Robillard were, well, flying.
Hall, a 31-year-old Olympic marathoner who holds the U.S. half-marathon record (59:43), set a new course record in the Toyota 10K, one of several events held on Saturday, a day before the main event.
Finishing in 30:32, Hall bested 4,141 other participants, among them Cincinnati’s own Blake Meyer, who took second in 34:04, and Paul Odipo of Kenya, third in 34:23.
Taking to the streets of Cincy and Northern Kentucky on Sunday, Reyes defended his Flying Pig Marathon title, finishing in 2:27.21. The 32-year-old California resident has dominated the event in recent years: He also won in 2009, 2012, and 2013.
Trailing Reyes by just over a minute was Cincinnati athlete Donnie Warner, who finished in 2:28.39. Californian Kota Reichert took third in 2:28:57.
"It was definitely a different strategy out there today, but I felt good enough in the closing miles,” Reyes said afterward, according to local NBC affiliate WLWT. “Going out a little conservative really helped this time. I was happy with it.”
On the women’s end, Robillard captured her first Flying Pig Marthon after winning the half-marathon in 2011 and 2012. The resident of nearby Montgomery, OH, finished in 2:55:53, nearly six minutes ahead of Cincinnati’s Dr. P.J. Ball, who crossed in 3:01:45.
The Flying Pig is a special race for Robillard: Four years ago, her son, Jameson, received a bone-marrow transplant for an immune deficiency disorder at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The youngster is “doing well,” according to Fox 19.
“When I think I’m tired and hurting, it’s nothing compared to what my son went through, so I can’t complain,” Robillard said. “I just want to be a good role model for them.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg