SIXTH TIME THE CHARM FOR FLYING PIG CHAMPION
Record Field Enters Ninth Annual Running
CINCINNATI (May 6, 2007) - Isaac Barnes of Williamsport, Ohio, a six-time entrant in the Flying Pig Marathon, beat a record field to take the 2007 Marathon title in a time of 2:33:36.
The 31-year old Barnes finished second in the Flying Pig Marathon three times, in 2005, 2002 and 2000. He was sixth last year and third in 2001.
"At mile 21 all I could think of was 'Brother, don't blow this now,'" said Barnes. "At mile 24 it just felt great to know that I finally could get a victory here."
Second in the men's division with a time of 2:34:53 was Kevin Alessandro, 27, a Northern Kentucky native now living in Louisville. Alessandro had the lead for much of the beginning of the marathon, until mile 16. "My right hamstring started tightening up at 16, and at mile 17, Isaac just took off."
Third was 39-year old Jim Beyer from Dayton, OH, in 2:35:22, running his first Flying Pig and just his second marathon.
For Barnes, who has run 25 marathons and has one previous win, in Pennsylvania, the victory at the Pig was a sweet reward. "It just feels great. I've run marathons before when I started strong and ran out of gas at the end. But today I was running with Kevin at a pace I was comfortable with."
In the women's division, Leah Peelman, 23, of Kennedy Heights, the defending champion of this spring's Heart Mini-Marathon, won the Flying Pig Marathon at her first try in 2:55:53. "I had wanted to run the Flying Pig before but was always busy with school," said Peelman, a graduate of Hanover College who will go to graduate school at the University of Kentucky in the fall.
Second was 36-year old Tanya Thatcher of Mason, a two-time winner of the Half Marathon presented by National City, in 3:03:40. Thatcher had the lead for most of the race until mile 21, when Peelman overtook her. "I really felt good," said Thatcher, "and I don't think I would have gone out any differently. Something happened between 19 and 20 when I got really disoriented and dizzy. I don't remember anything from about mile 20 in."
Even though she took ill, Thatcher still turned in a personal best time. "I knew she (Peelman) was back there the whole time. She ran a very smart race," said Thatcher. "That's the thing about the marathon, it's very humbling. I've run 13 full marathons before this, and I've never had something like that that happen before."
"It's a little mentally defeating to come from behind," said Peelman, who trailed Thatcher earlier in the race by as much as 40 seconds. "I just tried to close the gap a little at a time. It took about five miles to do it."
Third was Leslie Kramer, 29, of Slippery Rock, PA, in 3:05:06, her second straight personal best at the Flying Pig, and her 10th marathon. "My daughter loves Cincinnati, so we've made a vacation of it the last two years," said Kramer.
In the Half Marathon presented by National City, Flying Pig veteran T.J. Lentz, 40, led the men's field in a time of 1:10:02. This is Lentz's third Flying Pig title, as he won the 2004 Flying Pig Marathon and the Toyota 10K last year. "This is the first time I've run the half," said Lentz. "I hadn't trained for a longer race, but I always want to take part in Marathon weekend because it's just a great hometown event."
Second in the men's half division was 28-year old Mike Griewe of Cincinnati, who ran for, and graduated from, the University of Notre Dame in 2000. He and Lentz had a battle for the lead until mile 10. "He (Griewe) pushed me from the beginning," said Lentz. "We were shoulder to shoulder until we started down Gilbert. I like to run downhill, so I tried to get a gap between us there." Griewe finished the course in 1:10:36. Third was last year's event winner, 27-year old Tilahun Abebe from Independence, KY, in a time of 1:13:40.
In the women's half marathon division, 38-year old Larisa Mikhailova of Moscow, Russia, broke away from the pack at mile three and was never challenged, winning in a time of 1:23:15. Her running manager is Tatyana Pozdnyakova, who won the Flying Pig Marathon in 2002 in a still-record time for women of 2:34:35.
Second among women was Rachel Stoehr, 25, of Erlanger, in 1:24:36, who was taking part in her first half marathon. "I love the atmosphere," said Stoehr. "You can't be a runner in Cincinnati and not run the Flying Pig." Third was 19-year old Katie Lewnard, a freshman at the University of Cincinnati and a graduate of Mother of Mercy High School, where she ran track and cross country. She finished the course in 1:26:45.
Winning the wheelchair division was Mike Savicki of Cornelius, North Carolina, in 3:14:55, his 52nd marathon and 13th marathon victory.
A record number of registrations highlighted the Ninth Annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, with a total of 18,192 entrants for the weekend events. Included in the total are 4,735 in the full marathon, 6,324 in the Half Marathon presented by National City, and 2,552 in the Ernst & Young 4-person relay.
The Ninth Annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon weekend is May 4-6, 2007, featuring the full marathon, the Half Marathon presented by National City, Ernst and Young 4-Person Relay, Toyota 10K, 5K and the Piglet presented by First Watch, The Enquirer and Children's Hospital. Other events include the National City Expo and Expotique and Duke Energy Pasta "Pig Out" Dinner. Presenting sponsors are Duke Energy, National City, CoActive Marketing Group, Ernst and Young and Paycor.
The Flying Pig Marathon has been named one of the top 10 "Most Fun Runs" in the world by Runner's World magazine, one of the best corporate brands by Fast Company and is listed in "The Traveling Marathoner: A Complete Guide To Top U.S. Races and Sightseeing on the Run," by Elise Allen.
For information or interviews, please contact Jackie Reau/Betsy Ross, Game Day Communications, (513) 929-4263