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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COURSE RECORD SET AT 2006 FLYING PIG MARATHON


CINCINNATI (May 7)--Cecil Franke of Dublin, Indiana, won the Eighth Annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday in a course record time of 2:20:25 in only his second marathon. Franke, a cross country coach at Centerville High School, just outside Richmond, Indiana, shattered the previous marathon record of 2:21:15, set in 1999 by Elly Rono, as he dueled most of the way with second place finisher Chris Reis.

A record 14,911 were registered for the weekend events, including 4,919 in the full marathon, 4,937 in the half marathon presented by National City, 200 in the Corporate Express corporate relay and 1,892 in the Ernst & Young open relay. In the Saturday events, 973 competed in the Toyota 10K, won by T.J. Lentz and Kerry Lee, 1,405 in the 5K and 585 in the Piglet Fun Run. Forty-eight states and fifteen countries, including the United States, were represented in the field.

"I was just trying to hang on," said the 38-year-old Franke. "I hadn't planned on going that fast, but Chris pushed me faster than I wanted to go."

Reis, 25, a native of Delhi Township and the winner of this spring's Heart Mini-Marathon, still had a personal best time of 2:23:23, his best by some four minutes. "We worked together most of the race. It was nice to have somebody to run with, but at mile 19, we got separated."

Franke, who was raised in Osgood, Indiana, and ran at Ball State University, didn't have a strategy to sprint toward the end. "By mile 19, I felt good, so I picked up the tempo. My splits for mile 18 and 19 were right around 5:09."

Franke's only previous marathon was in Columbus, where he placed fifth in the 2005 race. His goal is to make the marathon trials for the 2008 Olympics, which is what Reis also is aiming for.

"One of the positives was my time," said Reis. "It was my fastest marathon time by far. Now I'm debating whether to do a full marathon in the fall to lower my time for the trials."

Third in the men's division was 22-year old Brian List of Milford in a time of 2:33:55.

In the women's division, 36-year old Norah Shire of Hyde Park easily won in a time of 2:56:19. "It's a fantastic marathon, a great course," said the Washington, D.C., native, who is now living in Cincinnati, finishing her Ph.D. in viral epidemiology at the University of Cincinnati. When you go through the neighborhoods, it's so much fun. It's such a popular race-I mean, it's called the Flying Pig."

Shire, who had run the Heart Mini-Marathon and marathons in Columbus and Boston, had only run the two-person relay in the "Pig" before winning the full marathon. "I had an injured male teammate (from the Earth Drummers running club) pace me through mile 15. After that, I was pretty much by myself."

Second in the women's division was 22-year-old Lindsey Yourman of New York, in a time of 2:59:32 in her first marathon. "I went out with the 3:30 group, and I couldn't believe how fast I was going," she said.

Third was 33-year old Betsy Armentrout of Winston Salem, North Carolina, who finished in 3:01:40. This is the third "Pig" for the pediatrician, with fifth being her best previous finish. "It was exciting, I had a great day," said Armentrout, who lived in Cincinnati for four years, while she did her residency at Children's Hospital Medical Center.

In the Flying Pig Half Marathon presented by National City, 26-year old Tilahun Abebe of Western Hills, a nave of Ethiopia, won the men's division in a time of 1:14:07 after getting off work at midnight and getting little or no sleep before the race. He worked the second shift at the parking garage at Tower Place, one of two jobs he holds, then was at the starting line at 6 a.m.

"I like the course," said Abebe, who has been in the Cincinnati for about two years. 'It was hard to train, but I like the hills, it reminds me of the hills we have in Ethiopia."

In second place was 32-year-old Omar Nash of Cincinnati in 1:15:35 and third was Shaun Pawsat, 36, of Fort Thomas, Kentucky in 1:15:59. All three are members of the same Cincinnati running club, Earth Drummers.

Tanya Thatcher, 35, from Mason, Ohio, defended her title as the women's division half marathon winner, finishing in 1:23:18. "There was a little more pressure because of winning the year before," she said. "I led through four miles, then I hung back until mile nine, then I took the lead again. The downhill stretched pushed me home."

Second in a time of 1:24:35 was Nicole LaSelle, 28, of Dayton, a former runner at Chaminade-Julienne High School and at the University of Notre Dame. "This is a fantastic course," she said after her first Pig event. "The competition was pretty tough. Tanya ran a very smart race."

Returning to the Cincinnati running scene after two stress fractures is 27-year old PJ Ball, who finished third in 1:26:10. The women's winner of the 2004 Flying Pig Marathon said she was just happy to be back running. "I couldn't sit out again. This is an awesome event. The support was terrific. Cincinnati has the best crowds."

In the new Old Spice High Endurance "Mile to the Finish" award, Franke had the fastest final mile for men at 5:02, and Monica Ranly from Fort Recovery, Ohio, had the fastest for women at 5:48. In other divisions, Holmes Finch of Anderson, Indiana, won the men's walking division in 3:53:09, and Noel Thesing of Cincinnati won the women's division at 5:04:03. Team Samson from Sunbury, Ohio, was tops in the coed relay at 2:43:25, Team Quick Chick from Cincinnati won the women's relay in 3:25:02 and Team Wings from New Richmond, Ohio, won in the men's relay in 2:30:04. In the Corporate Express Corporate Relay division, Team Olay won the coed division in 3:02:04, Team Kendle International 1 won in the female relay division in 5:00:13 and Team High Endurance won in the men's relay in 2:34:16.

For full results of the marathon, visit the results page.