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The SQUEAL : May 4, 2008
The latest and greatest news from the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
THE SQUEAL is the free e-mail newsletter of the
10th Annual Flying Pig Marathon

The largest field in Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon history saw 33-year-old Andy Martin of Bend, Oregon, take the men's overall marathon title at the 10th anniversary running of the Marathon on Sunday, May 4th in a time of 2:30:40.

A record weekend field of 22,149, including 16,406 participants in the Sunday events, highlighted the celebration of the 10th Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon weekend, May 2-4. The previous record was in 2007, when 18,192 registered.

Second in the men's field was 24-year-old Brian List of Milford, Ohio, who finished in a time of 2:33:33. List is the reigning champion of Cincinnati's Heart Mini- Marathon. Third was 26-year-old Travis Murray of Owensville, Ohio, finishing in a time of 2:34:34 in his first-ever marathon.

For Martin, the Flying Pig Marathon victory was the fifth in his career and the second in a week, taking the title the previous weekend at Big Sur International in California. Why did he come to the "Pig?" "It's a famous marathon," he said. "I wanted to see what it was about."

Martin had a competitive battle with List through the first half of the marathon. "I was getting him on the hills, and he would get me coming down," said Martin. "I was able to break away finally in about the 14th mile."

Winning the women's division of the Marathon was 39-year-old Michelle Didion of Laporte, Indiana, in a time of 3:05:18. The mother of four children ranging in age from 7 to 14, she had run the Flying Pig Half Marathon presented by National City and the Toyota 10K before taking on the Marathon this year.

"I loved it," she said. "I felt like a rock star all the way through, with the crowds giving me support. Not every race gives the women their own pace car and their own escorts. It was a wonderful race."

Second in the women's division was 31-year-old Julie Spencer of Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 3:06:44. The decision to do the "Pig" was a last-minute one for this veteran of more than a dozen marathons. "A friend of mine and I just decided to do it a couple of weeks ago," she said. "I've always wanted to do the 'Pig'."

Third was 26-year-old Jen Gapin of Greensboro, North Carolina, who turned in her personal best time of 3:07:53 in this, her fifth marathon. "A friend of mine recommended this event," she said. "It was fun, great crowd support."

In the Flying Pig Half Marathon presented by National City, 23-year-old Todd Ptacek of Erie, Pennsylvania, won in a time of 1:09:22, an event record time. Second in the men's division was 22-year-old Keegan Rathkamp of Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1:13:22 and third was 22-year-old Evan DeHart of Middletown, a former runner from the University of Cincinnati, who finished in a time of 1:14:30.

"Through the first six miles, I was running the route really well," said Ptacek, a University of Notre Dame graduate now working for General Electric in Erie. "I managed to surge and get in front about mile 7 or 8."

In the women's division, 26-year-old Rachel Stoehr of Cincinnati won in a time of 1:20:48 in her second Half Marathon presented by National City. Second among women was 24-year-old Karen Berling of Cincinnati in 1:22:59 and third was 20-year-old Katherine Lewnard, a University of Cincinnati sophomore and former runner at Mercy High School in Cincinnati in a time of 1:26:14.

"We had a really fast pace," said Stoehr, who placed second in last year's Half Marathon presented by National City. "Usually I hit a wall later in the race, but today I didn't. This year I was expecting it. I just felt comfortable."

Due to a multiple-alarm fire on Mile 22 of the Marathon course, the start of the race was delayed by about 15 minutes. The course was re-directed around the emergency, adding an estimated fourth of a mile to the route. The route still will be certified as an official course.

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