Flying Pig win ‘a dream’ for Oakwood grad

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Oakwood native at the finish line in Cincinnati

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

By Shannon Russell

Contributing Writer

CINCINNATI — When five-time champion Sergio Reyes bowed out of the Flying Pig Marathon to prep for another race, the door opened for a new victor in the 19th running of the swine.

Jack Randall seized the opportunity. The 22-year-old Dayton native and Oakwood High School grad overtook 2015 champion Adam Gloyeske to win his first Flying Pig in 2:33:46.

Grinning widely with a crown of laurels atop his head and a first-place trophy in his arms, Randall called the 26.2-mile victory “a dream.”

“I honestly did not think it was possible … until probably around Mile 10. There were three of us up there and I could see first place. I thought, ‘Man, if I can get him by (Mile) 16, I think I can do it,” Randall said.

Randall passed Gloyeske between Miles 15 and 16 and never relinquished control. He finished ahead of second-place Emmett Saulnier (2:35:15) of Terrace Park and Brian Korody (2:42:10) of Cincinnati.

Randall graduated last weekend from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in biomedical engineering and is about to start his professional career in Cincinnati. The Clifton resident has spent recent years competing all over the country with the UC Running Club, albeit in shorter distances.

The five-time marathon runner said he’s going to switch his focus now.

“The marathon is going to be my race,” Randall said.

He was sold on the idea after conquering the challenging Pig course. Randall said “you hear horror stories about this race,” so his strategy was to take the first 13.1 miles “as easy as I could” while maintaining a fast pace.

“I really didn’t want to push the pace until I hit Mile 15 or 16 just to make sure I had enough coming down the home stretch and finishing it out,” Randall said. “Until about Mile 23 or 24, I was feeling very good. And then things started to deteriorate a little bit, legs started to get tired and breathing really started to go. But I had enough to finish.”

Randall credited the cool conditions for his successful morning. Although he wore a pair of disposable gloves, he didn’t shed them until Mile 25.

Two pig mascots awaited Randall at the finish, where he eluded 4,048 other marathoners. There were 37,244 participants in all Pig races from Friday through Sunday, slightly lower than last year’s record-setting showing of 39,692.

As is Pig tradition, the male and female marathon winners are invited to throw out the first pitches in an upcoming Reds game. Randall and Kerry Lee, a Cincinnati high school teacher and coach who won the women’s race in 2:53:55, have that chance May 19 in a 7:10 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies.