Wednesday, December 15, 1999

Flying Pig gets new finish

Marathon to end at Sawyer Point for postrace party

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The inaugural Flying Pig Marathon went well, but that doesn't mean the folks behind the marathon don't think the second one can be better.

        To that end, they are making a major course change. The finish will be at Sawyer Point rather than Union Terminal for this year's May 14 race.

        “It's better for drop-off,” race director Rich Williams said. “It's better for parking. And it's closer to downtown.”

        But the biggest reason is Sawyer Point is better for a party after the race. That outweighed the fact that Union Terminal was a great finish, aesthetically.

        “It was very picturesque,” Williams said. “But after people run 26 miles, they aren't interested in the view. They want a patch of grass to sit down on.”

        Sawyer Point offers that.

        “We can have a much bigger party,” race founder Bob Coughlin said. “It's set up for that. It's a parking lot that you set for a party.”

        To accommodate the new finish, the course will be changed slightly. It still will start downtown, but will be moved a few blocks to Fifth Street in front of Procter & Gamble. The course still will go up Eggleston Avenue to Mount Adams and through Hyde Park.

        There will be other changes, but Williams doesn't want to reveal them until they are finalized.

        “We're just refining it,” Williams said, “to make it more appealing.”

        Look for some of the Eastern Avenue stretch to be removed.

        The first Pig got rave reviews in Marathon & Beyond's current issue. The Pig scored 901 on a scale of 1,000 — the sixth-best of any marathon reviewed.

        “The buzz is tremendous,” Coughlin said. “I just got back from the Chicago Marathon expo. Everyone was asking me about it.”

        Coughlin expects to fill all 7,500 spots this year, up from 6,200 last year.

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