Sunday, May 4, 2003

Pig runs today

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

South Dakota resident Micah Grenz went from casual runner to instant celebrity the moment he said "Sure."

Grenz, an athletics department promotions manager at South Dakota State University, made Flying Pig Marathon history Wednesday when he became the 50th entrant from the 50th U.S. state to enter the fifth-annual race.

All 50 representatives were slated to compete in today's 26.2-mile course, from Paul Brown Stadium to Yeatman's Cove, beginning at 6:30 a.m.

When South Dakota State athletic director Fred Oien was searching for a marathoner Tuesday, Grenz found it hard to pass up a race he'd once seen in Runner's World.

Grenz, 27, didn't think it was such a big deal, signing up for a marathon. Then reporters started calling. And calling.

"I wasn't nervous about it - til now," Grenz said, laughing. "I probably won't have my fastest time ever, but I'm pretty prepared to run the whole course."

Most states had representatives long before the Pig's Saturday registration deadline, but Game Day Communications president Betsy Ross said it wasn't easy to attract the two holdouts: North and South Dakota.

Mayor Charlie Luken even issued a challenge to five mayors in the two states.

"The Dakotas have been slow to enter the Pig so we've been pressuring them to send representatives, because this is fast becoming one of the better marathons in the country," said Luken, who planned to run in today's Flying Pig 4-person relay.

He heard back only from Fargo mayor Bruce W. Furness, who politely declined. But Bismarck resident Don Reiner signed up for his inaugural Pig in late March and became the 49th representative.

Grenz, a Brookings, S.D. resident who grew up in Indianapolis, hasn't been to Cincinnati since 1994.

So why was it so difficult to get a South Dakotan to run the Pig?

"We're surrounded by a lot of farming communities and not a lot of farmers are runners," Grenz said. "Plus we just had a marathon (of 40-50 people) in town this weekend."

Flying Pig Marathon


Start: Paul Brown Stadium, Mehring Way.

Finish: Yeatman's Cove, Sawyer Point.

Start times: 6:25 a.m. - Wheelchair start; 6:30 a.m. - Flying Pig Marathon, Ernst & Young 4-Person Relay and Outback Steakhouse 2-Person Relay; 6:50 a.m. - Papa John's Flying Pig 10K; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. - Victory party.

TV: Ch. 5, 6:30 a.m.

Flying Pig History

2002 winners: Men's, Cornelio Velasco (2:31:13); women's, Tatyana Pozdnyakova (2:34:35)*; wheelchair, Chad Johnson (1:53:15).

2001: Men's, Rudolf Jun (2:28:07); women's, Rebecca Gallaher (2:50:50); wheelchair, Vern Achenbach (1:53:47).

2000: Men's, Jun (2:23:04); women's, Gallaher (2:49:31); wheelchair, Franz Nietlispach (1:35:07).

1999: Men's, Elly Rono (2:21:15)*; women's, Sommer Settell (2:58:10); wheelchair, Saul Mendoza (1:30:46).

*Existing course record



Locals win Flying Pig
Complete results

Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs

Giants 9, Reds 6
Reds notebook: Riedling prepared to start
Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

Fay: MLB power rankings
NL: Pujols, Cards hot
AL: Pedro twirls five-hitter
Notes from Saturday's games
Louisville 4, Buffalo 1
Cy Young vs. Cy Old
Mix up makes Choi the NL rookie of month
Ex-Astro Lugo says he didn't strike wife

Funny Cide up in Derby
Jockey Santos realizes dream with a gelding
Frankel accepts defeat in stride
A win for owners, and their home state
In a N.Y. minute - or two
No fade at finish for humbled Patton

Bengals begin to take shape
Newest receiver should fit right in
Bengals Q&A
Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick

Price fired as Alabama football coach
Tide president made the right call
Alabama players upset by coach's firing

Daugherty: O.J. Mayo
Prep Insider
Prep results, schedule

Cronin's goal is to outfox ex-employers UC, U of L for recruits
Pictures worth 1,000 words for Missouri English major
Court: newspaper may be entitled to Knight records
Duncan to repeat as MVP

Ky. Speedway still hoping for Cup race
Driver Nadeau critical but improving

Giguere pulled in loss to Stars
Clones lose finale

Verplank maintains 3-shot lead

Venus advances

De La Hoya stops Campas

Ignorance is bliss for Thomas More
Some college coaches can't be trusted
'I made some very, very poor decisions'
Division II Lewis beats BYU for NCAA title
Top Of The Second power rankings

This weekend's sports on TV, radio