CINCINNATI - The Flying Pig Marathon kicked off in the early hours Sunday with more than 30,000 runners participating in the events.
Former Flying Pig winner Sergio Reyes, of California, won the marathon with a time of 2:21:49.
"It was good," Reyes said. "Great enthusiasm out there. There's a lot of Boston supporters and that was just really encouraging like when the going got tough I just saw those guys yelling and it gave me even more motivation."
Reyes won the title in 2009 and 2012. He ran a 2:20:37 in his first win and 2:22:04 in his second win.
"Today, I came pretty close [to a record win], but I'm happy with it," Reyes said. "I'll take the win."
Reyes began his professional running career in 2003, according to USA Track & Field. As a transfer student at Cedarville University in Ohio, Reyes was a two-time NAIA and NCCAA All-American in cross-country and the 2002 NAIA champion.
He noticed the heightened security at Sunday's marathon, following the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.
"It's great to see local law enforcement doing their job and really just maintaining a presence throughout the race and it just gives that many people that much more positive feedback," Reyes said.
Rebecca Walter, 29, of Bloomington, Ind., was the first woman to cross the finish line in Sunday's marathon. Walter is an assistant track coach at Indiana University and this is her first street marathon.
"I probably didn't feel good after about 55 minutes so I was trying to break it into pieces and not think about it over two hours left to go," Walter said. "They always say that the crowd helps cheer you on and that really -- whenever I needed it they were there."
She is a former Big Ten cross country champion and six-time All-Big Ten honoree at Michigan, according to the Indiana Athletics website.
Walter said she chose the Pig as her first marathon because of the course. "I like that it was uphill and downhill -- I thought I was as little bit safer, the way I like to run -- can be conservative early, which I wasn't," Walter said. "I was trying to go out in 6:30 pace and I was out in 6:05 or 6:10 or something so I was a little nervous. But, yeah, I really liked the course overall."
Walter said she has always been a sucker for music, guitars, drums and children's choirs, so she really enjoyed running the course Sunday morning.
She said that Boston was on her mind and she got a little emotional when the anthem played at the beginning of the race, but people were just talking about how wonderful the people of Boston are and not focusing on the sad aspect of the bombings.
"It's sad and it's maddening all the way around, but it's still nice to see a record crowd of 34,000 people come out today," Walter said.
Reyes added, "No amount of pain that I go through today will even compare to what people went through then."
9 On Your Side reporter Tom McKee contributed to this report.
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