Ultra runner helps train young marathon participants

Posted at 1:53 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 13:53:40-05

CINCINNATI -- Jack Corey’s running story covers a lot of miles in a short amount of time. 

The 49-year old West Side resident did not run his first marathon until the age of 40. Now the ultra runner is passing his passion on to the next generation of Flying Pig participants.

Corey is in charge of the Tri-State Running Company’s ‘Fly Up to 5K’ training program for kids ahead of the Cincinnati marathon.

“I truly believe the Flying Pig weekend is an example of Cincinnati at its best,” Corey said. “I love the atmosphere of the Pig and I am excited to share it with elementary and middle school students.”

Corey has set up three training programs for the young runners to try. The first program is designed to be more social. It is primarily based on walking the distance while meeting new friends.

The second training program is for kids who want to start running but do not know where to begin.

The third program is for kids that can run a mile already and want to try something more.

The programs tend to be a little longer than traditional 5K running plans because Corey wants students to increase their mileage slowly to prevent injuries.

The training program is free and you do not have to run through the Tri-State Running Company store. This is something kids and families can do on their own. Here is a link to the three different programs.

Corey has also introduced the programs to other elementary schools in the Cincinnati area.

“I try to stress goal-setting,” Corey said. “Making a plan to reach a goal and executing the plan.”

Encouraging kids to participate in the Flying Pig is something Corey has done for years.

The former Principal of St. Antoninus School in Western Hills often recruited his students to participate in the Flying Pig Kids Marathon.

That is for school-aged children to complete the full marathon distance in increments.

Students log their miles during the months leading up to the marathon itself.

The students have the opportunity to finish the 26 miles in a special event where they can complete the final mile on the actual Flying Pig course finish line.

Corey’s personal running story started just nine years ago. He ran his first marathon at the age of 40.

“The Flying Pig is really a family thing for us,” Corey said. “I think we generally have 60-100 family members participate in some way.”

He then turned to ultra-marathons. “I am more of a finisher than competitor.”

His running resume is really astonishing. He has completed the Badwater 135 ultra through Death Valley, California.

He also finished the Western States Ultra-Marathon from Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California.

When Corey speaks to kids about running he stresses the places it has taken him and how sometimes it does not always work out when running super long distances at once.

“I failed my first time at trying to run 150 miles but came back the following year and finished the race,” Corey tells them.

All runners know each event rarely goes as planned.

Corey dealt with stomach problems the last 70 miles at Western States and finished the event with just 33 seconds left of the time cut off to earn the coveted silver belt buckle.

Corey’s last Badwater experience was brutal. He started throwing up at mile 12 and did not stop until mile 85.

“I talk to kids about staying calm and being adaptable when things do not go according to plans,” Corey said. 

His mission to encourage kids, not become the next 100 miler. He is doing that both by example and giving them the tools and training program they need to be the next generation participant of the Flying Pig.

If you would like more information on the Fly Up to 5K you can contact Jack Corey at

What’s your running story? You can reach me at @RivaWCPO on twitter. ChrisRivaWCPO on Facebook or at

Happy training.