By Amantha Garpiel
TIPP CITY — Tipp City resident Jason Salyer recently took first place in two Ohio marathons, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon and the Toledo Glass City Marathon, within two weeks of each other.
Though Salyer was cautioned against running both races by friends, family and fellow marathoners, he was determined. His goal of running what he categorizes as Ohio’s biggest six marathons — the Toledo Glass City Marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, the Air Force Marathon, Cleveland Marathon, Akron Marathon and Columbus Marathon — and the only way to achieve that goal was to run the Flying Pig and the Glass City Marathons within weeks of each other. With his two recent wins, Salyer has now won three of the six big Ohio marathons; the Toledo Glass City Marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon and the Air Force Marathon.
Salyer won the Toledo Glass City Marathon on Sunday, April 23, with a finishing time of two hours, 20 minutes and 27 seconds, setting a course record. He then won the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday, May 7, with a time of two hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds.
“For marathon runners, for people who train and train and train for marathons, they typically only do two marathons a year, separated by months. Maybe a spring marathon and a fall marathon and if they’re daring enough they might even do a third marathon. Even so, each marathon usually has three to four months in between each one just because of the toll that running for such a long distance can take on your body,” said Salyer. “I have kind of developed a daredevil persona and I really wanted to challenge myself.”
“All of my training was geared towards both of these races,” said Salyer. “In order for me to challenge for the win at both of them, because those races are in such close proximity, I had to run a lot of miles, I had to be very consistent. I just had to rely on the consistency of my training along with my willpower to get me through both of those races.”
As opposed to what Salyer noted is the standard of taking one to two weeks off from exercising, which most marathoners take before beginning training again after a race, after the Toledo Glass City Marathon, Salyer took two days of rest from all exercise and received three physical therapy sessions from his sponsor Excel Sports Medicine. His other sponsor was Runners Plus.
“I’m not just paying tribute to my sponsor here, but I legitimately don’t feel like I would have been able to feel confident enough to race had I not received physical therapy,” said Salyer.
The two marathons each presented their own challenges. However, according to Salyer, the Cincinnati Flying Pig course is full of hills and due to the weather that day, he and the other marathoners ran in a downpour of rain for the entire race, making running even more difficult as his shoes filled with water, making them heavier and causing his feet to slide around inside them despite tying them as tight as he possibly could.
“Out of all of the marathons of which I have seriously trained for, this was the most challenging one,” said Salyer of the Flying Pig Marathon. “I was completely exhausted. I was completely spent after breaking the finishing tape. I had nothing left, I gave all that I had to give out on the course and I was pushed to the max.”