Shannon Russell reports:
One year after winning the Flying Pig Half Marathon’s women’s race, Amy Robillard did it again.
The Mason resident finished the 13.1-mile course in 1:21:20 and was crowned with laurels after clinching the top honor Sunday morning.
“I’m really excited,” said Robillard, 32. “It’s kind of nice two years in a row, because you never know who’s going to come out. You never know how your day is going to go. That’s the mystery of running races – you don’t know how it’s going to go until you’re in it.”
Robillard finished ahead of second-place Erin O’Mara (1:24:50) and third-place Grace Conrad (1:25:21) and felt a bit isolated in the lead. But like the 2011 half-marathon, she drew inspiration from her kids, Addie and Jameson.
Addie, 4, is Robillard’s “number one fan” and Jameson, 2, is thriving after a bone marrow transplant. Jameson has Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare immune deficiency and blood clotting disorder.
After doctors told Robillard and her husband, Matt, that Jameson’s life expectancy was 2, they went forward with the transplant. Jameson receives a weekly IV to boost his marrow and is “kicking butt and doing awesome,” Robillard said.
She said she had no excuse to do any less in the Pig.
“You start to think, ‘Oh, I’m tired. My stomach hurts.’ It’s like, really? It’s a little harder when you see your son going through something like that and you’re just running a race. I chose to do it. He didn’t choose that,” Robillard said. “I just kick myself in the (rear) and go.”
Robillard has long been an athlete but was never trained formally as a runner. The former Arizona swimmer turned to the sport for its therapeutic benefits and uncovered a talent for long distances.
O’Mara, a Michigan native, described herself as a mediocre high school runner who “got a lot better later.”
The 27-year-old didn’t have much time to contemplate her first Pig, though, because her job required her to work Saturday’s expo at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
“I started the race pretty conservatively. After the marathon split I decided to pick it up and see what I could do. I went from fourth or fifth to second after the split,” O’Mara said.
“I never saw (Robillard) the whole race. She was the clear winner.”
Conrad, a 29-year-old University of Cincinnati student, logged a personal record time and was in second place until the last few miles.
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