About Us

Why Pig Works?

Well, after years of quiet but steady growth the Flying Pig folks (that’s us) realized we were running more than just a marathon. We were producing events and experiences for a whole host of audiences, experience levels, and flavors in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas.

So…The Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Marathon Inc., (the formal-sounding parent company of the Flying Pig Marathon, the Queen Bee Half, the TQL Beer Series and the FCC3), is proud to announce that the non-profit organization producing all of the above events, will now be known as PIG WORKS. The organization that started with a little hometown marathon over twenty years ago has now established a whole diverse family of participatory events and a growing philanthropic footprint. This new name will better represent this growth and our ongoing work. 

Pigworks Timeline

Pig Works is a race experience company with three goals:

  • Create fun participatory sporting events for individuals and groups of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds

  • Contribute to charitable causes that support the growth and development of our community here in Cincinnati and beyond

  • Promote a lifestyle that weaves movement and health into the fiber of our community and extends beyond the bounds of our event days

The new organization name will enable growth in participation and charitable giving while allowing each existing beloved event brand to retain its name, personality and mission. So don’t worry, the Flying Pig Marathon is not changing!

Our Team

The Pig Works Team

The fine folks who create the magic, day in and day out.

Doug Olberding: President & CEO John Cappella: Chief Operating Officer
Iris Simpson Bush:  Director of Community Engagement Kyra George: Registration Coordinator
Sarah Pelfrey: Sales and Sponsorships Director Desmond Fischer: Sponsorship Fulfillment Coordinator
Nikki Broughton: Project Manager Emmy Hartmann: Marketing Manager
Jeanette Kiely: Co-Race Director Shawn Verhoff: Co-Race Director
Lauren Burlile: Volunteer & Course Experience Coordinator Joel Barnhill: Charity Coordinator & Director of Post Race Events
Margaret Ireland: Graphic Designer Alex Roman: Sustainability Coordinator
John Vesprani: Director of Aesthetic Affairs  

The Pig Works Board

Smart people who care about the Pig Works mission.

Katy Bunn: Paycor Chris Cavanaugh: P&G
Bob Coughlin* (Founder): Paycor James Ferguson: Big Idea Group
Dennis Geiger: LPK Bryan Hamilton: Cincinnati Children’s
Josh Heuser: AGAR Holly Ippish: Cincinnati Children’s
James Jansing: KMK Law Jeff Kujawa: Brixey and Mayer
Michael Laux: Burke, Inc. Alejandro Ramirez: P&G
Mark Ramler: Mansion Hill Properties Erin Rolfes: Kroger
Bobby Slattery: Fifty West Brewing Co. Jamie Smith: Cincinnati Business Courier
Robert Taylor, Jr.: Select Strategies Realty Barbara Walker: The Center for Human Performance
Mary Wineberg: Olympian Kim Zellars: Avondale Running Club

*Emeritus Board Members:

Michael Boylan Joe Hale
Bob Coley Francis Gilbert
Jim Mahon Bob Roncker

The vision of Cincinnati Marathon, Inc.

Cincinnati Marathon, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization formed to host a national event, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, which raises money for charities.

The mission of the Cincinnati Marathon, Inc., is to provide a premier event open to athletes of all abilities that is dedicated to supporting charities. The event should inspire community celebration and reward the emotions of all participants, sponsors, volunteers, and spectators.

  • To be a high demand event filled to capacity
  • To be respected within the athletic and running community as a first-class event
  • To have a warm, fun, friendly atmosphere with a “WOW” factor and surprises for all
  • To increase the awareness and financial recognition of the charities involved
  • To create lasting, long-term relationships with all involved-participants, charities, volunteers, sponsors, spectators, and the media
  • To be a Midwest event that highlights the strengths of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community
  • To capture the unique and rich heritage, history, and spirit of our community
  • To use the most advanced technology available in order to facilitate execution excellence

Why A Pig?

In the 1800s, when riverboats plied the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a center of Western commerce. Since agriculture was a prime source of revenue in this area, boats filled with livestock and produce would dock in Cincinnati to sell their wares. Hogs were a major source of income for farmers here, as well, so pigs that were brought in by boat, or herded into town from area farms, were matched through the streets of Cincinnati to the processing plants. So many, in fact, that Cincinnati came to be known as “Porkopolis.”

Fast forward to 1988, when Cincinnati celebrated its Bicentennial. To mark the occasion, the city decided to renovate its riverfront to include a “Bicentennial Commons” park. Noted designer Andrew Leicester was commissioned to design the commons, which was to reflect the city’s past. When he submitted his plans, one signature feature caught everyone’s attention: The entrance to Bicentennial Commons would be four smokestacks, for the city’s riverboat heritage, with four flying pigs on top, reflecting, according to Leicester, the spirits of the pigs who gave their lives so the city could grow.

After much outcry among Cincinnati city council members, many of whom donned pig noses to debate whether the swine symbols would make the laughing stock of the country, the project was approved and the pigs became the signature sculpture of the new Cincinnati Riverfront. The pigs live on today at the entrance to Bicentennial Commons.

Flying Pig Marathon

TQL Beer Series

Launched in 2013, the TQL Beer Series served up by the Flying Pig Marathon combines the Bockfest 5K in March, the Fifty West Mile over Flying Pig Weekend, and the Hudepohl 14K and 7K events in September during Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

The series not only celebrates Cincinnati’s brewing heritage, but it also supports the Brewery Heritage Trail and Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment. Participants who finish all three events are deemed “Brew Hogs” and are rewarded with special gifts and an exclusive “happy hour.” Find more on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TQLBeerSeries

Queen Bee Half Marathon

The Queen Bee Half debuted in 2014 with a whimsical ‘bee’ theme celebrating female runners, but guys are welcome, too! The Queen Bee Half Marathon is a female-themed half marathon tour of Greater Cincinnati with lots of fun and food before, during, and after! Make it a girls’ weekend in Cincinnati with a “Bee-u-tique” before the event highlighting pampering and wellness, with a fashion show featuring the latest in leisure and sportswear. 


FC Cincinnati Foundation (FCCF) and the Flying Pig Marathon join forces to host the best FCC watch party of the year! We host a 3-mile run/walk and post-race watch party at The Banks. This event will include food and beer vendors, a big screen display of the game, an eMLS interaction, and more! Through this event, Flying Pig Charities and the FCCF are working to raise money for their various causes and beneficiaries.