Some 600 runners from the five boroughs and Long Island gathered on the boardwalk of Riis Park for the 28th annual Buckley’s-Kennedy’s 5K Charity Run this past Sunday.
Some individuals were first timers while others were veterans at this race. But it also marked the second time it was contested exclusively across the Marine Parkway Bridge in Queens.
One of the first timers in the huge field belonged to Kyle Fitzpatrick of Washingtonville in upstate New York. His journey proved to be a tremendous success as the 18-year-old high school senior came across the finish line, also on the boardwalk, in first place, running away with this 3.1 mile race in 16 minutes 29 seconds.
Fitzpatrick went out easy at a 6:13 pace for the first mile, as there was no competition, was clocked at 10:32 at the two mile mark, and coasted the rest of the way to the finish line.
“This was my first time running on the boardwalk,” he said after the race. “My leg hurts a little, but, otherwise, I’m fine. I was hoping to have more competition as no one went with me.”
In second place was Kevin Buell (17:42), and Jim Lunny, a former resident of Marine Park, now living in Rockaway, finished third in 18:50.
The 44-year-old Lunny, a member of the Buckley-Shamrock Running Club, was named its Runner-of-the-Year for 2007 by his Club.
A veteran at this race, he has run in 27 of 28 such races, including those that started in front of Buckley’s Restaurant and went through the streets of Brooklyn, and ended in Riis Park.
He started at this running sport at the age of 13 while he attended Nazareth High School and never gave it up. Now he’ll get ready for the Kenny Dolan Memorial Race on June 1 in Prospect Park.
Meanwhile, Kerri Gallagher was the female winner in 19:56 and wound up seventh overall. The second female finisher was Maggie Deschamps, who was clocked in 20:16. The third place female finisher was Meghan Hayes, who was timed in 20:56.
Behind Lunny and among the ten ten were Matt Buell’s 1924, Peter Hayden’s 19:26, Brian King’s 19:38, Chris Frasca’s 20:14, and Tom Mugno’s 20:21.
In this age group race, Joe Muller, at 74 years of age, one of the older finishers, ran a 34:20 for first place in his 70 and over bracket. He also took home a trophy. He certainly enjoyed running the course. He has competed in all 28 of these races.
“I do this race all the time,” added Terry Flaherty, 51, of Bergen Beach. “I was satisfied with my 29:30. This race is fun. A change of course was good. And it’s nice to run by the ocean.”
“This race is a big event for me,” noted 54-year-old Marine Park resident Jackie Hunter, who was timed in 47:07. “I felt that the race was competitive.”
Peter Fountaine of Marine Park was also satisfied with his time of 39 minutes. He first competed in this race back in 1982.
“Normally I would do 30 minutes, but maybe I was tired,” he said. “The course of the race was flat and fast with no hills which is better for the runners.”
Staying in Riis Park is much easier than starting in front of Buckley’s in Brooklyn and going over the bridge, according to the directors.
“Part of Flatbush Avenue is being re-surfaced,” said co-race director Tom Farr. “We didn’t have to deal with closing of streets.”
Race committee member Mike Flood started the race, which began by the clock on the boardwalk and finished right near the start. The course of the race took the runners into Fort Tilden and to the end of the boardwalk.
All the proceeds of the race benefit HeartShare Human Services of New York supporting its efforts to provide needed services for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities as well as other at risk children, adults and families.
The race was conducted in memory of Joan Murray and Battalion Chief Jim Savastano. The latter, who ran for fitness reasons here in Brooklyn, passed away last fall because of a heart attack.