Knickerbocker 60K 2006

  1. Shelley O’Connell said,

    on December 1st, 2006 at 9:26 AM’

    Ireland’s Dara O’Kearney made a victorious ultra marathon debut in the New York Knickerbocker 60K Ultra Marathon, run in Central Park.

    The race, saw over 300 competitors tackle a course which involves running nine 4 mile loops of Central Park after an out and back of 1.5 miles. An early breakaway lead group included O’Kearney, the unmistakeably English two time race winner Kevin Shelton Smith running in Union Jocks, local Juan Cardona, and an Italian. The group stayed together until half way, when an injection of pace by the Italian strung the group out. A few miles later, O’Kearney counter attacked and got away, and from there he won going away.

    O’Kearney, who took up running late in his 30s, was both thrilled and surprised by his victory.

    “I ran in the Irish national marathon championships in Dublin just over three weeks ago, and was disappointed with my run there, so I assumed that was my year over. But I’d heard about this race and at the very least it seemed like a great excuse to visit New York. I felt we were running at a comfortable pace early on and then once the group broke up, I felt I had to make my move then before anyone came up behind us. Once I got away, I just concentrated on running consistently and aimed to get under 4 hours 30. It’s tough running that long on your own, but I had great support both from the friends and family who were here and the New York crowd in general. It really is an amazing place and city to run in”.

    Dara had been considering a move to ultras for a few years.

    “Because of my body type and physique, a lot of people had suggested I try ultras. In my early 30s, I was a recreational runner who ran one marathon a year in 3 hours 30. Then in my late 30s I started training harder and better and my marathon time improved down to sub 3″. (His PB is 2 hours 46).

    Dara continued to improve into his 40s, winning his first road race, a half marathon in his native Ireland, at age 40. He followed that up in his 41st year when he won the Tresco marathon in England earlier this year. After that, he started thinking seriously of a move to ultras.

    “I didn’t really know what to expect today. Most of my summer and autumn training back home was geared towards the National marathon championships, but I also slipped in a couple of longer runs hoping it would help my recovery in time for this race. The longest training run I did was 32 miles”.

    Behind him, local Alvaro Cruz came thru strongly to take second. Cruz was also making his debut.

    “They told me at one point I was leading the race, but then they told me on the next loop that there was one guy still ahead of me. I pushed hard on the last loop hoping to catch him, but I never saw him until I crossed the line. Shame, because a friend of mine who heard I was running this race and hoping to win was so sure I couldn’t do it that he was going to give me ten thousand dollars if I won”.

    Another local, Byron Lane, ran a strong race to finish third, while early leader Kevin Shelton Smith held onto fourth.

    Full results at:

    Pictures at:


    Posted Dec 1, 9:26 AM The home of multiday running news and events.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.