Ken Killian Draws 210 Swimmers
As in past years, conditions on race day were near perfect. The jellyfish that had infested Rockaway waters were nowhere to be found, the water was clean and the sun sparkled on the rolling swells inviting over two hundred swimmers to come and enjoy the ocean and beach at its early morning best.
An Ocean Mile Swim is a tough race that many would not dream of trying. That is why we congratulate not only those who won age group divisions or the male and female winners, but also those swimmers who beat personal bests, swam to honor Kenny Killian, swam with a friend or just swam to complete a long, tough swim. Well done.
Rockaway’s own Jackie Ryan was the first swimmer out of the water but she was edged out by a step or two in the short run to the finish line dashing hopes that the Killian Swim would have its first overall female winner. Marcos Diaz was the first overall winner but bets are that Jackie Ryan will be working on her sprint and will compete next year to become the overall winner. In the 19 and under age group, Chris Gahn of Rockaway took first place while Michelle Ryan took first for the girls 19 and under followed by the Mullen sisters, Cristin and Siobhan. Other age group winners are Male: 20-29 Liam Gilroy, 30-39 Richard Barkan, 40-49 Kenn Lowy, 50-59 Bob Kolonkowski. Female winners are 20-29 Stacey Hunter, 30-39 Barbara Cronin-Stagnari, 40-49 Karen Leone, 50-59 Phyllis Springer, 60-69 Anna Keiman.
While these elite and age group swimmers received their awards, there were many who won individual battles of their own. For Maureen Edwards and Marian Dunn the pride of accomplishing a mile swim and truly earning the shirt they wear will surely help to ease the pain they might have felt the day after the swim. For Buddy Woods it was beating a time by quite a large margin, knowing all his hard work had paid off. For Sarah and Bridget Killian it is their own personal reasons for honoring their father Kenny that they compete. For whatever reason they all seem to agree that this is a first class event that should not be missed.
If the organizers put on a good event, they put on a better party. With the tents up and the beverages on ice the party began. The six foot heroes kept the crowd at bay while the grill was heating up. Burgers and franks mixed in with a children’s biathlon and games and more than 250 people made the day memorable. The turnout and support from neighbors and friends is what makes Rockaway the unique community that it is.
All of this could not have happened without some very dedicated and generous volunteers whose involvement helped to pull this off.
A special thank you to Eileen, Sarah, Bridget, and Trish Killian and their extended family for allowing us to honor their husband, father, son, brother, and friend to all those lucky enough to have known him. Thank you.