The John McKenna Memorial 5k
Presented by Binghamton University Rowing
Campus Recreation | Club Sports
April 7th, 2019
The John McKenna Memorial 5k is a local race in Broome County that starts and ends at Recreational Park on the West Side of Binghamton, NY. The race raises funds for the Binghamton University Rowing team, a co-ed club sport as part of Campus Recreation services at the East Gym. Confluence Running interviewed a committee member, Kylie Palmer, to see her experience with organizing this race. Pictures & Video below.
Interview with Kylie Palmer
John McKenna 5k Committee
Confluence Running: Can you talk about how this year's race went?
Kylie Palmer: It's been really successful this year. We have a really great committee and we have a really good team here with the spirit of the Binghamton Rowing team. It's really keeping the memory of John alive so it's been a really successful year.
CR: Can you talk about John [McKenna] a little bit?
KP: John was a Binghamton Alumni from 1994 to 1998. He was on the rowing team all 4 years. We are the hosting organization, the Binghamton Rowing team. After he graduated from Binghamton he joined the Marine Corp and he became a New York State Tropper. Once 9/11 happened he answered the call of duty and he was unfortunately killed in action in Iraqi trying to save a fellow comrade. So we hold this 5k every year, just in memory of him and to celebrate his spirit and the dedication he showed to his country and all of the people that showed their love for him and come out to this event every year.
CR: Can you talk about some of the tougher points of putting on a race like this?
KP: There's definitely a lot of little things that you might not think about. We got bagels, so the knives for the cream cheese, like there is so many little intricate details that you have to plan and you have to plan it down to the "T". We were doing the mile markers this morning, and you have to make sure those are completely accurate because everyone has those Smart Watches and they track the race so if you're not right on that 1 mile mark some people get upset. So that's really difficult to plan those tiny little things. But they really make a big difference when we get it right and then it feels so much better.
CR: Can you talk about Binghamton Rowing a little bit?
KP: Oh, God, Binghamton Rowing. Where do I even start? So our club is about 80 members right now. We are a really big co-ed organization on campus. We're actually a club team but we compete against NCAA schools so that's really interesting. We have a few competitive boats we race about 3-4 times a season and try to rack up as many medals as possible and just have fun in the process. This season we have two races at our home regatta. The Busfield regatta is next weekend so come check that out in Binghamton. It's at the Hiawatha Island Boat Club. And then we have another regatta coming up on May 4th, so that day is our state championship regatta so we're looking forward to those two.
CR: Is there anything else you would like to add?
KP: I want to thank all the sponsors for supporting our race and showing their continual support throughout the years. We can't put on the race without them, and without the Binghamton Rowing team. I want to say thank you to all the volunteers that came out today that helped make this a success. We're really happy with the turnout. Overall it was a really successful day.