Before crushing plates of turkey, Rockaway came out strong to crush the Jimmy “The Crusher” O’Neill Turkey Trot on Thursday, November 24.
The Rockaway Track Club couldn’t have asked for better weather for Thursday’s charitable event, and with more than 600 people registering to help raise money for the battle against childhood cancer, the run was a wild success. It was all in honor of 9-year-old Jimmy O’Neill, a Rockaway resident, who for two years has been battling kidney cancer. Jimmy himself was able to make it out for the event and give the countdown for the runners to take off on either a 5K run or a one-mile run/walk.
As Jimmy approached the start line, he was welcomed with cheers from the many participants eager to step off. Jim McVeigh, head of the Rockaway Track Club, thanked everyone for taking the time out of their Thanksgiving Day to join. “I want to thank you for coming,” McVeigh said. “Amazing support Rockaway Beach!
Then Jimmy’s aunt Beth O’Neill spoke to the crowd before Jimmy led the countdown. “This is amazing and overwhelming, and we can’t thank you guys enough,” Beth O’Neill said. “Jimmy had a particularly tough week, so this is just the icing on the cake for him. This community is beyond our wildest dreams, and you keep us going and we could not thank you enough.”
Participants received a special Jimmy “The Crusher” O’Neill t-shirt for the event and kids received a medal for finishing the race. The top runners in the 5K were James Mercer (20:37), Sean Parchment (20:40), John Conroy (20:50), Logan Leahy (21:35) and Billy Devlin (21:53).
For full results and more information about the Rockaway Track Club, including their Santa Suit Run on December 10, check out RockawayTC.org
Story and Photos
By Katie McFadden