Releases

For Immediate Release: November 10, 2009
Contact: David O'Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6478

Former women's basketball player Shea Kenny competes in NYC Marathon

When a student-athlete graduates from Binghamton, they are sometimes hard pressed to find something to fill the void of competition. That has not been a problem, however, for Shea Kenny, a 2007 BU graduate and a two-year starting point guard for the women's basketball team. Two weeks ago, she took part in the New York City (NYC) Marathon. She hopes it is the first of many such races that she enters.

Kenny has wanted to run in a marathon ever since high school. It wasn't until she moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C. after graduating from Binghamton, however, that she started to make that wish a reality.

"Since high school, I have always said that I wanted to run a marathon sometime in my life," she said. "But with basketball I obviously never found the time. Many of the friends I have made down here are runners and a bunch of us ran in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon last February. (From that point) I was hooked. My sister's boyfriend had an entry into the NYC Marathon through work so I decided to enter the lottery and I got in."

The lottery to be granted a spot in the NYC Marathon is not easy. With the popularity of the race, Kenny considers herself fortunate to have been selected.

"I went to the website and entered the lottery and then it was just luck of the draw," she said. "Some people have to enter the lottery numerous times to get picked. I was just very lucky."

Luck was not a factor in Kenny's success at Binghamton. Instead, it was her hard work and determination. She transferred from St. Louis University prior to the 2004-05 season. After sitting out a year (a requirement for transfer players), Kenny was the Bearcats' starting point guard and helped lead the squad to the America East semifinals two consecutive years.

"Shea was a great player, a great leader and a great teammate for the three years she was here," Binghamton head coach Nicole Scholl said. "Her continued support of our program has been definitely appreciated."

The thrill of competing on the basketball court is over for Kenny but in training for the NYC Marathon, she discovered that same thrill of competition-albeit in a different way.

"Running road races was something I needed to do because of my competitive spirit and (because) I didn't have basketball anymore," she said. "There are the same thrills of competition and accomplishment. However its not quite the same because there is no time limit and teammates. But as much as its different, competition is competition and with that comes nervousness and excitement, and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment with a successful finish."

The months of training were time consuming for Kenny. Having her parents also living in Myrtle Beach, however, proved to be a big help.

"I couldn't have done it without them," she said. "For starters when I had my 15 - 20 mile runs my parents would ride their bikes with me so I had company and motivation to keep on going."

Kenny also felt the support of her former Binghamton teammates both during the weeks leading up to the NYC Marathon as well as during the event.

"Rachel Laws came to New York for the marathon to support me and was cheering for me at the 15-mile mark," she said. "Rebecka Lindgren, Laura Sario, Laine Kurpniece and others all congratulated me and supported me. That's one thing about playing basketball at Binghamton--it made me lifetime friends and what more could you ask for?"

For her first marathon, Kenny set a goal of four hours. She completed the 26.2-mile course in 3:59:00.

"I JUST made it," she said. "My long term goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon which means I would need to run it in under 3 hours and 40 minutes. I have some work cut out for me."

Regardless of Kenny's future goals, Scholl is proud of her performance in her first marathon.

"I was excited to hear that Shea was going to run her first marathon," Scholl said. "She and I had talked about her wanting to run one after she graduated and it was just a matter of time before she did it. It was great that she was under her goal time. Having run a marathon myself I know how much time goes into training and just how difficult, but exhilarating it can be."

Kenny is doing much more these days than just running. She is taking some courses at Coastal Carolina University in Elementary Education. She is also working two jobs and dog sits.

"I don't have much time for anything else," she said. "But I chose being busy over stagnant any day."

If anything, it was being a student-athlete at Binghamton that prepared Kenny to juggle everything that she is right now.

"It helped me so much," she said. " I understand a lot more about hard work, dedication, working with other people, and having to work hard to achieve your goals. Being a (regular) student (at Coastal Carolina) has also helped me appreciate so much more how great it was to be a student-athlete at Binghamton."

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