By Kevin Deutsch
A Coral Springs man completed the New York City Marathon Sunday, using grit and a bit of celebrity magic to finish the iconic road race.
Kieran Farrell, 27, a Long Island native who has lived in the Country Club neighborhood for 15 years, completed the 26.2-mile marathon in 4 hours, 49 minutes, and 55 seconds, making some famous friends along the way.
“I had the opportunity to run the first four miles of the race with [actor] Ashton Kutcher,” said Farrell, who fed off the roaring crowds of onlookers lining the race path in all five New York City boroughs. “I didn’t realize it was him until mile two when we were getting off the Verrazzano Bridge.”
The 6-foot-5 Farrell had a sign with his nickname, “Big Guy,” taped on the back of his race shirt. He also had the letters N-Y-C etched into the side of his head by his barber in homage to the Big Apple.
Kutcher took notice.
“Come on, big guy. Let’s go. We got this!” Kutcher told him, giving both men a morale boost.
They spoke for a while, bumped fists, and shook hands.
“That was something I’ll never forget,” Farrell said.
Later, on the sidelines of the race, Farrell encountered Yankees great C.C. Sabathia and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, the city’s first female police commissioner.
The commish and the Coral Springs resident even snapped a selfie together.
“It was pretty cool,” Farrell said of the race, which he ran with a contingent of marathoners from the NYPD Running Club. “I’ll definitely remember it forever.”
Farrell’s father, Dan, is a former NYPD and Coconut Creek policeman. The retired law enforcement officer used to work the marathon detail as part of his NYPD duties and encouraged his son to participate someday.
“There was nonstop music, cheering, DJs, people that came out to cheer in their neighborhoods,” said Farrell, who works three jobs back in South Florida, including an usher position at Hard Rock Stadium and security for the Florida Panthers.
During the marathon, “the whole neighborhood [back in Coral Springs] was cheering me on,” Farrell said.
Sunday’s marathon was Farrell’s third.
He started running competitively in 2017, finished the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon in 2021, and completed Disney’s Dopey Challenge in January: a four-day race consisting of a 5K on Thursday, a 10K on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, then a marathon.
“People said, ‘you’re crazy,’” Farrell said. “I said, ‘that comes with being a New Yorker.’ We’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re not going to give up until we’re done.”
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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