Kurt Fearnley, the reigning Paralympic and World Wheelchair Marathon Champion, won the New York City Marathon in spectacular fashion in 2006 – the climax of an amazing year. He dominated the race, winning by over six minutes and smashing the course record in the process. His time of 1 hr 29.17 mins broke the previous course record by almost two minutes.
Fearnley has a knack of winning in spectacular fashion. Following on from Athens 2004 where he won the Paralympic gold medal despite having a flat tyre, he survived a crash in New York at the 20km mark after hitting pot-holes. Crowd support played a big part in his victory. US network NBC televised the entire race live and after seeing the footage of the crash, locals rushed from their buildings to cheer him home
The win capped a remarkable 12 months for Fearnley. With four marathon wins from six starts this year, he is now seen as the dominant force in men's wheelchair racing and is looking to carry his form on to the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2006 he also won in Sydney, Seoul and at the IPC World Championships in Assen. At Assen, he won two track gold medals as well – 800 metres and the 5,000 metres - and a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres. During the year he won five out of seven road races in which he competed.