Town members flock to run the annual trot


Community members gather at 8:30 a.m. on a chilly Thanksgiving morning in 2013 to participate in the annual five mile run.

Carly Perlmutter and Katie Oppenheimer, Staff Writers

Your breath escapes into the air in short puffs.  You keep moving, pumping your arms back and forth, back and forth.  You are exhausted, barely able to keep one foot in front of the other.  Despite all this adversity, you muster all your energy.  Satisfied, you continue trotting along. Welcome to the Turkey Trot.

The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, sponsored by the Community Chest of Port Washington, is an annual community event. People of all ages participate in the five-mile run that starts on Manorhaven Boulevard and lasts from 8:30-10:30 a.m. each Thanksgiving morning.

The race starts in front of Manorhaven beach park, loops around Cow Neck Rd., winds through Sands Point, onto Port Washington Blvd, and twists back down to Shore Road, ending back in Manorhaven.

Whether you are a five-minute miler or a fifteen-minute per mile walker, everyone is allowed to participate and experience the satisfaction of sore legs and full lungs.

“I came in 200th place in my age group and surprisingly still got a medal!” said sophomore Miranda Tanenbaum.  “One year I finished after they opened the roads to the cars and they even mailed me my medal!  I love this town and this event because it’s so much fun and brings the community together!”

People run with friends, family, teams, and even pets.  Some groups coordinate their outfits and wear  customized items of clothing that distinguish them.

Many groups also dress in costume, including silly turkey hats, Santa outfits, and even as reindeer. Each year, a group of adults dresses up as reindeer and run while singing Christmas carols and jingling sleigh bells, in the spirit of the upcoming Christmas season.

The annual run not only encourages a strong sense of community, but also promotes health, fitness, and exercise.  After running the five miles, you feel much better about the turkey and stuffing-filled evening that lies ahead. All of the calories that are going to be consumed in the meal to come won’t count as much.

“As I stuff my face with mashed potatoes and cornbread, I feel better about it because I know I burned the calories during the run,” said community member and Thanksgiving enthusiast Robert Oppenheim, father of  Katie Oppenheim. “Although I may be a bit sore, the run was definitely worth it because now I can eat without feeling guilty.”

Every participant receives a shirt with a different and unique logo each year, promoting turkey spirit as far as wardrobes go.  The logo is chosen from submissions to an annual logo competition.  Last year’s winning design was created by senior Maria Tsampas. Family members and friends stand on the sides and encourage all runners, holding decorated signs and cheering for everyone.

Additionally, many people who live along the path of the Turkey Trot play loud and energizing music from their homes to increase spirit and energy for people on the run.

“While I’m running, it feels great hearing the excited cheers and shouts from people watching,” said sophomore Eva Tamkin.  “I’ve even heard some people gobble before!  I feel such a strong connection to everyone in Port Washington during this amazing event.”

The Turkey Trot definitley emphasizes the town’s spirit as fellow runners wait for eachother at the finish line. At the end of the race, each participant recieves an apple and water.

All in all, the Turkey Trot brings the Port Washington community together, with up to 3000 anticipated citizens eager to jog each year.  Town members of all ages are encouraged to join the excitement. Remember to bundle up, drink water, and most importantly, keep safe!