Community Chest organizes first annual PW Winter Run

Maddie Hiller, Staff Writer

Nearly all Port Washington residents have heard of the Turkey Trot, or the Thanksgiving Day Run, which has been a beloved tradition in our community for over 40 years.  This year, the Community Chest Association decided to try something new and sponsored the first annual Port Washington Winter Run.  This newfound race is a five-mile run starting and finishing in the North Hempstead Beach Park, and many were excited to take part in this new tradition to see what’s in store.

The run took place on Feb. 9 at 8 a.m.  Unlike the Turkey Trot which starts near Manorhaven Park, this five-mile loop began in North Hempstead Beach Park, then headed north and then south along West Shore Road.  Finally, it ended with a one-fourth mile stretch along Hempstead Harbor in the Park through the finish line.

“I think it’s great that the the town was able to organize another run to bring the adults of the community together,” said junior Ali Martinez.

The run is open to participants with a mile pace of about 15 minutes, who should be able to finish the race in no more than 75 minutes.  The Community Chest sought to minimize the inconvenience that the race may present to those living along West Shore Road and in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.  Therefore, the Port Washington Police Department made sure to notify residents a few days prior to the start of the race with LED traffic sign boards, which warned them that the roads will be temporarily closed on the morning of the race.

The race is only allowing residents ages 21 and older to take part, so younger community members were not able to participate. Given the fairly chilly weather, the participants received a long-sleeve dri-fit shirt, and those who finished received medals.  Additionally, there were awards given out for the fastest race times. The top three overall athletes were given awards, as did the first-place male and female finishers.

“I participate in the Turkey Trot every year on Thanksgiving.  I am so excited that the Community Chest decided to hold this inaugural winter run.  I hope it becomes a yearly tradition as well,” said Port Washington resident Mr. Ross Hiller.

After the race, there was a party held in a heated tent in the North Hempstead Beach Park parking lot.  Many local restaurants and businesses, such as DiMaggio’s Trattoria and Bar, donated a considerable amount of sandwiches and desserts for all of the runners to enjoy after the workout.  In addition, entertainment was be provided by Off Peak, a local band.  Friends and relatives of the runners were able to join the post-race party for a donation of ten dollars per person, even if they did not participate in the race.

The participation fee for all runners was $50, which includes the post-race party.  The remainder of the money will be donated to benefit other Community Chest projects.  This charitable organization intends to give grants to charities that serve Port Washington residents.