Should the Turkey Trot happen?

Andy Feinstein, Staff Writer

The Turkey Trot is an extraordinary event that happens each and every year on Thanksgiving morning.  Members of the community join together at Manorhaven Park and run five miles through town, finishing back where they started.  Thousands of people run at whatever pace they enjoy, whether that means sprinting, running, jogging, walking, or any combination.  This is always a fun way to begin Thanksgiving morning for many community members and people who attend the event from other towns.  The entire town, including our policemen and other volunteers, close and clear off the streets, setting up water stations and much more for the runners.  This is a day that many look forward to.  It is a morning where everyone comes together, gets great exercise, engages with one other, and donates to various groups and teams involved with our town.  However, this year’s unprecedented circumstances with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic presented a significant challenge in running this event. 

The race was originally scheduled to be run with staggered beginning times which is very different than usual.  There would be a limited number of  in-person runners, while others could participate by timing themselves and sending in their times.  

However, this has changed in the past few days. 

The in-person aspect of the race has recently been completely cancelled.  This is devastating because it is a huge fundraising opportunity for the Community Chest, which raises money to improve people’s lives in Port.  This is also a Port Thanksgiving tradition that many will miss.

“I don’t think it should happen because it is too hard in masks,” said junior Bradley Hamroff.

Just like with many other things during these times, everyone has their own opinions regarding this event.  However, the Turkey Trot cannot happen at this time, and must be done fully virtually, or individually, for those runners still interested. 

“I think it should happen.  It could be virtual like a zoom and you can run on your own either outside or on a treadmill,” said junior Sophia Kingsley.

The county and state’s positive COVID-19 infection rate is increasing daily.  The winter months are quickly approaching and nothing would be worse than an uncontrollable outbreak following our already large number of cases.  Our schools have already experienced significant hardship with many cases, including those on the North Shore.  According to The Island Now, more than 100 students throughout the North Shore have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“As infection rate rises, the annual Turkey Trot that takes place in Port Washington should be placed on pause.  The risk is too high, as the reward is too little in this scenario.  Safety is at the forefront of all our minds,” said junior Jasper Abrahams, co-manager of the ‘Port Vikings’ school sports media organization. 

Unfortunately, this race is too congested to be run with the current circumstances.  It would be unnecessarily difficult for a committee to develop a safe way for this to happen, and then get approval, whether that be from Laura Curren, the Nassau County Supervisor, or even perhaps the Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo.  As we all try to remain calm, healthy, and safe, we must remain watchful and smart.  Proceeding with this event with any type of in-person aspect would be irresponsible and unnecessary for everyone.