Despite the cold weather on Thanksgiving Day (in contrast to recent years), which probably persuaded a number of runners not to come, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 3 and 6-milers in Montauk drew a big crowd.
There were 445 finishers in the 3-miler, which was won in 16 minutes and 46.6 seconds by Nicholas Berglin, 16, of Hampton Bays, and 55 in the 6-miler, which was won by 25-year-old Daniel Widlowski in 34:46.9.
Kira Garry, 21, a junior cross-country and track runner at Yale University, was the women’s winner in the 6-miler, in 37:58.8, about a minute slower than her winning time last year, though the cold north wind may have had a hand in that.
Berglin’s twin brother, Christian, said afterward that he had hoped to win the 6-miler, “though the cold wind got to me as I started out on the second loop [around Fort Pond].”
Garry was third over all, behind Widlowski and Tim Rossi, 22, a part-time Shelter Island resident and Emory College student who won last Thanksgiving’s 3-miler.
The races drew a number of East Hampton High School cross-country and track runners, among them Jack Link, Eric Perez, Sean Moucha, Thomas Brierley, and Emilio Espinoza.
Perez had the best time of that group, an 18:07.2 in the 3-miler that earned him fifth place. Link, who was 13th, in 19:50.5, a rather slow time for him, explained later that he was saving himself for the Foot Locker cross-country race in the Bronx two days hence. Erick Engstrom, Link’s co-front-runner, wasn’t there that day. He too was to have run in the Foot Locker race at Van Cortlandt Park.
The Turkey Trots enabled the high school runners to reune with their former coach, Chris Reich, who had come down from Portsmouth, N.H., where he and his wife are living now. “We moved because there wasn’t anything here for her to do,” said Reich, who teaches in Sudbury, Mass.
Reich’s former assistant, Luis Morales, who has taken over the head winter track coaching job from Reich, ran (as did Espinoza, a promising eighth grader) in the 6-miler. Afterward, he said he was “really happy with the turnout. We’re young, with a lot of sophomores. They’ve been giving 150 percent in practices, which makes it easy. . . . We’ve got 25 kids, Shani [Cuesta] has at least 22 [on the girls team].” Morales said the boys’ first outing will be Monday at the St. Anthony’s invitational. The team’s first “official meet” is to be Wednesday, “right around the corner.”
The winner of the Old Whalers Church community house 5K in Sag Harbor Saturday was a 30-year-old visitor from Athens, Ga., Carlo Finlay, in 17:36.9. Julia Marino, an 18-year-old Dartmouth College student from New York City, was, as she was last year, the women’s winner, in 25:02.4.
Liz Yennie, an elder of the Old Whalers Church, said that the proceeds would help underwrite the costs of keeping up the community house, “a building that dates to 1840 or ’60, which is open to any group that wants to use it.”
Among those groups that do, she said, were Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Sag Harbor Food Pantry, which in the week leading up to Thanksgiving was helping to feed 88 families, according to The Sag Harbor Express.
Bruce Beyer, head of the church’s property committee, has said the committee “would like to fix the community house up — it needs a new floor and ceiling — so that it can be available for such occasions as wedding receptions or baby showers.”
There were 94 finishers in the Old Whalers 5K. Lee Sossen, 40, of New York City and Quogue, was the runner-up, in 17:45.8. The third-place finisher, Russell Littel, 34, of San Antonio, Tex., an Army sergeant first class who has served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, said, “This is the coldest I’ve ever been.”
Littel’s wife, Kate, is the daughter of Ed Deyermond, a former Sag Harbor Village mayor.
Finlay too was visiting in-laws here, at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk. “It was a little cold,” he said, “but beautiful.”
“You know,” said Sossen, “that when they say a race course is ‘mostly flat,’ it often isn’t, but this one was, indeed, mostly flat.”