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Smithtown celebrates St. Patrick's Day with 5k

Michele Lauer, 26, of Sound Beach, came in

Michele Lauer, 26, of Sound Beach, came in third overall, but was the first woman to cross the finish line at 19:05 in the Rotary Club of Smithtown's 20th annual "Go for the Green" 5K Run, which started and finished at Smithtown Elementary School. (March 16, 2013) (Credit: Brittany Wait)

Sporting a green T-shirt over her coat, 4-year-old Lily Mortimer held her father Frank’s hand, finishing her first one-mile run in front of Smithtown Elementary School on Saturday.

Mortimer was among the 40 runners who participated in the Rotary Club of Smithtown’s 20th annual “Go for the Green” one-mile family fun run. Another 300 people ran a 5k immediately after.

“She even beat my time,” said her mother Christina, 28, of Smithtown. “After they finished [in 11:42], she just wanted to keep running. She’s got the running bug now.”

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Glenn Williams, the rotary club’s president, said they raised $15,000 with 550 runners last year, but this year only raised $10,000 due to the bleak forecast.

“This is the rotary’s largest fundraiser of the year,” Williams said. “And it’s tradition. What’s nice is that it allows experienced runners to get ready for running season, and beginners to get out there and stay active.”

It was Mike Blanda’s second time running the 5k. Last year, he came in sixth overall. This year, he finished first with a time of 18:12 and received a trophy.

“I’m so happy I did it again this year,” said Blanda, 24, of Deer Park. “And this time I won. I never expected to win, but it’s a good feeling. My hard work has paid off.”

Just behind him was Eddie Reagan, 56, of Levittown, who finished with a time of 18:44. Michele Lauer, 26, of Sound Beach, won the women’s division and came in third with a time of 19:05.

It wasn’t about winning for Laura Logan and her friend Linda Parsons. It was about the experience.

Both are members of the North Country Road Warriors in Wading River. Logan crossed the finish line with a time of 28:40, a second after Parsons, 50, of Shoreham.

“It doesn’t matter how long the run is, it still feels the same when you finish,” said Logan, 52, of Miller Place. “I asked myself during the run, ‘Why are you doing this again?’ but when I finished, it feels exhilarating. Now, when I eat corned beef later, I won’t feel so bad.”

Wearing green beads and a shamrock sweatshirt, Smithtown native Mary Trotto, who dressed for St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday from head to toe, finished in 33:39, the first in her age group.

“Everybody’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, so you have to dress the part,” said Trotto, 65, who now lives in Maui, Hawaii. “Now, I’m ready for the holiday.”

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