More than 600 runners turned out despite chilly, windy conditions Sunday to participate in the 12th annual City Council Turkey Trot in Long Beach.
The 10K, whose course runs entirely along the Long Beach boardwalk, began at 9 a.m. For many participants, the run is the precursor to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I was excited for the race until I found out how cold it was,” said Dane Reilly, 31, who with his wife moved from Brooklyn to Long Beach last year. “This is a nice way to get Thanksgiving started. This is a way to exercise before gorging down food. Gotta make room for that pumpkin pie.”
Benjamin Beavers, 43, of Amityville, who ran in the trot last year, said he wasn’t concerned with his finish time as long as he finished the race.
“This is like a Thanksgiving kickoff,” he said.
The cold weather and extreme windy conditions made it hard for runners the last two miles.
“That was miserable,” first-place winner Joe Grieco, 25, of Massapequa, said of the high winds when he crossed the finish line unofficially at 36 minutes and 8 seconds. “I’m happy with my time, considering the conditions,” he said, adding he was thankful for family and being healthy.
Jen Dagan sat on the ground and griped about the wind after being the female winner unofficially at 39 minutes and 48 seconds.
“It was horrible,” said Dagan, 32, of Centereach. “It was a fun race.”
She said she was thankful for fun and family.
The trot included a one-mile run for children.
“It was hard but I pushed through it,” said Samantha Addeo, 12, of Long Beach who also won the race last year. “I feel great.”
Long Beach Councilman Anthony Eramo said the trot kicks off Thanksgiving and is part of the city’s racing series, of which they have a dozen a year.
“Long Beach is a very athletic community,” he said, adding that the city speaks to people and encourages them to run.