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Kings Park Thanksgiving pre-meal run becomes tradition for many

Runners participate in the Turkey Trot at Nissequogue

Runners participate in the Turkey Trot at Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park with their sons Kai, 4, left, and Blake, 6, on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

For Ismael Feliciano and Jen Herrmann, working up an appetite with a brisk walk in the annual 5K Run/Walk for the Park and 1k Turkey Trot for Kids has become a tradition.

The two friends and Brentwood residents, taking part in their ninth walk/run Thursday on Thanksgiving morning at Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park, first heard about the event through family and had been doing it ever since.

“It’s a fun little thing to do before our cooking,” said Herrmann, as she and Feliciano, 36, shared a laugh when Feliciano’s wife shouted jokingly for the pair to keep up with her. “And we get to eat more because we’re feeling less guilty.”

About 1,800 participants took part in the 10th annual walk and turkey trot event, according to organizers with the nonprofit Nissequogue River State Park Foundation. The run was one of several across Long Island — from Halesite to Montauk.

Darlene Ritchie, 53, ran in the Nissequogue event wearing a large cookie suit to promote the Dec. 10 Tough Cookie 8K Trial Race in Kings Park. Ritchie, of Cold Spring Harbor, who participated with several members of the Northport Running Club, said wearing the suit wasn’t too hard.

“It was actually very easy because it kept me nice and warm,” Ritchie said. “I usually get a lot of smiles when I do it, so I look forward to running in it when I can.”

Kings Park residents Larry Frasca, 48, and Brian Davis, 41, were taking in the day with family members participating in both the turkey trot and the 5K runs.

Davis described his day running as “awesome.”

“It was better than last year, and even though it’s colder out, at least it’s not raining,” he said.

Brian Piccola, 19, of Commack, had his family cheering him on in his fifth annual run while visiting from Boston College. Piccola’s favorite part of the day, he said laughing, was “finishing up towards the finish line and heading straight for the food.”

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