By Dr. Meridith Leo
Each year as Thanksgiving rolls around and before turkey and apple pie are consumed, we all take inventory of the people and things that we are grateful for and that give our lives meaning.
For over 1,000 runners in the Bayport Blue Point community part of being thankful begins in the early morning hours on Thanksgiving as athletes take part in the annual Smile Turkey Trot. The new race Director Kiersten Bartolotta who is the founder and Executive Director of Kids Run Long Island, which is a non-profit offering fitness and health programs to kids and families on Long Island said “that the Smiles Turkey Trot was started by Dr. Frank Egan and his wife Christine Egan 12 years ago. They created it to raise money for Smiles Change Lives- a non-profit that provides free dental care to families and kids in need. The Egan family directed this race for 11 years, building it up to over 1000 people registering. They worked so hard to make this event fun and family friendly.”
This past Thanksgiving on November 28th, 2019 it was easy to see how happy everyone was to participate in supporting some wonderful organizations! There were children and adults of all ages with some runners even pushing their little ones in jogging strollers. An extra incentive for runners was that the top 5 winners (men and women) would win a pie at the finish line! In addition, the 1st place woman and 1st place man would receive a gift card from the Sayville Running Company.
Thankfully the weather was beautiful, and runners expressed their gratitude. Kathleen Sparacin an avid runner who took part in the Trot stated that, “I loved the Turkey Trot because everyone is excited to run before chowing down on Thanksgiving dinner and all around it’s just a wonderful event to take part in.”
Likewise, Bartolotta the race Director said, “My favorite part is seeing all the families and friends running in, taking pictures with our inflatable turkey, and hugging at the finish line. It is truly a beautiful event.”
The day was a complete success and will be a lasting memory until next November. Until then continue to be kind, be thoughtful, be genuine, but most of all be thankful! We hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!