by Danielle Golden Giglio
Middle Road by Corey Beach in Blue Point was once again packed out with turkeys, pilgrims and even a few Santas for the annual Thanksgiving morning tradition of Smiles Turkey Trot. It was warmer but windier than last year and that did not stop the 1,000 runners from 2 years old to 90 from participating.
Runners with family members and friends took turns posing for photos next to the huge inflatable turkey. First up was the much anticipated kids fun run. The little turkeys lined up according to age for a quick run around the traffic circle at Corey Beach.
Right after the 5k started making a loop through Blue Point. This event sells out every year and is a fundraiser for Smiles Change Lives and Kids Run Long Island. Smiles Change Lives gives orthodontic care to kids that cannot afford this life changing treatment for a new smile and restored self-esteem.
Kids Run Long Island is a not-for profit with a mission to inspire kids to be best they can through healthy living, fitness and mindfulness. Founder of this group is Kiersten Bartolotta and she also took over the Turkey Trot from the Egans that organized it for 11 years.
She has run the Turkey Trot for many years since her kids were small. Kiersten was thrilled when the Egans passed the race torch to her. “This run is just about family and community – it is not about first place. It is a beautiful tradition for my family and all of the community.”
And it truly is not about first place since there is no official race time tracking, but the first five males and females over the finish line got a pumpkin pie to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.