Turkey Turnout Was Bountiful

More than 600 — adults, kids, and dogs — were there
More than 600 turned out for the East Hampton Town Recreation Department and Keeshan Realty Turkey Trots in Montauk on Thanksgiving Day. Jack Graves

Thankfully, Thanksgiving Day was far better weather-wise than the unremitting rain of the day before, and while the hard-core runners in the crowd of 600-plus at Montauk’s Circle last Thursday morning would probably have turned out anyway, many others would have rolled over in bed had it been raining, or snowing, or bitter cold.

A dozen members of East Hampton High’s boys and girls cross-country and winter track teams were there, with several of their coaches, Luis Morales, Diane O’Donnell, and Kevin Barry, though Erik Engstrom, who would undoubtedly have been a contender in the 3-mile race, was an absentee, resting up as he was for the regional Foot Locker invitational that was to take place at the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park two days later.

Nicholas Berglin, 17, of Hampton Bays, was — as he had been last year — the 3-miler’s winner, in 16 minutes and 26.798 seconds. His twin brother, and fellow Bayman, Christian, had been hoping to win the 6-miler, but was outlasted by two New York City runners somewhat older than he. Nevertheless, Berglin finished two places higher than in 2013.

The 6-miler’s winner, Tim Rossi, 22, and runner-up, Daniel Widlowski, 26, were also the top two last year, with the places reversed. Rossi, who runs with the Central Park Track Club, crossed the line in 34:35.236; Widlowski in 35:01.959. Christian Berglin was third, in 35:24.310.

Widlowski has set himself a goal of running in marathons in all the New England states to begin with, and then in all the states, period. As for the New England states, “I’m running Boston this spring. That will be my fifth.”

Kristen Patrick, 31, was the 6-miler’s female winner (and seventh over all), in 37:49.664. Efren Delossantos, 36, was the women’s winner in the 3, placing 15th over all in 19:09.629.

Several Bonackers, Emilio Espinoza (third, in 17:10.571), T.J. Paradiso (fifth, in 17:15.359), and Eric Perez (eighth, in 18:19.838) finished in the 3-miler’s top 10, beating their winter track coach, Luis Morales, in the process. Morales, who’s 29, placed 10th, in 18:44.4.

“They got the best of me,” Morales said, with a smile, adding that the winter team’s first crossover meet at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood will be Wednesday. “We’ve got 24, mostly middle and long-distance runners who are getting better and better, and their attitude is great,” said the coach, adding that he needed jumpers and shot-putters.

“We’re getting older and stronger — the kids are growing into their bodies. We’ll definitely be up there with our best runners. I’m looking forward to the season.”

The league meet, at the end of January, is the one to which everyone points.

Craig Brierley, who coaches East Hampton’s boys swimming team, was also a competitor that day — as were his children, Thomas, now a freshman on Marymount’s triathlon team, Christian, and Julia.

“At Marymount they make the triathletes run with the cross-country team and swim with the swim team, so you can say Thomas is a three-sport athlete,” said the elder Brierley.

As for East Hampton’s swim team, “we have 28,” the coach said. “About six of them are seniors, so we’re a young team, with a handful of new guys. Chasen Dubs, of East Hampton, and Ryan Duryea, of Pierson, are eighth graders. I think we’ll have all the strokes covered and the individual medley. We should do all right.”

Nicholas Berglin said that Engstrom “has been really progressing. My brother and I see him at the invitationals, though he’s in Class B and we’re in Class C.”

Among the walkers were John Keeshan, 76, who has sponsored this Thanksgiving Day race since its inception 38 years ago, and Howard Lebwith, 84, whose Great Bonac 10K on Labor Day has also been a fixture here. Lebwith was the eldest competitor. According to the list of finishers, the youngest was Stefano McCourt, who’s 2.

Bob Beattie, who timed the race, said afterward that he’d resurrected and expanded the former East End Road and Trail Runners Club so that it will embrace all of Long Island. “We’ve just had our first board meeting . . . there will be memberships, a newsletter, T-shirts. . . . We’re planning a whole bunch of new races.”

Coming up this weekend, he said, will be 5Ks at Hofstra University and in Patchogue, as well as a 15K (9.3-mile) trail run at Riverhead’s Indian Island Park.

Nicholas Berglin won Thanksgiving Day’s 3-miler. Jack Graves