On Thanksgiving Thursday, I ran in the Montauk Turkey Trot “Run for Fun” six-mile race.
Not having run more than four miles in a long time, I was nervous about the race and initially signed up for the three-miler.
But my brother was home, and his six-mile sign-up card taunted me as we waited in the warm sun. (We misread the start time and ended up in Montauk an hour early. So not like us, but I was thankful to have a relaxing morning.)
Even so, I balked at the thought of running six miles. I couldn’t handle it. I was tired. I was hurting from a run earlier in the week. Excuses, excuses.
The prehistoric sense of sibling rivalry got the better of me. I had to sign up for the six-miler.
Only, I wasn’t allowed to.
“You’ll mess up the computers,” they said.
“I mean, you can run the six, but your time will register as a three.”
The six-mile course was the three-mile loop, run twice. We gathered en masse at the Montauk Green. The firefighters were in their hook-and-ladder truck, waving to the crowd and snapping group photos before the start of the race.
It was awesome to see how many people (and dogs and babies) turned out. It was even better to see the amount of people wearing turkey-themed running garb. Hundreds of East Enders had made the trek to Montauk on Thanksgiving morning to exercise before the big meal.
Here were all the cheering turkey trotters—had we run the race after dinner, we would have been gobble wobblers—out at The End giving thanks for fitness. While Montauk isn’t exactly a hike to get to, especially in the winter, it does take a bit of an effort. (This point was emphasized after the race: “You came all the way out here from Southampton?” Yes. Yes I did.) And on a holiday weekend that can get caught up in its gluttonous reputation, I enjoyed seeing so many fellow East Enders celebrate in something that can be so simply enjoyed.
The race itself was a lot of fun. The weather was beautiful, and the course was relatively flat and not too windy—so very not Montauk.
The start gun went off, and I nervously set out to run the six miles around Fort Pond Bay. I covered up my three-mile race number when I passed the first finish line, lest they make me stop. No one did. And my fears of having an awful time or—worse—not finishing were unwarranted too.
It was the longest I’ve run since the summer, and it felt—surprisingly—great. It reminded me that sometimes, you have to just go for it.
I didn’t beat my brother, but I was pleased that I had covered the distance. Never underestimate what you can do.
So, here’s the point: Running is fun. And “mind over matter.”
If you don’t mind that it takes you almost an hour to run “three” miles, it doesn’t matter.