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Irvington Celebrates Thanksgiving With Turkey Trot

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – The starting shot rang out at Irvington’s annual Peter Oley Turkey Trot Sunday afternoon and a large crowd of runners took off from Dows Lane Elementary. The runners completed a 2.5 mile course set throughout the village for the race that has been held every year since 1978.

“Over the past four or five years the event seems to be getting more and more popular,” Irvington Recreation Supervisor Joe Archino said.

This year's race almost didn't take place because of budget issues, Archino said, but the Irvington Girl Scouts stepped up to help by $3,500 for the non-contractual costs associated with the race. In addition to the race, the Girl Scouts set up a bake sale and provided runners with food and free shirts.

Irvington High School Principal Scott Mosenthal, the race's emcee, also thanked the Girl Scouts for their help before the race began.

“This event would not be happening without the Girl Scouts,” he said. “The thought of not having a Peter Oley Turkey Trot was just inconceivable to a lot of people, and thankfully the Girl Scouts as well.”

The Turkey Trot is named after Peter Oley, a longtime track coach in Irvington. Oley was “the godfather of running” and helped create the race, Archino said.

The race began at Dows Lane Elementary, then winded east to Route 9/Broadway. Runners continued north until West Sunnyside Lane, where they turned and entered the Old Croton Aqueduct. The race continued on the Aqueduct until the finish line at Memorial Park. Mosenthal noted the aqueduct portion of the race was one thing that made the race so very special.

“When you're on the aqueduct, it's been cleared, but you have to be aware: there are roots, there are rocks. It is really a cross-country portion of the race,” Mosenthal told runners while waiting for the race to begin.

Archino said the race wasn't too difficult. “It's fun,” he said.

The Turkey Trot was open to residents and nonresidents of a wide range of ages. Mosenthal advised runners under the age of 10 to take their time.

“Little guys, do yourselves a favor and maybe your parents a favor,” he said. “Do not feel like you have to sprint the first quarter mile. You will pay for that later. The idea is to finish strong, not feel like you have to start strong.”

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