By Bill Landon
While some were busy thinking about what they’re thankful for, hundreds that flocked to Miller Avenue Elementary School, Shoreham were thinking about crossing the finish line.
In cool, dry conditions, more than 400 athletes dashed through the 1-mile, 5K and 5-mile events during the 36th annual Thanksgiving Day Races.
The gun for the main 5K event sounded at 8 a.m., and for the men, 2014 Shoreham- Wading River graduate Ryan Udvadia was the first-place finisher, with a time of 16 minutes, 39.99 seconds. He competes now for the University at Albany’s track-and-field and cross-country teams.
The first female to cross the finish line was Maegan Gorman of Wading River in 20:38. Danelle Rose, a Miller Place freshman from Sound Beach, finished second for the women with a time of 20:42.
Udvadia has competed in the event 13 times and was thankful for the race and the weather during it.
“Running this race is kind of a tradition,” he said. “But it’s fun to come out here and get a good workout.”
A two-time All-State selection in cross country at Shoreham-Wading River, Udvadia still holds the school records in the 3,200-meter and 2-mile events.
Proceeds, which came in the way of $15 preregistration and $20 day-of-the-event entry fees, went to the senior scholarship fund. This past June, $10,000 in scholarship money was granted to Shoreham-Wading River’s Class of 2015. In 2014, $11,500 was awarded.
The total raised from this year’s race was not available by press time, but proceeds are combined with the annual July 4 Shoreham-Wading River Foot Races, to create the grand total given to graduates.
This version correctly identifies the first-place female finisher.