Predictions: Cinderella is a crowd favorite, while Dracula also attracts a strong fan base. The Sexy Nurse outpaces Freddy Krueger, while the Pumpkin People finish way ahead of the Avocado Couple. Finally, Minnie Mouse jumps out to a lightning fast start, but fades about half way through and ends up in a dead heat with Cruella de Vil.

The Halloween-ready Totten Trot kicks off in Bayside on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 9 a.m. (Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)

Now in its 18th year, the five-kilometer race is family-friendly, costume-heavy, and even a bit educational. It starts and ends at the Officers’ Club inside Fort Totten Park. This landmarked site is the home of the Bayside Historical Society, which organizes the event.

The route features a waterfront loop on Little Bay Path to the Throgs Neck Bridge and a stretch through a historic district consisting of buildings that date back to the 1800s.

Many participants will wear costumes and have fun. However, a professional race-organizing company, elitefeats, will handle the registration, timing, scoring, and photos, so competitive runners will feel at home, too. The course has certification from USA Track & Field, the national governing body for races.

Totten Trot will end with a reception at the Officers’ Club that includes breakfast, live music, some Halloween-inspired special guests, and an antique car display.

The first three male and female finishers will get cash prizes (respectively $100, $75, and $50), and the best costume winner will receive a $50 gift certificate. There will also be trophies and bragging rights in age divisions stretching from 14-and-under to 80-and-over.

Prices are $35 through Oct. 26, but $40 on race day. The first 150 registrants are guaranteed a complimentary t-shirt. All participants receive a goodie bag with gifts and coupons from local sponsors.

All proceeds go to the Bayside Historical Society. Founded in 1964, the society advocates for preservation and protection of the area’s historical spots. It maintains the Officers’ Club, whose address is 208 Totten Ave. Completed in 1887, the Gothic Revival mansion, which is also known as “The Castle,” served as a mess hall and social club for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The nonprofit also maintains the Lawrence Cemetery, which is the final resting place of Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence, mayor of New York City from 1834 to 1837.

There’s also a Kids’ Fun Run at 10 a.m. This short sprint is for anybody under age 13 with special “cookie medals” for all participants. (Costumes are strongly encouraged for this race.)

There’s free parking in a lot at the entrance to Fort Totten at 212th Street and Cross Island Parkway. From there, it’s a short walk to the Officers’ Club.

Images: Bayside Historical Society

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Bayside Historical Society’s annual Totten Trot returns to the park on Oct. 27
Bayside Historical Society’s annual Totten Trot returns to the park on Oct. 27


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