Claudio’s successfully defended its title at Saturday’s fifth annual North Fork Waiter Race in Greenport.
Veronica Jacobsen, a Claudio’s waitress, was the champion in a record-breaking time of 2 minutes 38 seconds. It was the second straight year Claudio’s emerged on top after sweeping the top three spots last year.
The annual race, a fun and fast-paced event that celebrates the North Fork hospitality industry, requires the participants to quickly move down Main Street — without running — while balancing a filled stemmed glass on a serving tray. Hosted by The Market, the event benefits Eastern Long Island Hospital and its Fitness Challenge, which encourages community members to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
“I first started this event because I wanted to bring attention to a healthy community and also have the proceeds from the race go back to the hospital, particularly the physical therapy and fitness area,” said Shelly Scoggin, owner of The Market, a health foods store on Front Street. “Montauk [Sweet’tauk] Lemonade was very generous and stepped up to sponsor the event as their lemonade is the liquid in the glasses that the waiters hold on their tray.”
This year’s event featured 26 waiters and waitresses from an array of places in the area like: San Simeon, Lucharito’s, Little Creek Oyster, Deep Water Grill, Peconic Landing, First & South and Billys By the Bay.
“We are really appreciative to the restaurants who talk it up and send their servers,” said Eileen Solomon, the director of community relations at ELIH.
Scoogin added: “It takes a long time on the North Fork to get things to grow so the fact that this event keeps happening, I am thrilled. I am hopeful down the road that people will realize that they can raise more money than their entry fee. The point would be to get a ton of sponsors so that the hospital can get more money.”
The first-place winner was awarded $300. The next two finishers received $200 and $100, respectively.