Rosemary Clough was exhuberant.
Photo by Alison Shaw
The First Annual Chilmark Road Race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday morning rain or shine. At least 200 runners of all ages are expected to participate in the five kilometer run (3.05 miles) along Middle Road. One hundred and fifty entries have already been received and processed, and at least 50 more are expected by race time.
The youngest runner is four-year old Khary Lazarre-White of Chilmark and the oldest is Dr. L.H. Sitwell, 56, of Vineyard Haven. The runners will be competing for prizes in divisions divided by sex and age of 11 years old and under, 12 through 16, 17 through 29, and more than 30 years old, but for many of the runners completion of the course will bring its own satisfaction.
The race has no obvious favorites, but Tad Cohn of Chilmark and Doug Ward of Gay Head will make a strong bid for the under 11 years boys’ title. In the girls’ 12 to 16 years old division, a duel seems in the offing between Joyce Kinstlinger, Jennifer Weisman, Amy Thornton and others. Elizabeth Ward, Jennifer Cohen and Ali Weisman will battle it out in the girls’ under 11 years division. An unknown factor in the men’s group is Andrew Parker, Chilmark police chief.
The organizer of the race is Hugh Weisman, a Chilmark summer resident, who survives the dark months in Scarsdale. Mr. Weisman, an architect by profession and a runner by avocation, has completed the New York city and Yonkers marathons and has been conducting a running clinic at the Chilmark Community Center. He decided to create the Chilmark Road Race to provide an opportunity for the Island’s numerous runners to participate in a relaxed fun race over a carefully calibrated course with accurate timing. The relatively modest distance was selected to attract younger and novice runners as well as providing a good speed test for the more experienced.
Chief Parker examined various possible routes. The Middle Road route, which will start about one-half mile east of Tea Lane and end at Beetlebung Corner, was selected because it presents few traffic problems and should prove to be an interesting run. The first mile and a quarter is essentially flat, winding through woods and farms, then a few small ups and downs, a long steep downhill followed by a challenging climb past the two mile marker, another dip, and then a glorious run on the flat past the Keith Farm with a magnificent view of the ocean, and ending with a downhill to the finish.
However, runners must be transported to the start from the Chilmark Community Center where check-in will take place starting at 9 a.m. The organizers will provide transportation from the Community Center to the start, but will appreciate it if those runners coming with nonrunning spouses, friends or parents can help out in relieving the load by assisting in driving runners to the start from check-in.
The race will have the trappings of some of the large and more established events. T-shirts were promised o all entrants who signed up by Aug. 21. At this writing all entries so far will receive T-shirts and there may be a few left by race day. Water will be provided at about the halfway point and Perrier water, graciously donated by great waters of France, will be provided at the finish along with watermelon. Prizes are being donated by local merchants and Morgan Shipway is putting up a case of Fort Schuyler beer to the slowest adult finisher. All finishers will also receive a handsome certificate, suitable for framing, attesting to their accomplishment.
Mr. Weisman asks that runners check in promptly between 9 and 9:30 a.m. at the Chilmark Community Center, so that the race can begin on time. Post entries at the regular entry fee of $3.50 will also be accepted at the above time for those who may not already have registered. Net proceeds will be donated to the Chilmark Community Center.

From the September 5, 1978 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

James Kehoe of Brookline led the field of nearly 270 runners in Saturday’s Chilmark road race. The 3.1 mile course over town roads challenged men, women, children, and even Sunshine, a 3 1/2-year-old dog who finished in 192nd place. Two hundred fifty-three finished.
Mr. Kehoe’s time was 17 minutes, 48 seconds. The first woman to finish was Susan Hughes of Oak Bluffs at 19.41. Second overall was Brendon Hallises (18.06). Third was Orlad Donald of Vineyard Haven (18.12). Fourth and fifth went to Mike Shokett (18.20) and Chuck Moran (18.27).
Oldest was Robert T. Hyde, 64, who finished in 28.45. Khary Lazarre-White, 4, was the youngest. Her time was 48.40.
Organizers of the race said they were “overwhelmed” by the turnout.