The Chilmark Road Race is about much more than speed. How many contests pit septuagenarians against seven-year-olds? How often do you see Crocs on the starting line? Where else do people doing a 20-minute mile get such an enthusiastic round of cheers?

“To me it’s been the same for 20 years,” said Gary Mead, who has run every year since 1988 and won his age group in 1991. “You take a bus to the starting line; it never begins on time. I may have to walk this year, but for me it’s a tradition. It’s the longest string I have of consecutive races.”

Rosemary Clough of New Hampshire ran sporting a bright blue knee brace. “I’m the former poster child of this race,” she said. (Back in the early days of the road race, Alison Shaw, then of this paper, photographed a beaming Ms. Clough, thrilled to have finished the hilly five kilometers.) “I’ve been here every year but one, and it’s a milestone, both figuratively and literally. It’s a great way to assess where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am headed,” she said.

Though not in it for speed, Ms. Clough finished fourth in her age group. Her sister, Sally Solmssen, came in first in her age group with a time of just over 33 minutes.

Some runners came well prepared. Anna Lonergan wore a fuel belt which held an array of provisions, including a sports drink hip flask, gel-based food, a Blackberry (inedible, for emergencies only) and Kleenex. Her goal? “I just don’t want the EMTs to pull me aside at the end of the race and ask ‘Do you want medical attention?’ ”

Others went more minimalist — a gang of young men calling themselves Team Bro went topless. Alec Bingaman, brother of Nick Bingaman, joked: “I’d rather be more exposed.” Some shirtless runners were more modest, “Your sweat cools you down,” said Evan Taub. “I’d rather run fast than attract attention.”

Themed teams were in force. There were the Chilmark Turtles, wearing goofy 1980s gear and blasting David Bowie on a portable stereo, and the 18-member Team McMaster, who sported yellow shirts with the motto “You Push Me, I Push You.”

Charlotte’s Flying Pigs wore pig tails and shirts reading “This little swine flew all the way home.” The team got its name from Charlotte Hagerty, age 9, who is “obsessed with pigs.” Asked how she felt having her team named for her, she replied, “Oh, I feel so excited! It’s such an honor.”

Some ran in memory of those who could not be there for this race. Brian Curry walked on behalf of his friend Bill Dangler, of Summit, N.J., who died last week. The Segal family ran their fourth consecutive race in honor of Eli Segal, wearing shirts with the initials W.W.E.D? “It stands for ‘What Would Eli Do?’”

One of the family members explained: “Since he passed away in 2006, we’ve done the race in his honor. One of his favorite things was to watch, one of his dreams was to run it, so we’re living out his dream by running it.” Lily Segal, a team member, came in fourth in the under-eight pool.

The race began with an air horn blast, and as three thousand legs surged forward, roadside volunteers shimmied back against the vegetation crying: “We’re going to get trampled.” Nobody was trampled.

Henry Quinson, number 1,199, age 14, bolted out beyond the crowd and established a convincing lead for the first mile. The coltish youth found himself trying to keep 1,500 pursuers at bay. After the race, he said, “The first mile went well but I fell behind because I got a cramp. I was amazed to be ahead of so many people; it was spectacular.”

Louis Serafini soon took the lead and remained unchallenged after the first mile. With a time of 16 minutes and 21 seconds, he won an eight-pound lobster. How to cook it? “Carefully,” he said. Of the race, he said, “It’s really fun, it’s a great way to end a vacation.” He will run for Boston College this year as a freshman.

Also of note was an impressive finish by Mark Reppert of Vineyard Haven, a star on the Island regional high school track team. He finished seventh with a time of just over 17 minutes and 30 seconds.

The race was not without celebrity moments and glitches — sometimes both at once. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal lost a shoe and precious seconds. “I had to wrestle for it,” he said. Despite the mishap, he enthused, “It’s the best race in the world, man.”

Perhaps the most impressive feat of athleticism came from Anne Preisig of Falmouth, the Dana Torres of the race. She was the fastest woman, and her time of 18 minutes, 56 seconds set a course record for the 40 to 49 age group. This was her third time winning the race, having returned after a seven-year hiatus.

“I had forgotten how steep the hills were,” she said. Her advice for aspiring runners? “Take it slowly, set a goal, and give yourself months.”

She said her enormous lobster would go to her kids, aged six and four, who have never before tasted the crustacean’s delicious meat.

Other children were less interested in eating their spiny prizes. The Goodheart siblings of London (Sarah and George, age 8, Eve, 11) lived up to their name, displaying both cardiovascular strength and mercy. All three decided to release their lobsters into the Menemsha Bight. George’s lobster substitute? “A Galley hot dog,” he said.

After 32 years, founder and organizer Hugh Weisman said he was pleased with this year’s results. This year the town of Chilmark held fast to the limit of 1,500 participants. “I stood at the finish line with the police, and by the very end of the race we had 1,483 runners. But,” he added with a smile, “my timers were keeping count, and we really hit it at 1,500, right on the dot.”

After expenses, Mr. Weisman estimates that the race will net close to $20,000 for the Chilmark Community Center.

What follows are the top 10 finishers in the road race, men and women.

Women: 1, Anne Curi Preisig, 41, Falmouth, 18:56.0; 2, Erica Normandeau, 18, Hopkinton, 20:19.7; 3, Karin Lehr, 40, Belmont, 20:29.2; 4, Julie Schmidt, 36, North Attleboro, 20:48.3; 5, Lynne O’Donnell, 41, Beaverton, Ore., 20:50.2; 6, Maureen Larkin ,45, Walpole, 20:53.3; 7, Brianna Rogers, 18, Lexington, 21:10.0; 8, Cathryn Skinner, 14, Philadelphia, Pa.; 21:18.3; 9, Jessica Reilly, 38, Cranston, R.I., 21:31.2; 10, Dara Kelly, 38, Brookline, 21:37.4.

Men: 1, Louis Serafini, 17, Niskayuna, N.Y., 16:21.0; 2, Ryan Laemel, 17, Orange, Conn., 16:30.9; 3, John Ciccarelli, 26, Southbury, Conn., 16:44.7; 4, Michael Bhatt, 18, Bethaney, Conn., 17:09.2; 5, David Melly, 16, Newton, 17:18.4; 6, Noah Jampol, 21, Waban, 17:24.5; 7, Mark Reppert, 18, Vineyard Haven, 17:30.4; 8, Matt Hyde, 32, Vineyard Haven, 17:36.0; 9, Alex Leopold, 19, Chilmark, 18:00.0; 10, Chris O’Donnell, 44, Beaverton, Ore., 18:01.4.