On Saturday morning, Susan Wilson, 90, will lace up her running shoes for her 30th Chilmark Road Race. Ms. Wilson held the course record for the women’s 80 to 89-year-old division until last year, and was hoping to set the record this year for the 90-plus division.

But instead of the rolling hills of Chilmark, she’ll be running the 5K from her hometown of Princeton, N.J.

Joined by approximately 1,550 other runners, Ms. Wilson will be “running together apart” in the organization’s first-ever, pandemic-friendly virtual race.

Founder of the race, Hugh Weisman, said despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, canceling the event was never an option.

Founder of the race, Hugh Weisman, said canceling the event was never an option. — Ray Ewing

“I never thought about it,” he said. “It’d be a shame for it to end.”

Runners who have registered will have from August 7 to August 10 to complete the race on any course of their choosing. Upon completion, runners will self-report their times on the event’s webpage or through the racing app, RaceJoy.

Despite the unorthodox format, the race has had no shortage of interest, said Alexandra London-Thompson, executive director of the Chilmark Community Center. The youngest runner, Abigail Edwards, was born just over a week ago and the oldest, Sumner Parker, is 92 years old.

“It was really nice to have as much interest as we usually do,” said Ms. London-Thompson, who has been busy mailing packages of race bibs and T-shirts to participants in places as far as California and Germany. The race is a fundraiser for the Chilmark Community Center and has been a signature summer event since 1978.

About 500 runners have chosen to run the historic Middle Road course, but organizers have asked Island runners not to race during the usual 10 a.m. time to avoid over-crowding.

Down in New Jersey, Ms. Wilson and her group of runners will be competing on the traditional race day at the traditional time on a course they mapped out along the roadways of Princeton. “I picked it because it has big hills and the course on Middle Road has hills so I wanted to be as honest as possible,” Ms. Wilson said. “I would much rather run a course without any hills at all, but I’m not doing that.”

Packages of race bibs and T-shirts are being sent to participants in places as far as California and Germany. — Ray Ewing

Though the race will see a technical first-place winner, with runners spread across the globe, there will be no prize lobster for the fastest runner this year, said Mr. Weisman.

“There will be results and there will be a winner, but it may be a Rosie Ruiz,” he said, referencing the Boston Marathoner who famously fudged her finish time.

For Ms. Wilson, who ran last year’s race in under 56 minutes, the thought of not competing on the traditional course has been disappointing.

“I was really looking forward to this year,” she said. “I’ve been working on it, I’ve been training.”

It is also the first summer in 54 years she has not visited the Vineyard with her husband and family. For now, though, Ms. Wilson said she is glad to keep a small bit of the Island with her all the way in New Jersey.

Mr. Weisman is glad to provide the service.

“I hope people get something out of it and enjoy doing it,” he said. “They’re going to be missing something, but hopefully they will feel part of the larger community.”

Ms. Wilson said she is already looking forward to next summer’s race along Middle Road when she plans to officially break the course record in her division.

“I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be there at the starting line next year,” she said with a laugh.

Runners are encouraged to share photos and videos via social media with the hashtags #virtualCRR and #CRRrunningtogetherapart.