Last year the Chilmark Road Race went virtual. This year it went hot.

Defeating a crowd of nearly 1,200 runners and soaring thermometers, Michael Schroeder won the men’s division with a time of 16:25.9 and Sarah Tully won the women’s division with a time of 18:36.0

It was Mr. Schroeder’s first victory after coming close previous years.

“I’m from the Island and I’ve been running the race for 13 years,” Mr. Schroeder said. “I’ve come in second and third a lot, but I’ve never won before, so this just feels super special.”

The race saw a diverse and eclectic turnout of runners of all ages, abilities and experience. Some were retirees, while others spent the majority of the run being pushed in strollers by their parents. Some laced up high-tech sneakers and fretted about PRs, while others ran for the first time since high school.

Sarah Tully won the women's division with a time of 18:36.0.

Many have spent their entire lives running the rolling hills of Middle Road every August, while others learned for the first time the true meaning of heartbreak hills.

Phyllis Kugler estimates she’s run the Chilmark Road Race over 25 times. She said this year was the most difficult yet.

“This year was the hottest, most humid year I can remember,” she said, draining a bottle of water as she spoke. “I really doubted I could finish it. But I finish it every year, so I pushed through and did it.”

Ms. Kugler did not just finish, she won her division, women age 70-79, just like she has numerous times before. The day’s obstacles proved to be no match for the veteran competitor.

Other runners felt fulfilled just crossing the finish line.

“I’ve had five surgeries on my knee, so just walking and finishing is a success for me,” said Joyce Jen.

Jack Kelly and Kieran O’Connor served as race emcees, providing both humorous and informative commentary throughout the morning. They made sure runners followed the race’s Covid protocols, encouraging participants to keep their masks on as they boarded buses to the starting line. Both are Chilmark Community Center camp counselors and, according to the duo, the job comes naturally.

“We’re good on our feet,” Mr. O’Connor said.

On your mark! — Ray Ewing

Among runners, the most popular clothing item was this year’s T-shirt — a black, red and electric yellow rendering of the race’s logo. The second most popular was the MacMaster family T-shirt, a black shirt bearing the family’s motto “You push me, I’ll push you.” Over 30 members of the extended MacMaster clan ran Saturday.

“It really helps encourage you when you’re running,” Karen MacMaster Williams said of the matching outfits. “You see one of the shirts in front of you, and you’re like, that’s someone in my family, I should run and catch up with them.”

After a morning of physical exertion, many participants felt ready to cool off and cherish their accomplishment.

“We’re going to show off our shirts, show off our muscles and go to the beach,” friends Carla Taylor-Pla, Lisa Young and Melissa Moore said.

“I’m going to have some Ben and Bill’s ice cream,” said Suzie Freedberg.

Champion Mr. Schroeder has a slightly less leisurely weekend ahead. On Sunday, he runs the Falmouth Road Race.

More pictures.