Chilmark Road Race

Sun-Dappled Day Draws Hundreds to Race

Looks of calm, looks of determination, looks of pain and of pride: the expressions were as varied as the runners themselves, crossing the finish line of the annual Chilmark Road Race on Saturday morning - or, for the walkers, afternoon.

Just over 1,500 people ran the race, ranging from six to 79 years old. The youngest and oldest runners finished just 14 seconds apart. Some runners were turned away toward the end of registration, since 1,500 is the town's set capacity for the race.

Run for Lobster: Chilmark Road Race Attracts All Ages on Hot and Hazy Day

Boarding the shuttle from Beetlebung Corner to the starting line of the 28th annual Chilmark Road Race on Saturday, one could smell the excitement.

The excitement, as it happened, smelled like 50 sweaty runners in a school bus. Race officials blared Highway to Hell by AC/DC in the background, a subtle nod to the day's combination of 90 degree heat and 80 per cent humidity.

Chilmark Road Race Saturday: T-Shirts Span 28 Years Running

The T-shirts spilling out of the brown paper bag onto A.V. and Dora Morrow's floor may be nicely creased and look brand new, but don't be fooled: 27 years and 83.7 miles worth of Middle Road in Chilmark are locked inside those cotton fibers.

Founder Joins in as Road Race Takes Off

Said Jack Davies: "It doesn't rain on the Chilmark Road Race."

And for the first 25 years, it didn't. Runners last year, in fact, were reported as traversing the scenic stretch of Middle Road "against a canvas of shadows and golden light." That was hardly the case this year, as runners arrived at Beetlebung Corner decked out in homemade raingear, most of it fashioned from kitchen trash bags. But Saturday morning's thick gray clouds and spotty rain didn't faze the participants; it only put a damper on the takeoff and fostered some ironic humor.

Chilmark Road Race Draws Hundreds

The noisy, motley group of runners suddenly waxed silent and awaited the bullhorn. When it blasted, the soles of more than a thousand running shoes began pummelling Middle Road against a canvas of shadows and golden light.

On Saturday morning the 25th annual Chilmark Road Race began just as its predecessors - but with an even richer sense of history, and featuring a wonderful new gadget.

Chilmark Road Race Celebrates Anniversary: 25 Years of Vineyard Tradition on the Run

Hugh Weisman organized the first Chilmark Road Race in 1978 as a fun run for the kids at the Chilmark Community Center. He never imagined that tomorrow, he'd be presiding over the 25th annual event, nor that the road race would grow to landmark stature on the calendar of the Island summer.

"It's been very gratifying," said Mr. Weisman, who now gives up a week of vacation every year to run the race. "I ran into somebody in New York this winter who says he lives for the road race - he's flying up for it.

Chilmark Stages Run for the Lobster

A mammoth, six-pound lobster was released on Saturday, after Craig Gemmell of Hyannis Port won the 20th running of the Chilmark Road Race.
Mr. Gemmell’s 16:04 finish in the 3.1-mile race earned him the day’s largest lobster. While he said he enjoys an occasional crustacean, Mr. Gemmell, a biology teacher, said he could not comfortably feed on such a large old lobster.

Chilmark Road Race Is Now 20

It was a Saturday in September, and somehow Hugh Weisman persuaded Priscilla Cohn and Morgan Shipway to enter his race down Middle Road. They weren’t competitive runners, but this was just five kilometers. Do it and spend the day recovering at Lucy Vincent Beach.

Chilmark Road Race Was Record Run in the Sun

The sun made a rare appearance, an Oak Bluffs man blazed to a course record and a jumbo lobster stuffed the consequences Saturday at the 19th annual running of the Chilmark Road Race.
Art Smith, 28, of East Chop and Cambridge ignored soaring summer temperatures en route to winning the five-kilometer (3.1-mile) race down Middle Road by a wide margin in a record 14 minutes, 38 seconds.
It was Mr. Smith’s second straight victory at Chilmark and - as is the custom - received to cash prize, but instead a large, Island-caught lobster.

Chilmark Road Race Is a Race for the Few And Fun for the Many

Two course records were broken, but the Chilmark Road Race on Saturday was more a celebration of community and health than a contest.
Many of the fastest runners turned around after the finished the five-kilometer route and walked back up Middle Road to cheer on their slower comrades. Neighbors along the race route came out to the end of their driveways and others say on their lawns to greet the runners. Even a cow looked on, half amused, at the sweaty commotion in the road.