Wearing a bright orange top and neon green running shoes, David Melly was easy to spot along Middle Road on Saturday morning. Then again, it wouldn’t have been difficult to find Melly at nearly any point during the 2011 Chilmark Road Race, as the 18-year-old from Newton, blew the field away on Saturday. His winning time of 16:22 was more than a full minute faster than the next closest competitor.
“I just wanted to put forth a strong effort,” Melly said. “I feels good to put a strong race together.”
Saturday marked his second time to run in the Chilmark race; the first was in 2009 when he placed fifth.
Women’s winner Mariian Bihrle has a bit more history on the five-kilometer course in the run for the lobster (top winners take home a pair of jumbo lobsters). A longtime summer resident of the Vineyard, the 27-year-old from Boston finished with a time of 18:20. Even though her schedule hasn’t allowed her to run Chilmark for the past four years, she’s no stranger to the winner’s circle, having the won the race back in 1998 when she was just 14.
“It feels like I’ve come full circle,” Bihrle said. “It’s great to back here running and competing. Even though I’ve missed it recently, this race has been such a constant for me.”
Melly and Bihrle were two of the 1,500 official entries in the event, in its 34th year. The road race raises over $20,000 annually for the Chilmark Community Center.
A complete story about the road race with photographs will appear in the Tuesday Gazette.