A pair of first-timers picked up the coveted lobsters from Larsen’s at the 36th annual Chilmark Road Race.
Conor Dooney, 23, of Dublin, Ireland, crossed the finish line in 16:05:31, nearly half a minute ahead of second-place runner Corey Kunz, 32, of Hoboken, N.J., who finished in 16:30:66. Mr. Dooney raced for the Yale University cross-country team and currently competes for his home club of Backfridge in Dublin. The first three runners finished with sub-17 minute times.
Larissa Park, 33, of Somerville crossed the finish line first for the women with a time of 17:28:57 and was twelfth overall. Sixteen-year-old Sheridan Wilbur of North Smithfield, R.I., finished third for the women with a time of 18:30:74.
Mrs. Park, like Mr. Dooney, also competes for her hometown running club. Both said they were encouraged to race by friends who have homes on the Vineyard.
“My friends wanted me to come down and try to break the course record,” Mrs. Park said after the race. “But I didn’t; I was off by 15 seconds.” Still, her announced time during the awards ceremony drew murmurs of appreciation from the crowd.
Mrs. Park said that while the hilly route along Middle road was challenging, the cheering crowds, particularly at the finish line were fantastic.
“It’s a great atmosphere, great crowd,” Mr. Dooney said.
A cool breeze rippled across Middle Road in Chilmark earlier in the morning as runners pinned on their bibs and lined up to board buses to the start line. Skies were blue and temperatures hovering in the low 70s. Just before the final buses departed race volunteers pulled out the timing mats, laying them across the road in anticipation of the finish. A young spectator pulled two Chilmark Road Race wristbands over her feet as anklewear.
Race organizer and founder Hugh Weisman said 1,467 runners competed in Saturday’s race, with more than 100 volunteers helping out with everything from parking to registration to water duty.
“For the first time in living memory, the race almost started on time,” he said after the awards ceremony. But a bus en route from Vineyard Haven, carrying runners from the boat, broke down on the way to Chilmark.
“I’m ready to say ‘We can’t wait any longer,’” Mr. Weisman said. “And then the bus showed up.” As it was, the race was only 13 minutes behind schedule.
Joshua Sohn of Edgartown was the first Vineyarder across the line, followed by Jeremy Alley-Tarter of Oak Bluffs a senior on the regional high school cross-country team. The pair finished eighth and tenth, respectively, with times of 17:23:29 and 17:21:47. Lucy Norris of Chilmark, also a member of the cross-country, was the first Vineyarder in the women’s race, and finished with a time of 18:47:59.
Another Vineyarder, eight-year-old Jack Lionette of Chilmark, was first in the youngest age group of the road race, and finished with a time of 21:27:02. Runners of all ages enter the race.
Ten-year-old Maddie Jaroch of Acton said she trained with her friend Grace Maffei before tackling the route for the second year in a row. The two snacked on bananas and sipped water after completing the course.
Grace said she liked that the route had both uphill and downhill sections, but that the big hill [near the Keith Farm] was the hardest part.
Mr. Dooney offered one piece of advice to future Chilmark runners.
“Work on your hills,” he said.
A list of the top 10 finishers follows.
Top 10: Conor Dooney, 2316:05; Corey Kunz, 3216:30; Hugh Parker, 2316:39; Keegan Skidmore, 3017:01; Benjamin Bosworth, 1817:03; Jake McCauley, 2117:09; Peter Metz, 1917:11; Joshua Sohn, 3217:21; John Sullivan, 5217:22; Jeremy Alley-Tarter, 1717:23.
For more pictures of the road race visit our photo gallery.