It was a year of firsts at the 22nd annual cross-Island hike, hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission. The event brought in record numbers, with over 100 walkers starting at Lambert’s Cove at 8 a.m. While the official numbers have not yet been tallied, Bill Veno of the Land Bank Commission also estimates that more people finished the hike this year than ever before.
“I’m just amazed at how many people did the full thing this year,” he said.
Nancy Weaver cools off in Chilmark Pond; Katherine Scott gets the shot.
— Ivy Ashe
This year’s route made eight stops in total, including a lunch break at the West Tisbury Town Hall, which coincided with opening day of the famers’ market.
At the end of the 16.8-mile course, friends and strangers alike gathered on a small dock over Chilmark Pond, exchanging high fives and pats on the back.
For some of the walkers, the cross-Island hike is a yearly tradition. This year was Joan Nathan’s 7th time completing the trek, and she has kept and framed each certificate of completion.
Cole Wallace, 8.5 years old, is the youngest ever to complete the full hike.
— Courtesy Kristine Wallace
For others, such as Cole Wallace, this was the first time. At eight and a half years old, Mr. Veno said that Cole is the youngest person to ever complete the entire hike. At the start of the day, when asked if he wanted to walk the entire route, Cole responded, “I want to do the morning session, I want to do the afternoon session, and if there’s an evening session, I want to do that, too.”
Cole was hiking with his parents, Brian and Jessica Wallace, as well as seven other family members. At the end of the walk, the entire family sat outside their car sharing sodas and celebrating their accomplishment.