1,600 run for 31st Chilmark Road Race
If you stood to the side of Middle Road on Saturday morning, you might have thought that 25-year-old John Ciccarelli was going on a peaceful early-morning jog. But if you waited about a minute, you would have seen the rest of the 1,621 racers entered in the annual Chilmark Road Race cresting over the hill behind him.
Mr. Ciccarelli finished his first mile in 4:55 without so much as a glance at the volunteers offering water.
“Go get that lobster!” a resident of Middle Road shouted from a house.
As Mr. Ciccarelli passed Hugh Weisman, the founder of the Road Race who was driving press photographers ahead of the runners in a pick-up truck, he confidently asked Mr. Weisman how big the lobster was.
Mr. Ciccarelli didn’t look very exhausted as he crossed the finish line by himself. Sweaty, but not exhausted.
His first comment upon finishing: “Tough course — don’t be fooled.”
Mr. Ciccarelli, a student at Quinnipiac Law School in Connecticut, has been running competitively for about ten years. He ran 10 kilometers in a little more than half an hour the weekend before the Chilmark Road Race, coming in 12th out of more than 5,000 racers at the Beach to Beacon Road Race in Maine.
“I’m going to take my lobster home, enjoy it, and go to the beach,” Mr. Ciccarelli said after the race on Saturday.
Second place overall went to sixteen-year-old Ryan Laemel, also of Connecticut. The rising high-school junior wanted to give credit to his track coach, Thom Jacobs, for pushing him so hard in those long after-school workouts.
The weather held up for this year’s road race, and the ominously cloudy sky didn’t seem to deter spectators or runners. As always, the Road Race was also a time for families and friends to unite.
Alison Crowther of New York organized almost 80 people to run for the Red Bandannas. The group commemorates the life of Ms. Crowther’s son, Welles Crowther, who gave his life to save others in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11,, 2001.
“We knew our son carried a red bandanna with him since he was seven or eight years old, and he had it with him every day,” Ms. Crowther explained before getting on the bus to the starting line. After the attack, numerous survivors came forward to tell officials that they were saved by a man wearing a red bandanna; the Crowther family knew it was their son.
“When the plane hit, he was no longer Welles Crowther the equity trader,” his mother said. “He became Welles Crowther the firefighter.”
Fourteen members of the Greenstein family of New Jersey, ranging in age from one and a half to 69 years old, made their own shirts for the Road Race, featuring the funny line “Frankly Scallop, I Don’t Give a Clam.”
Photo by Alex Bell
“It’s like a reunion of sorts,” said Joel Greenstein.
For some entrants, the Chilmark Road Race is not always about placing highly overall. Seventy-eight-year-old Susan Wilson of New Jersey was somewhat of a late bloomer when it comes to running, not getting into the sport until her mid-fifties. But she’s been catching up: she’s won her age division at the Road Race eleven times, and holds the record time for the female age 70-99 division.
When she was 67, Ms. Wilson ran the New York City Marathon in five hours and 18 minutes. “Hey, I finished,” she told a Times reporter in a telephone conversation Monday.
Ms. Wilson is looking to find people to run with her on the Island, starting with her seven-year old grandson, whom she’s trying to persuade to take up running. “Anybody can run, you know that?” she annunciates each word in an instructional tone. “It’s merely putting one foot after the other.”
Ms. Wilson’s usual Island workout takes her back and forth on Middle Road, totaling about six miles. “I think I’m by nature very tenacious and very persistent, and this sport was perfect for me,” she said of herself in a manner reminiscent of Steve Prefontaine.
Ms. Wilson of course plans to run next year. “I’ll knock on wood for that,” she said. “I knock on a lot of wood. I’ve been so lucky because I’ve really never had a serious injury in all the years I’ve been running. It’s brought me a great deal of joy, and wonderful friends.”
When she turned 70, five of her friends ran a road race with Ms. Wilson to celebrate. “Although some of them were really faster than me, they were all very, very nice and waited for me to cross the finish line, and then they followed. That’s what running has been for me — very nice people.”
Top finishers by category:
Female 1-8: (1) Isabella Chippari, 8, Hingham, 30:59; (2) Sarah Goodhart, 7, London, 32:35; (3) Diana Masseur, 3, New York, N.Y., 32:42.
Male 1-8: (1) Max O’Brien, 8, Aquinnah, 23:03; (2) Alex Rizzo, 7, Bronxville, N.Y., 23:45; (3) George Goodhart, 7, London, 23:58.
Female 9-11: (1) Eve Goodhart, 10, London, 23:57; (2) Emily Bosworth, 11, Hingham, 26:07; (3) Katie McDonald, 10, Mendham, N.J., 26:08.
Male 9-11: (1) Alex Gordonbeck, 11, Chilmark, 21:53; (2) John Sexton, 11, Monte Sereno, Cal., 22:18 (3) Griffin O’Connor, 11, Andover, 22:48.
Female 12-16: (1) Flora Berklein, 15, Madison, Wisc., 21:28; (2) Jessica Mull Mulligan, Lexington, 22:05; (3) Brianna Sullivan, Holden, 22:55.
Male 12-16: (1) Ryan Laemel, 16, Orange, Conn., 16:44; (2) Miles Knight, 15, Bloomfield, Conn., 19:46; (3) Jeremy Alley-Tarter, 12, Vineyard Haven, 10:21.
Photos by Ralph Stewart
Female 17-29: (1) Katie Litwinowich, 26, Winchester, 20:33; (2) Brianna Rogers, 17, Moorestown, N.J., 21:45; (3) Danielle Mastrangelo, 29, Chilmark, 21:47.
Male 17-29: (1) John Ciccarelli, 25, Southbury, Conn., 15:27; (2) Matthew Graziano, 25, Cambridge, 16:52; (3) Joshua Sohn, 27, Edgartown, 17:08.
Female 30-39: (1) Karin Lehr, 39, Belmont, 20:14; (2) Kathryn Barrows, 31, Vineyard Haven, 20:25; (3) Annemarie Fullem, 37, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., 21:31.
Male 30-39: (1) Benjamin Smith, 33, Seattle, Wash., 17:55; (2) David Diriwachter, 39, Vineyard Haven, 18:25; (3) Yves-Marc Courtines, 35, New York, N.Y., 18:48.
Female 40-49 (1) Charlotte Rizzo, 46, Bronxville, N.Y., 19:16; (2) Amy Weiner, 41, Haddonfield, N.J., 20:58; (3) Lisa Cohen, 45, Chilmark, 22:10.
Male 40-49: (1) Mark Engerman, 41, Concord, 17:28; (2) Peter Knight, 42, Bloomfield, Conn., 17:59 (3) Scott Bosworth, 43, Hingham, 18:15.
Female 50-59: (1) L. Susan Branche, 50, New York, N.Y., 21:06; (2) Joan Miller, 52, Chestnut Hill, 22:29; (3) Kyra McGrath, 53, Bala-Cynwyd, Penn., 23:20.
Male 50-59: (1) David Salem, 52, Edgartown, 19:32; (2) Kevin McNamara, 56, Boston, 19:53; (3) Dana Gaines, 51, Edgartown, 19:59.
Female 60-69: (1) Hynda Kleinman, 61, Kensington, Md., 27:23; (2) Susan Spector, 61, Jamaica Plains, 27:32; (3) Susan Fairbanks, 63, Vineyard Haven, 31:13.
Male 60-69: (1) Jim Austin, 65, Vineyard Haven, 21:17; (2) Robert M. Doyle, 65, Vineyard Haven, 24:09; (3) Rick Pietsch, 68, Crozet, Va., 24:10.
Female 70-99: (1) Susan Wilson, 78, Princeton, N.J., 36:22; (2) Maria Aweida, 73, Chilmark, 44:42; (3) Janet Nevas, 73, Westport, Conn., 47:42.
Male 70—99: (1) Jesse Aweida, 77, Chilmark, 27:41; (2) Dan Morgan, 70, Chevy Chase, Md., 30:22; (3) Alan Poritz, 71, Princeton, N.J., 31:56.
Click here for the race's full results provided by www.start2finish.com