It was perhaps fitting that on the nation’s birthday two runners from the Washington D.C. area won the 2012 edition of the July 4 Murdick’s Run The Chop Challenge.
Nearly 400 runners lined up at the Tisbury School for the start of the race, that benefits the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard and programs to support Vineyard kids.
District resident P.J. Martinez, the 2010 winner, was the first runner to complete the five mile West Chop course. He crossed the finish line in 28:57.38.
Alex Doll, of Bethesda, MD., was the first woman to finish. She clocked in at 34:08.93, 20th overall.
The race runner-up was Nate Martin of Lewisburg, Penn. who came to the tape in 29:19.13.
Three Island runners rounded out the top five: Art Petersen, Oak Bluffs, 29:49.98; Jose Alves, Oak Bluffs, 30:27.58; and Mike Schroeder, West Tisbury, 30:29.98.
The rest of the top ten were: Ben Urmstom, Sherborn, 30:31.25; Scott Bosworth, Dorchester Center, 31:10.25; George Craig, Bronx, N.Y., 31:21.16; Greg Olenginski, Lewisburg, Penn., 31:32.35; and Steven Eick, New York, N.Y., 31:52.88.
Four more Island athletes finished in the top 20: Kyle Joba-Woodruff, West Tisbury, 31:54.01 (11th overall); Dave Diriwachter, Vineyard Haven, 32:47.20 (13th); Ben Haas, Vineyard Haven, 33:41.21 (17th); and Todd Cleland, Oak Bluffs, 33:55.89 (18th).
Lauren Carey of Oak Bluffs was the second woman to finish the race. She came in 21st overall, with a time of 34:16.44.
The next four Vineyard women were: Abigail Hotaling, Oak Bluffs, 37:42 (58th); Jane Walshe, Edgartown, 39:37 (77th); Joellen Bendavid, Oak Bluffs, 39:43 (78th); Marissa Reichel, Chilmark, 40:40 (90th).
In the 12 and under age group, Lauren Gray of Oak Bluffs finished first, with a time of 55:15.
William Glazier of Edgartown was number one in the 70-plus age group, with a time of 51:49.
For complete results, see www.coolrunning.com/results/12/ma/Jul4_Murdic_set1.shtml