The Murdick’s Run the Chop Challenge is unique among Island road races. The course from the Tisbury School on Spring Street, around West Chop and back covers five miles, not the usual five kilometers (3.1 miles). As such, the event attracts a particularly strong field of runners.
Overcast skies and a stiff breeze kept the more than 300 runners cooler than they otherwise would have been on a warm, humid July 4 morning in Vineyard Haven.
The race winner, fittingly wearing the stars and stripes, was 18-year-old Ben Bosworth from Dorchester, who finished with a time of 29:04. Mr. Bosworth also won the 2013 Memorial Day 5K in Oak Bluffs. Keegan Skidmore of Brighton was the race runner-up (29:21), followed by the first Vineyarder, Jeremy Alley-Tarter of Edgartown, in third place (30:39).
Rebecca Trachsel of Winchester was the first woman to the tape, finishing in 34:12 (12th overall), placing ahead of Jessica Sicherman of Syracuse, New York, (34:17, 13th) and Ceili Brennan of Oak Bluffs. (34:44, 15th).
Four Vineyarders won their respective age groups. Ceili Brennan was first in the women’s 20-29 division; Steve Katz of West Tisbury topped the men’s 60-69 division (37:00, 35th overall); Jim Austin of Vineyard Haven placed first in the men’s 70 plus division (41:54,129th); and Wendy Chabot of West Tisbury was first in the women’s 50-59 division (42:39, 141st).
Filling out the overall top 25 were: 4. Gregory Berks, Vineyard Haven, 30:55; 5. Jose Alves, Oak Bluffs, 31:04; Scott Bosworth, Dorchester, 31:50; 7. Steve Eick, New York, N.Y., 32:17; 8. Jack Mulcahy, Springfield, 33:08; 9. Michael Horgan, Old Greenwich, Conn., 33:11; 10. Chris Sussman, Richmond, VT., 33:37; 11. Michael Palmer, New York, N.Y., 33:49; 14. Matt Spear, Davidson, N.C., 34:36; 16. Brian McNally, Clinton, 35:01; 17. Lucas Kolm, New Castle, N.H., 35:17; 18. Todd Saumier, Wilton, Conn., 35:35; 19. Maureen Larkin, Walpole, 35:37; 20. Chris Shilakes, Mill Valley, Cailf., 35:44; 21. Eric Berg, Jamaica Plain, 35:49; 22. Jake Foehl, Williamstown, 35:53; 23. Paul Fanelli, Greenwich, Conn., 36:05; 24. Lawrence Briggs, West Hartford, Conn., 36:15; 25. Jesse Starks, Boston, 36:22.
Following post-race interviews, Mike McCourt, general manager of Murdick’s Fudge, presented Mr. Bosworth and Ms. Trachsel with the champion’s trophies. The event benefits the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard to support Vineyard kids.