Aschenbrenner, Senecal, tops in 20-Miler

Aschenbrenner, Senecal, tops in 20-Miler

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A colorfully and warmly dressed field of runners started under gray skies in Vineyard Haven, and many finished in Oak Bluffs in the snow. — Photo by Susan Safford
Ryan Aschbrenner of Nashua, New Hampshire, won the 20-miler for the second consecutive year.
Ryan Aschbrenner of Nashua, New Hampshire, won the 20-miler for the second consecutive year.

Ryan Aschbrenner of Nashua, New Hampshire won the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler Saturday morning, his second consecutive win in the event. He was the only runner who completed the course in under two hours, and the only runner with a pace under 6 minutes per mile.  Mr. Aschbrenner finished in 1:59:03, according to the results posted on coolrunning.com.

Diane Senecal of Wakefield, Rhode Island won the women’s division, completing the course in 2:15:12. It was her first victory in the 20-miler.

Lee Greathouse of Edgartown was the first Vineyard runner to finish, placing 26th overall in 2:17:00. Jim Lanctot of West Tisbury was the next Vineyard runner in the men’s division in 2:36:34, and Leonard Verville of Oak Bluffs was third among local runners, in 2:52:06.

In the women’s division, Marylee Schroeder of West Tisbury was best among Vineyard runners, finishing in 2:44:26. Megan McDonald of Edgartown was close behind in 2:45:24, and Tara Nitardy of Vineyard Haven was third in 2:45:35.

Amanda Allen and Ian Nurse, both of Boston, were best in the two-runner relay, a new division this year. They combined for a time of 1:57:02.

A total of 429 runners finished the race. They began at the Steamship Authority terminal in Vineyard Haven, took the scenic coastal route to Edgartown, then inland along Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, and finished at the Oak Bluffs School. The fastest competitors beat the Saturday storm to the finish line, but many runners braved falling snow in the final part of the race, a fitting test for a race which claims the official motto “no weenies.”

Peter Lambos, executive director of the Martha's Vineyard Boys and Girls Club.
Peter Lambos, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s part of the allure of the race,” said Peter Lambos, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club. “We had a bunch of great volunteers out there in the snow handing out water, directing and cheering the runners on, and the runners really appreciated them. The weather really didn’t affect the race, but it did make the commute home for many of the runners much longer than anticipated.”

The annual 20-miler benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club and other Island youth organizations. Mr. Lambos said this year, the event raised more than $15,000.

This article was updated to add more results and comments from Mr. Lambos, and to correct the