Off to the races: The MV 20 Miler

Runners race in the 20th annual event.


Twenty-three-year-old Vineyard native Michael Schroeder crossed the finish line of the 20th Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler all alone in first place, with a time of 1:57:7 on Saturday. Kieran Condon, 40, from Milton finished second three and a half minutes back in 2:00:37. Molly Trachtenberg of Boston was the first woman finisher, 12th overall, with a time of 2:17:33.

One hundred seventy-nine individual runners and 100 relay teams raced on Saturday on the USA Track and Field certified 20-mile course. The runners, some defying the chilly 34-degree day by racing in shorts and with bare shoulders, packed the area in front of the Steamship Authority terminal in Vineyard Haven for the start of the run.

They made their way across the Lagoon drawbridge, around East Chop, along the beach to Edgartown, the West Tisbury Road to Barnes Road, then finally to County Road to the finish at the Oak Bluffs School.

The relay, made up of two-person teams running 10 miles each with the changeover in Edgartown, is entitled the Amity Island Relay, a nod to the Island-based running group that helps run the relay.

Schroeder established an early lead and maintained it for the entire race. “What a beautiful day,” said the barely winded Schroeder at the finish line. “I haven’t run over 12 miles in a long time. This is my first race over 18 miles. I concentrated on 5 and 10k races in college.” He said he runs most days and usually gets in about 60 miles a week.

“I should have eaten a little more during the run. I’m sure I’m going to feel it tomorrow,” he said. Schroeder’s father Joe is the track and cross country coach at MVRHS. His mother Marylee is a marathoner and annual participant in the Boston Marathon.

“What a day for a 20-miler. Thirty-four degrees, little wind and plenty of sun,” said race director Todd Cleland. Cleland, 48, a carpenter from Oak Bluffs and father of two, has run in the race four times and he assumed the responsibility of race director three years ago. He said he’d like to be a runner again, but not unless he has a seasoned crew to help manage the event. “I began working on this year’s race in July,” he said. “The permits, meetings with selectmen, sponsors, and getting the word out, takes a lot of time.”

The event is primarily a fundraiser for Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey, although other Island youth programs that help with the race also receive some of the proceeds. “Last year’s run raised $10,000 for youth hockey,” Cleland said. “I won’t know what we raised this year until the bills are all paid. I think the cold weather kept the entries at a slightly lower level than last year. There were 376 entries this year. I don’t see why we can’t make it 1,000 in the future. It’s all about the kids.”

Cleland said he would like to see his group, 508 Multisport, help organize other events to raise much-needed funds for non-profits on Martha’s Vineyard.

Cleland gave thanks to the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company, which donated the vans used to transport the runners; restaurateur J.B. Blau, who donated the food that fed the runners after the race, and all the 100-plus individuals who helped on the course.

Complete results are listed on line at