Runners from all over will descend on Martha’s Vineyard once again for the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler on Saturday, February 16. Their motto is “no weenies” and they mean it. While the race is open to runners of all levels it is not for the faint of heart, it’s twenty miles after all! Highly competitive die-hard runners, marathoners, and dedicated recreational runners compete alongside one another for the chance to bask in the glory. While multiple award levels exist, every last runner receives a finisher medal and an official MV 20-Miler long sleeve t-shirt. After all the real reward is just being here and being able to compete!
Not only does the race offer a USA Track & Field (USATF) certified course but it’s on Martha’s Vineyard so you know it’s beautiful. The course is described as mostly flat, with some rolling hills, and circles through the varied terrain of three iconic Island towns. The race starts at Vineyard Haven harbor, home to the Steamship Authority ferry terminal. From there runners pass by the historic Gingerbread Cottages of Oak Bluffs, work their way along picturesque Beach Road, where they can admire Nantucket Sound to their left and Sengekontacket Pond to their right (it’s a beautiful sight but may be windy and cold in February so plan accordingly).
Runners continue along toward downtown Edgartown including a section of the town’s farming community, and finish back at the Oak Bluffs School after a trek through the State Forest. The course includes mile markers, water stations, and fun post race festivities. Think music and food, including none other than New England clam chowder, and yummy hot chocolate. Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Amazing but exhausting. So don’t worry, if you want in on the action but can’t commit to the full 20 miles grab a partner and enter the Amity Island Relay. In the relay both partners complete 10 miles instead of 20. The relay is split into 3 categories, regardless of age: All-Male, All-Female, and Co-Ed. A shuttle bus will transport relay runners from the start to the relay area at mile 10 and back to the finish.
Ready to sign up? Head on over to the MV20 website and get started. Act fast! The number of runners is restricted to 600 Individual 20 Milers, and 2x10 Mile Relay athletes. Relay Teams must register online with a team name. Individual runners are encouraged to sign up in advance but day of registration is possible with cash payment only, but no event swag is guaranteed. Those that sign up in advance will be rewarded with a race t-shirt, finisher medal, bag check at the starting line, post race meal at the finish, access to showers (towels are not provided), a bus back to the boat, and an experience to treasure forever. Need another reason to enter? All proceeds from this event benefit Martha's Vineyard Youth Hockey, and other Island youth organizations.
If you really want to make the most of your experience stay the weekend! A day trip to Martha’s Vineyard is always worth it but a couple extra days is even sweeter. Plus you’ll deserve some rest and relaxation after a race like that! Check out our local lodging options and ideas on other things to do while you’re on-Island. Be sure to plan appropriately for the weather, it may be an Island but it’s still winter in New England and anything is possible.
Be sure to save the date for our other great races, including the Martha’s Vineyard Marathon on May 18 and the Chilmark Road Race.
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