About 100 runners from as far as Santa Monica, Calif. lined up to race in the 10th running of the Gay Head 10K Sunday, but it was a husband and wife duo from Queens who took home gold in the overall and female categories.
Kevin Montalvo crossed the line first overall, completing the hilly 6.2-mile course in 36:20. Not far behind was his wife Maria Wong, the first female finisher, completing the race in 42:36.
For both winners, the race had been circled on their calendars long ago as they worked through weeks of training.
“This was the event,” Mr. Montalvo said. “The Gay Head 10K was the goal race.”
The Gay Head 10K was first organized to raise money for the relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse in 2013, which was later completed in 2015.
“After the lighthouse was moved, now it needs maintenance,” said Beverly Wright, a member of the race organizing committee.
Runners braved a strong headwind for the first three miles of the race, starting at the Gay Head Lighthouse and following State Road to Moshup Trail before an uphill climb back to the finish at the lighthouse.
“I thought it went really well,” said Ms. Wright. “The boats didn’t stop running — and we had 167 [runners] registered and I would say maybe 100 showed up.”
The course provided some surprises for all participants, including the top runners.
“It was nothing like I thought it would be, but it was a very challenging course,” said Ms. Wong. “I loved it.”
After the race, runners enjoyed a buffet of food provided by Aquinnah Merchants, and all participants were granted free access to the catwalk of the lighthouse.
Margarita Kelly keeps going, perhaps propelled forward by the lighthouse in the background. — Ray Ewing
“All the runners can go up to the lighthouse, tour the lighthouse,” Ms. Wright said. “Or tour the cultural center.”
Ms. Wong and Mr. Montalvo are the founders of the Queens Distance Runners in New York city. They said they founded the group in order to bring running to the borough as well as create a running group that celebrated diversity. So when the pair heard about the race from a member of the Queens Distance Runners, they decided it was a perfect fit.
“Both of us are from diverse backgrounds so we wanted to put a bit of a highlight on diversity,” said Mr. Montalvo. “So once I heard about the event I naturally wanted to come, but I also really believe in what the event wants to strive to accomplish for the lighthouse,”