The 26th Annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Marathon Relay—Your Ideal Marathon Weekend with Joan Benoit Samuelson
Here you have a scenic, accurately measured course; flawless logistics, a welcoming community, experienced race officials; and lots of dedicated volunteers. And Joan Benoit Samuelson will join the festivities all three days! Enjoy a three-day weekend in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, running May 25th, Memorial Day weekend along gorgeous Lake Champlain. You will fall in love with this lakeside college town; it is the largest single-day athletic event in the state.
Posted Monday, 10 February, 2014
Here you go. This will be the 26th annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon in wonderful Burlington, Vermont, and you can be part of it. Yes, you can run this marathon if you act quickly! As of now there are bibs available for this northern New England classic, which has the reputation of selling out every year. And you can be part of their registration raffle if you sign up by December 27. The famous two-person and three-to-five person relay divisions will also sell out; there will be a lottery to fill all team slots in March—lottery entry during February. Whether individual or relay, don’t get shut out; this celebration will be like no other. It is an ideal alternative to Boston should you be shut out in Beantown.
They have announced that Olympic Champion Joan Benoit Samuelson will be the celebrity guest and will be available for chats and signings at the terrific Expo on both Friday and Saturday; and she will give the brief welcome speech on race morning and be the honorary starter. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of her dramatic victory in the 1984 Olympics, winning the first ever Women's Olympic Marathon Championship. She is also famous for winning the Boston and Chicago marathons where she set an American record that stood for 18 years. Many New Englanders know her as the former champion and spokesperson for the Tufts 10K for Women. She loves to talk about running and racing, so don't miss the opportunity.
New Club Comptition
Also new this year, they bring you the competitive Club Team Competition. This is an entirely new program highlighted for 2014. It has a pretty sweet prize purse for clubs only, so check it out on the race website. This program will create an extra level of excitement to an already great race. The goal is to bring the top club runners from around the country to compete on a fast and scenic course; and to increase the level of support and fun for all of you who compete with a running club. RunVermont will be expanding the program in 2015. Click here for more information on the Club Competition: http://www.runvcm.org/page.php?pid=118&pname=Club%20Competition
This is the Regional RRCA Championship and one of the very best marathons and a great alternative spring marathon. But it is limited to 3,600 entries and it is already filling fast. Again, it’s a great alternative to—and qualifier for--B.A.A. Boston! It is a true Community Celebration. All Relay entries, whether the two-person or the 3 to 5-person divisions, are lottery only with applications for the lottery accepted only during the month of February (closed--limited to 700 teams in each of these two divisions).
Start with the Expo—Be There and Fully Explore and Appreciate this One
The Health and Fitness Expo runs Friday, May 23, 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (expanded hours this year), and Saturday the 24th 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, just off Interstate 89 at exit 14W, 870 Williston Road, 05403. Race packet pick up will be available during Expo hours. Packet pickup is also available on race day morning at One Main Street (RunVermont headquarters) from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
The Expo will occupy two floors at the Sheraton, the Exposition Hall and the Emerald Ballroom. There will be helpful seminars throughout, both on Friday and Saturday. The seminar schedule isn’t yet posted (early February), but you can bet it will be both interesting and valuable. And they plan on including yoga again—very popular last year.
The highly regarded pasta dinner is Saturday night and runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Register now, and don’t procrastinate. Here’s News: register by December 27 and automatically be entered in their unique and valuable individual registration raffle! It will sell out, and you save money by getting the registration in by January 15 anyway, and with the individual raffle even better by December 27 (unrelated to the Relay Lottery). Please note three things: With the ChronoTrack B-tag the bib number contains the chip (disposable or yours to keep). It will be personalized with your name if registered by April 22, 2014. A mail-in or paper registration is an additional $15.00 because of processing. For individuals they are one of the few marathons to have a registration deferral policy to the following year; yes, it is a runner friendly race. www.vermontcitymarathon.org
This is a year-round organization, a 501(c)3 non profit, dedicated to advancement of the sport of running in Vermont. In addition to the KBVCM and Expo, they sponsor a comprehensive youth running and training program, their Ready, Set, Run program—including YAM Scram, Youth Fun Runs, and Junior Relay. Their races include the First Run 5K and Youth Run on January 1st, a 21-year tradition; the RunVermont Half Marathon Unplugged, running from Airport Park, Colchester to downtown Burlington by way of the beautiful paved bike path; and World Run Day. Additionally, they support several other quality events in the region.
Their exceptionally comprehensive race website includes all the race essentials and instructions: registration, course information and maps, relay details and exchanges, training, packet pick up, bag drops, services and amenities, information on the Chronotrack B-tag, awards, charity participation, pasta dinners, Expo, lodging, shuttles, area info, parking, past results, and so much more. Additionally, detailed information about the organization is available at www.runvermont.com, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 802-863-8412 or 800-880-8149. The RunVermont offices are located at One Main Street, Suite 304, Burlington, VT 05401 (beautiful, historic neo-classical Railway Station overlooking Lake Champlain). www.vermontcitymarathon.org
There will be 900 kids running the YAM Scram Youth Running Festival on Saturday
As part of marathon weekend RunVermont celebrates Burlington’s Youth Advocacy Month (YAM), and Saturday, May 24th marks the 14th YAM Scram Youth Running Festival, with events for children age 4 to 14 years. The YAM Scram Youth Running Festival features distances of a half mile, 1 mile and 2 miles. Every finisher gets a medal and a YAM Scram Festival T-shirt. The race has 900 spots available – and it sells out every year (familiar theme), so register early to secure your child’s spot. There’s no race-day registration for the YAM Scram Youth Running Festival!
The KeyBank Vermont City Marathon has a significant cash prize package, with $15,000 in guaranteed prizes plus bonuses of $1,000 available to finishers who achieve the Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying standards--2:18:00 for men and 2:43:00 for women, gun times. Cash awards go to the top six overall women and men, and top three masters women and men, and first wheelchair athletes.
They have a “First Vermont” runner prize of $500 for women and men with a course record bonus of $1,000 in the open categories and $500 in the masters categories. Should a Vermont resident win either the open or masters categories KBVCM will double their prize money. There are five-year age groups through 80+ and the top three finishers in each age group are recognized. Every individual who finishes the marathon will receive a custom finishers’ medal.
And there are prizes as well in the Relays in 27 different divisions (see relay info below).
This is a very popular B.A.A. Boston qualifier, with a high percentage of finishers meeting their respective qualifying standards.
What a way to spend a long holiday weekend! There is no need to rush right back—Monday is Memorial Day. Enjoy the entire experience, and take in all that Burlington and the surrounding region have to offer. Enjoy the pre-race pasta dinner, along with the two-day Health and Fitness Expo with Joan Samuelson, the YAM Scram Youth Running Festival on Saturday at 9:15 in Waterfront Park, and one of the most well organized, best supported, community-integrated road races anywhere. Enjoy great food, excellent support, beautiful course, live music, and about 1,700-plus enthusiastic volunteers providing an unforgettable racing experience.
After the race quench your thirst with a few of Vermont's fine beers. There are many breweries in Vermont and local establishments enjoy serving local beers. Vermont has, arguably, "four of the top 10 beers in the world."
Speaking of volunteers, if a friend, family member, spouse or loved one is running and you go to cheer and support them, why not volunteer and get involved. Click the “Volunteer” tab on the website and be a part of a great happening--fun and rewarding.
Welcoming Community and 26 Years of Growth and Success
This event has grown more and more popular over its 26-year history? Simply put, it is done right and all participants appreciate the effort and attention to detail. Months and months of planning, engagement with and support from the community—the Burlington region and Vermont generally--generous and comprehensive sponsorship, and outstanding cooperation with government agencies, all make this event possible on Memorial Day weekend. It truly is a race for runners, by runners. These events, and the Run Vermont organization, are completely committed to the running community and the sport, as well as the greater community.
Your Marathon Course
This is a unique marathon course—very enjoyable, and a fast, fun course through a scenic and welcoming community. Many PR's have been set here. Yes, it is fast! Three of the four relay handoffs are near Battery Park, which overlooks the lake, an ideal situation for participants and onlookers. The course loops out of the central city several times, twice to the south and twice to the north, making it an ideal race for spectators.
It rolls through the famous Church Street Marketplace, enjoys many miles of tree-lined residential streets, includes a nice out and back section where runners greet each other coming and going, all the while viewing the beautiful Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks of New York on the far shore. There are several miles immediately along the lake, and the final 4.5 is on a flat to down beautifully paved rail-trail back to Waterfront Park. Over 25,000 spectators will join in along the course and for the post race festival—what a party!
This is a USATF sanctioned and certified event and the marathon and relays run concurrently.
This marathon starts and ends on the lakefront at Battery Park and Waterfront Park respectively (net downhill), with the glittering waters of Champlain contrasting with the Green Mountains of Vermont on one side and the Adirondack Mountains of New York on the other. The lakefront of Burlington is a terrific place to run a marathon. Boats and ferries come and go from the harbor, and the 500-passenger, triple decked cruise ship, Ethan Allen III, tours the region. Lake Champlain is a beautiful inland sea, and remains pristine and relatively undeveloped; Burlington is the largest city on the entire lake, just under 40,000 in population.
There is a 3-mile town loop south from Battery Park to begin, including Champlain College and the famous Church Street Marketplace. There is an out-and-back to the north through mile 9—the turnaround is at mile six. Miles 9 to 15 include a southern loop, much of which is immediately along the lake with spectacular views. It runs through Oakledge Park, which is the half way mark and also the two-person relay handoff.
At mile 15 runners pass Battery Park once again as they head north northeast to mile 21; then at 21.75 the course enters the beautiful and shaded rail trail along the lake back to the finish at Waterfront Park.
And Burlington is a special place—college town, retail district, and corporate and manufacturing center. It sits on the terraced slopes of Lake Champlain, rising about 300 feet toward the east where the University of Vermont campus dominates. It was the original home and is still the headquarters of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. The musical group Phish honed their skills on the University campus before becoming internationally famous. This is a place you really want to visit in addition to participating in this classic marathon.
There are over 75 retail specialty shops and at least 15 national chains in the famous Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian retail district. The nearby Shelburne Museum has one of the best collections of Americana anywhere, and should not be missed. The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, adjacent to Lakefront Park and the marathon finish line, is not only a tremendous educational facility, but was one of the earliest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified Green Buildings.
Burlington is home to the highly respected University of Vermont and its beautiful campus, as well as Champlain College, Burlington College, and Vermont Community College; St. Michael’s College is in Colchester, just across the Winooski River. Other points of interest include Shelburne Farms, Lake Champlain Chocolates, several brewing companies, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and more. The Vermont Lake Monsters (A) baseball team plays at beautiful Centennial Field on the UVM campus (Washington Nationals affiliate, New York—Penn League). Live theater offerings include the Flynn Theater and Higher Ground.
The Green Mountain State
Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State, of course; it is also a green state with a state-wide commitment to the environment. It was the first state to completely ban billboards along highways as far back as 1968, one of many reasons why running in Vermont is so enjoyable. Vermont has been at the forefront of environmental protection, wise use of resources, and planned, sustainable growth. You will enjoy the scenery and the friendly atmosphere in this northern New England wonderland. Vermont was the 14th state admitted to the union (1791), and was an independent nation from 1777 to 1791. Vermont is known for many things, including maple syrup, some of the largest and best marble and granite quarries, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products, and beautiful forests that produce spectacular fall foliage.
Lake Champlain—Beautiful Inland Sea
Lake Champlain straddles the border between Vermont and New York, and extends into the Province of Quebec. It is connected to the Hudson River and New York City by way of canals and connects to the St. Lawrence River via the Richelieu River, linking New York City with Atlantic Canada and the Great Lakes as far as Minnesota.
It is approximately 107 miles long, varies in width from ½ mile to 14 miles, is about 600 feet deep, and covers 437 square miles. It has over 80 islands, has highway crossings via bridges at the far northern and southern ends, and has several ferry crossings, including Burlington to Port Kent, NY, a very pleasant and scenic ride.
Memorial Day Weekend in Burlington Running the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon
Late spring in Burlington, Vermont is the perfect time to run. With all that the city has to offer for the entire family, the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon becomes the ultimate destination race. Visit the Expo and attend some outstanding seminars; take a boat tour of Lake Champlain on Saturday, run the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on Sunday, and spend Monday visiting one of the many local attractions. It’s a great way to actually keep that New Year’s Resolution!
The KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay has the dedicated enthusiasm of an entire community waiting to share the beauty of their city with runners from all over the world. So spend Memorial Day weekend in Burlington and Run the 26th Annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon or Relay. You will want to come back to run it year after year.
This is your spring marathon. It is outstanding. The region, the wonderful city, the lake, the scenery, the outstanding planning, the embracing, supportive community, and the holiday weekend, all converge to make your marathon terrifically memorable. Get in now before all bibs are taken and run this New England classic! Join those 8,000 other runners for this gem--the one you always wanted.