The Fourth Annual Mad Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay--a Running Adventure on Vermont’s Beautiful Country Roads
One of the most gorgeous race courses anywhere, running in the heart of Vermont, the village of Waitsfield. It shows the Green Mountain State at its best. Past participants rave about the events, an epic journey through the essence of beautiful Vermont with covered bridges, farms, mountains, and the Mad River Valley. And the race is only part of the fun!
Posted Saturday, 21 June, 2014
Mark your calendar for July 6, 2014 and get ready for a unique experience. If you have not yet tried this one, this is the year. There are five options to participate from the full marathon down to a five-person relay team. Whichever you choose, this will be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing race weekends ever. And it’s easy to get to, only minutes off Interstate 89 and about one half hour from Montpelier.
You can add one more to that wonderful list of things “Made in Vermont”, a beautiful rural marathon!
Lenny's Shoe and Apparel has joined Sugarbush Resort as a presenting sponsor. Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel is providing a unique ongoing and generous raffle: “All About the Shoes”. They will be giving away two $100 gift certificates for running shoes each month from now to race date, July 6, 2014.
Weather is usually ideal with summers comfortable in the forests and mountains of the Green Mountain State. This event presents—and defines—the beauty found in running a fantastic course. Anyone who has participated in this event during its first three years will tell you that it was one of the best experiences in running—the organization, the view, the support and the atmosphere. No matter what your pace or experience there is an option for you.
Are you looking to boost your running and add adventure? Are you looking for a mini get-away with friends or family? Race headquarters is the historic Waitsfield Inn (built in 1825) in lovely Waitsfield, Vermont, on the incredibly scenic and famous Route 100. The Mad River Valley presents a wonderful backdrop for the full marathon, the half marathon, or the three relays.
They have planned well for you. Packet pick up and registration will begin on Friday, July 4th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Waitsfield Inn on Main Street. This period will also
Include the race Expo, set in the gardens of the Waitsfield Inn. Also Friday evening there will be a free live concert at the gazebo on the Mad River Green (race finish line). www.waitsfieldinn.com
Full Saturday Planned: Things will also be humming Saturday, July 5th. The race Expo and packet pick up will be available at the Inn from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Waitsfield Farmer’s Market will open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and will include the bounty of area farms along with crafts and hand made items.
The MAD Carbo Load will be presented at a variety of local restaurants (see the list on the website) running from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with participating restaurants offering a wonderful pre-race dinner. The kids fun run kicks off at 6:30, starting and finishing on the green. There will be an inspirational speaker at the gazebo on Saturday evening, followed by live music by Phineas Gage. As he entertains, Vermont ice cream will be available on Mad River Green. And the Beer Garden will be open at the Waitsfield Inn and at Akes Den.
Packet pick up will be available on race day morning, Sunday, July 6th from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m.—the races begin together at 7:00 a.m. www.madmarathon.com
There are awards in both races for the top three women and men overall; then awards for five-year age groups through 75+, top three in each. And relays provide opportunities for teams to win great prizes.
But the true reward is the scenic course for all participants, all races, with awesome views everywhere you look. Both distances are USATF-certified and sanctioned.
Race Director Dori Ingalls and her team have done a remarkable job in developing this event in the first four years with deep community involvement and support.
This event is a challenge—there are some hills along the course, but it runs in the valley with those peaks nearby. As one participant put it, “those incline testers just keep me from getting bored, and the ups and downs keep me from getting tired”. In my own experience in running this course (Common Road is my favorite), the slopes simply give you better views of the Vermont countryside. It is a challenge and a really enjoyable experience in a fantastic location.
Central Vermont’s valleys will inspire you with scenic peaks and rivers, including the Mad River, farms and forests, dozens of mountain vistas, villages, historic structures, two covered bridges (crossed twice each), streams, lakes and farms. It’s a wonderful region and a major ski resort area in winter with Mad River Glen and Sugar Bush peaks dominating the area.
Not running? Get involved and volunteer. It will make you feel good and you will get a custom volunteer T-shirt too. Another way to get involved and really get your business or service name out there--sponsor a part of the event. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge favorite for the post race celebration is the Beer Garden at the welcoming nearby Waitsfield Inn. Many will take a refreshing dip at the famous Lareau Swimming Hole, only a short distance out of the village.
The Mad Marathon
The course is truly extraordinary. It is one of the most beautiful regions in the Eastern USA and well worth a visit. And it is an area that can be best enjoyed and appreciated on foot. You will experience rolling hills and pastures, quaint villages, historical homes and barns, covered bridges and farm animals. On some roads—Common Road, for example—runners will be almost nose to nose with many cows (we believe that Vermont cows are among the most friendly and tranquil in the world.)
This USATF-certified and sanctioned marathon course is fully described on the Race Website, including maps (with sponsors listed), so we won’t recreate that here. We can tell you it is course that you will not forget. Runners cross covered bridges four times, and there are some shady, hard packed dirt roads that go easy on the feet and legs, and the views of the Green Mountains are constant and breathtaking.
The course crosses the Village Covered Bridge about ¾ mile from the start, followed by a modified out and back to the north of Waitsfield where there is another covered bridge waiting. When runners return and cross the Village Bridge after returning from a loop to the south in the village of Warren, there will be one mile to go.
The Mad Half
Both the half and full share many of the vistas that make the Mad River Valley so spectacular. The half marathon has a slightly different route, although it begins with the marathon and also heads north for a loop with a turn-around at 4.5. This part of the route includes the Pine Brook Covered Bridge (there are four covered bridge crossings on the course). This is similar to the first half of the marathon with some variations.
There will be a (two-person) relay handoff (different bibs) at mile 5.8. The Mad Half Walking Division will also have different color bibs.
If you are not up to the full marathon or even the 13.1 Mad Half, there are three other options in relays. The relays and individual races start together at the Mad River Green in Waitsfield. The relays follow the same routes as the individual races.
Relay runners will have different bibs, and there will be handoff points at 8.5, 12.5, 18.9, and 22.5 miles for the marathon. The course is well defined and well marked with lots of support. Take it all in! Some runners will be snapping photos as they run, with every turn and rise seemingly offering a post-card opportunity.
The Five-Person Marathon Relay: This is a fun relay with shorter legs so just about anyone can be part of it. The first leg of 8.5 miles is challenging, but after that, even though there are some hilly spots, the legs are relatively short and enjoyably doable with 4.0, 6.4, 3.6, and 3.7 respectively.
The Three-Person Marathon Relay: This is a bit more of a challenge. The first leg is the same as the 5-person team at 8.5, followed by a strong 10.4 mile stretch. And the final leg is 7.3 miles. Please see the description of the marathon course above or in more detail on the race Website.
The Two-Person Half Marathon Relay: This one has two legs that are fairly equal in difficulty with distances of 5.8 and 7.3 miles respectively. This follows the regular half marathon course and is described in detail on the Website. There is a Walkers Division in the half marathon, so if you and a buddy want to walk the relay legs, that’s okay too.
This one is different! Get your team together now for this epic run. Excellent organization and flawless planning will provide you and your team with one terrific racing adventure, a classic event. Is your team ready?
The Mad Marathon has neutralized its own emissions through the Clear Water Carbon Fund and invites you to do the same when you register (check the website). Transportation to the Mad Marathon results in carbon dioxide emissions, the leading contributor to climate change. To remove emissions from the atmosphere, they have partnered with the Clear Water Carbon Fund (http://www.clearwatercarbonfund.org/), which plants trees along streams in Vermont in partnership with local watershed groups.
Waitsfield is a small town of 26.9 square miles, Washington County, located in the Mad River Valley. It was founded in 1782 by General Benjamin Wait. The Capital City of Montpelier is in the same county. Waitsfield sits on the Mad River as well as famous Route 100, a north-south thoroughfare known for its scenic beauty. The primary ridge of the Green Mountains lies just west and includes two ski resorts that have made Waitsfield famous, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. The Northfield Range sits just east, enclosing the river valley.
Waitsfield has a rich history and an agrarian past and character, though it is now clearly a resort destination. The permanent population is just under 2,000. There are many dining and lodging options—unique, quaint, and refreshing. The renowned Long Trail and Catamount Trail are nearby if you wish to extend your stay. And a trail follows the Mad River. Singer/musician Grace Potter and her band the Nocturnals hail from Waitsfield.
Although known for the winter attractions, summer is also a fantastic time to enjoy Vermont and this region: hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, golf, and of course running.
Come Run in the Mad River Valley on July 6
Join the celebration, refresh and relax. Whichever option you choose—marathon, half marathon, five-person or three-person marathon relay, two-person half marathon relay, or half marathon walk, this will be one of your most memorable racing events. From the inn and villages to the covered bridges and round barn, to historical structures and scenic vistas, there will be plenty to take in before, during and after your race. And the beer will be cold at the finish line. Be a part of this remarkable Vermont experience! www.madmarathon.com
Fees go up April 30, so don’t delay. Commit, and we will see you in Waitsfield. This terrific “must do” event will be Sunday, July 6, beginning at 7:00 a.m. Information is available at 802-496-5393 or by e-mail at email@example.com.