The Catamount Half Marathon and 5K—Vermont’s Newest Half Marathon in Brattleboro
Historic Brattleboro will be the site of Vermont’s newest half marathon coming Sunday, June 29, 2014, an early summer half and 5K running along the West River. It includes two river crossings on historic bridges. Excitement is building for this wonderful location, one of 14 events in the New England Half Marathon Tour 2014. It’s great family outing because it has a 5K too! What a beautiful course and it packs loads of fun!
Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014
Brattleboro, a small city of about 12,300 in the southeastern corner of Vermont, is an ideal location for a half marathon, and now it has one. The Catamount Half Marathon and accompanying 5K will run on a beautiful course in the valley of the West River, crossing two historic bridges—the Dummerston Covered Bridge, the longest covered bridge still in use in Vermont, and the historic Rice Farm Road Bridge, the “Iron Bridge”, both of which span the beautiful West River. In fact most of the courses for both races are adjacent to or parallel to the river and along the valley floor, making for a mostly flat and fast course.
The half marathon is now very popular, but there are not many in Vermont—here is the newest with a memorable course.
Race headquarters will be at the pioneering Brattleboro Retreat Hospital and Convalescent Center on the north end of Brattleboro. It was founded by Anna Hunt Marsh in 1834 and sits on about 1,000 well kept acres on the south bank of the West River, where the river widens in a gorgeous expanse just upstream from its mouth on the Connecticut River.
What a convenient location: it’s just across the river from New Hampshire and very near the Massachusetts border. Brattleboro is literally a crossroads, with Interstate 91, US Route 5, and Vermont Routes 30, 9, 119, and 142 all converging—easy to get to and it’s also served by Amtrak.
The first Catamount Half Marathon will run in Vermont’s first town (1724), and is the second of TWO half marathons in Vermont on the exciting New England Half Marathon Tour 2014. The second annual Killington Half Marathon is the first, running on June 15; now the Catamount will take the crown as Vermont’s newest half marathon.
The Brattleboro event has the Vermont and New England/New York running world buzzing. What a gorgeous setting, and what a terrific destination in Brattleboro and surrounding area. And 20% of race fees will be donated to support Youth Services of Windham County. In return this organization will be supplying some of the volunteers for the event.
It is a half marathon for all comers, all paces, and an ideal race for beginners in the 5K. It is also a terrific initial half marathon for those looking to step up to that distance. Both the 5K and the half marathon have all the amenities. It is also one of the 14 events (many new) that make up the New England Half Marathon Tour 2014, outlined below.
As with all New England Half Marathon Tour events, the amenities are impressive. Half marathoners will receive custom tech shirts and 5K runners get unique cotton T-shirts. The top three overall winners, women and men, and top three age group winners will receive logoed pint glasses (both races), and all half marathon finishers will receive an attractive custom finishers’ medal, a nice touch to remember this unique inaugural event. Please visit the race website for details: http://www.catamounthm.com/index.htm
The Yankee Timing Company will be using the “B-tag” Chronotrack system (timing chip built into the race bib) so you know the results will be both accurate and immediate. A well supported course with 6 aid stations for the half promises fast times and runners will be rewarded with fresh fruit and pastries and more at the post race celebration. It is presented by 3C Race Productions and is sponsored in part by Brattleboro Retreat, Grafton Village Cheese, Retreat Farm, Windham County Youth Services, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Pat Hendrick Photography.
The Half Marathon will start at 9:00 a.m. followed by the 5K at 9:15. The race begins at the intersection of Route 30 and Anna Marsh Lane—the entrance to the Brattleboro Retreat; and ends on the retreat grounds on Anna Marsh Lane. The half marathon course traverses a portion of Route 30 heading northwest, rural roads along the river valley. At five miles runners will turn right and cross the “Iron Bridge” on Rice Farm Road, and then turn left on Quarry Road on the northeast bank of the West River.
At about 6.5 miles or half way, the course turns left again and crosses the iconic Dummerston Covered Bridge, which, again, is the longest covered bridge in Vermont. A left on Route 30 puts runners on the southeasterly return trip, and then the course branches off on Upper Dummerston Road before rejoining Route 30 with just over a mile to go. The triumphant finish brings runners past the start and onto the retreat grounds for a memorable race and medal.
The 5K has the same starting line and finish point, heading northwest on Route 30, then turning left on Upper Dummerston Road to a turnaround point. It’s an out-and-back on mostly forested roadway where natural beauty is everywhere around you.
More on Brattleboro
Brattleboro is and has long been the site of a vibrant arts and literary community with many interesting places to visit. It retains rural roots and such diverse cultural happenings as a film festival, literary festival, and the Strolling of the Heifers where cattle roam down the main streets annually in early June.
Rudyard Kipling had a home nearby (practically on the half marathon course) which he named Naulakha meaning Precious Jewel; and wrote “Captains Courageous” and “Jungle Book” stories there. Saul Bellow also lived in Brattleboro.
Brattleboro has many fine eating establishments and a couple of brew pubs, including the Steakout Restaurant, Peter Haven’s, Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery (right on the river), Mocha Joe’s Coffee Shop, Amy’s Bakery Arts Café, Flat Street Brew Pub, and The Works restaurant, among others.
Overnight accommodations include the historic Latchis Hotel on Main Street (iconic, reasonably priced, and built in 1938), Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Meadowlark Inn, and Econo Lodge.
Points of interest, in addition to many structures on the register of historic places, include the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center (housed in the former Union Railway Station), the Gothic Municipal Center (1884), Brattleboro Historical Society and Museum, Fort Dummer State Park, Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery, New England Center for Circus Arts, and more.
Brattleboro is home to Marlboro College Center for Graduate and Professional Studies, SIT Graduate Institute for International Studies, and Community College of Vermont.
The town was established in 1724 with the building of Fort Dummer, then with a New Hampshire grant as Brattleborough. It has had many firsts, including the first bridge to New Hampshire in 1804, and the first-ever Social Security check recipient in 1940. There is much to see and enjoy, and to learn, in Brattleboro and surrounding area.
3C Race Productions
This company produces many races, including the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and the Freeport Half Marathon in Maine, the Colt State Park Half Marathon in Rhode Island, the Lime Rock Half in Connecticut, the Fall River Half Marathon in Massachusetts, and many more in the New England Half Marathon Tour 2014 as outlined below, along with numerous other events. This is a full service and very professional organization that manages and produces events all over New England and sometimes beyond—over 125 events per year, including road races, trail races, triathlons, biathlons and snow shoe competitions. Founded in 2002, this company has helped provide funds and donations for many non-profits totaling about 1.5 million dollars for a variety of charities thus far.
Please visit their website for information on the race schedule, directions, recent news, opportunities, results, photos, videos and more: http://www.3craceproductions.com/
New England Half Marathon Tour 2014
Begun in 2013, the already popular New England Half Marathon Tour 2014 is greatly expanded. It includes 14 excellent events in seven states, up from eight races last year. Each has both a half marathon and a 5K so that all participants have an event to their liking. There will be one each in New York and Connecticut; two in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont; three in Rhode Island, and four in New Hampshire. Races for this year begin with the Moose on the Loose Half Marathon in Nashua, NH on April 13. Here is the full schedule:
+Moose on the Loose Half Marathon and 5K, Nashua, NH (April 13, 2014)
+Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge Half Marathon and 5K, Foster, RI (May 11, 2014)
+Lime Rock Half Marathon and 5K, Lakeville, Connecticut (June 8, 2014)
+Killington Half Marathon and 5K, Killington, VT (June 15)
+Catamount Half Marathon and 5K, Brattleboro, VT (June 29, 2014)
+Saratoga Springs Half Marathon and 5K, Saratoga Springs, NY (July 13, 2014)
+Twin Reservoirs Half Marathon and 5K, Holyoke, MA (July 20, 2014)
+Monadnock Half Marathon and 5K, Jaffrey, NH (August 8, 2014)
+Black Bear Half Marathon and 5K, Waterville Valley, NH (August 24, 2014)
+Freeport Half Marathon and 5K, Freeport, ME (September 7, 2014)
+Old Orchard Beach Half Marathon and 5K, Old Orchard Beach, ME (October 12, 2014)
+Fall River Half Marathon and 5K, Fall River, MA, (October 19, 2014)
+Colt State Park Half Marathon and 5K, Bristol, RI (November 9, 2014)
+Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and 5K, Nashua, NH (November 23, 2014)
Several of these events are new, which is very exciting. Check it out at: www.nehalfmarathontour.com
This is Your Half Marathon
You have been getting ready to do one this summer, so here it is. Whether it is your first or your 101st, this is for you. Brattleboro is a unique place for many reasons, and there will be lots to see in the Green Mountain State—check out the cool restaurants and unique places for lodging, as well as those breweries. http://www.catamounthm.com/index.htm
Come and enjoy the fun at a very different and enjoyable inaugural event. The awards, the amenities and post race festivities with fruit and pastries will be loads of fun, headed by race director Michael Amarello. The setting is tranquil and the course is ideal! For additional information you can contact Michael at 603-429-8879 or by e-mail at michael@3Craceproductions.com.