The Maple Leaf Half Marathon and Kotler 5K—Popular Vermont Classic
The Maple Leaf Half Marathon and Kotler 5K will run on Saturday, September 6, 2014, in beautiful Manchester, Vermont, a vibrant region with much to offer. Organization is excellent, and the course is scenic and enjoyable. There is something for everyone in this rural Vermont tour. It’s one of those “must do” New England races. Manchester, Vermont is a year-round sports, recreation, foodie and shopping destination in the heart of the Green Mountain National Forest.
Posted Monday, 30 June, 2014
The original Maple Leaf was famous and enormously popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the Classic is back. The resurgence began in 2007, and the new Maple Leaf Half Marathon is back and as great as ever. Excitement is building for these events, running at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 6, 2014. They begin and end at the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park Recreation Center, 340 Park Recreation Road, Manchester Center, Vermont 05255. Your world class Maple Leaf Half Marathon has returned.
Founded in the mid-1970's by Guy Thomas, it ran sporadically through the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Now reestablished, the “new” Maple Leaf is presented by great combination of organizations headed by the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce, the Battenkill Valley Runners, Stratton Mountain, and the Manchester Lions.
The event was revived in 2007 and is now known as 'The Maple Leaf Half Marathon and the Kotler 5k Run and Fun Walk.' The races are presented by the Perfect Wife Restaurant, the Spiral Press Cafe, and by MVP Health Care. And it has now evolved into one of the top rated races in Vermont. The revised course is USATF-certified and a true gem of New England racing. It is challenging, which has always been part of the appeal—this is Vermont with mountain vistas. It has been lauded as one of the top half marathons in the country for scenic beauty, organization and allure. Race Website
Maple Leaf is a classic for late summer racing in New England, a regional magnet and a signature event for the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber, representing 18 towns in the region.
Both races will kick off at 8:00 a.m. The accompanying Kotler 5K allows everyone to get into the action. Race headquarters—packet/chip/bib pickup, bag check, start and finish and post race celebrations--will be at the Park Recreation Center. For friends and family not running, the Dana Thomson Recreation Park includes a playground, sports fields, dog park, a lovely one-mile walking path, skateboard park, swimming pool, slides and other facilities.
Make a weekend of it! They are offering a Friday pre race Runner’s Dinner (6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center) and a day-after Sunday brunch from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Spiral Press Café with a special enhanced menu and videos of the races.
Registration, Packet Pick Up and Amenities
These events are capped at 1,000 total participants and will likely close. There will be NO race day registration. On-line registration is preferred and you can also make a reservation for the Runner’s Dinner and/or a tech shirt. Don’t miss the Friday night Runners’ Dinner at the Recreation Park (6:00 -7:30 pm)! Reserve your spot when you register.
Participants will receive a performance runner’s beanie hat and a Maple Leaf magnetic decal. All runners will receive a finisher’s medallion and a surprise commemorative gift (last year a back pack).
You can pick up your bib number and packet the day before, on Friday, September 5, from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Park and Recreation Center. Pickup will also be available there race day morning from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Chip timing by Granite State Race Services using the B-tag system will provide accurate and immediate results. The chips--in the bib--are light, disposable (a keepsake), and very accurate.
There will be plenty of parking at the Recreation Center. There will be eight fluid stations on the HM course with four providing both water and Gatorade.
Post race festivities will include food and refreshments with live music.
Please see the Race Website for details on courses (with course maps and course video), registration information, awards details, FAQ’s, directions and parking, contacts, lodging suggestions, post race plans, charities, teams, sponsors, schedule, past results, photos, and more: Race Website.
The Schedule for Race Weekend
Friday, September 5, 2014
4:00 to 7:30 p.m. Race Packet pickup, Dana Thompson Recreation Center *
6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Runner’s Dinner at the Recreation Park
Saturday, September 6, 2014
6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Race Packet pickup, Dana Thompson Recreation Center
8:00 a.m. Half Marathon Start
8:00 a.m. Kotler 5K Run and Fun Walk Start
9:30 a.m. Post Race Celebrations Begin
9:30 a.m. Kotler 5K Awards
10:30 a.m. Half Marathon Awards
Sunday, September 7, 2014
8:30 to 11:00 a.m. Sunday Brunch, Spiral Press Café (enhanced brunch menu, race video)
*Late Registration, if not closed, will be at the Parks and Recreation Center during packet pick up on Friday, September 5, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Pick up will also be available on race morning from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. but there will be NO race-day registration. On line registration closes September 3 at midnight or when the 1,000 cap is reached.
New this year is the Jay Hathaway Memorial Team Challenge, available in both races. Teams of four or more will compete for Jay Hathaway Team Trophy. The lowest cumulative time for the first four runners (unlimited team members) wins the trophy in each race.
About the Course
The half marathon course is USATF-certified, a clockwise loop on mostly rural roads of Manchester Center, Manchester, and Manchester Depot. Both races start simultaneously near the Recreation Center. Both are loops and finish close to the starting point. The HM course winds through Manchester Village and beautiful Vermont countryside past livestock, fields, pastures and barns.
Manchester lies in the gorgeous Battenkill Valley surrounded by beautiful mountains; hills are challenging but not overwhelming and part of the allure—and prestige. This is an intriguing route with great views of serene forest, farms and mountains in the background.
There will be eight water/aid stations along the half marathon course, and half of them will have Gatorade. There will be one fluid station on the Kotler 5K course.
The total HM climb is 816 feet and the total elevation change is 1631 feet with noticeable hills around miles four, five and nine. Nine miles is the high point on the course but from there it’s all downhill to the finish line.
Surrounding mountains are dominated by Stratton Mountain to the east and Mount Equinox and Bear Mountain of the Taconic Range to the west. These vistas provide breathtaking views.
The course traverses truly gorgeous Vermont landscapes, running from the downtown community to picturesque village settings to country roads past farm lands back to the finish. Adding to the beauty, Vermont will be in the early stages of fall foliage.
The Kotler 5K is a counter-clockwise loop around Manchester Center, and notable for the last mile on a wooded park path to the Park Recreation Center.
Some Maple Leaf History
In 1979 Patti Catalano set a women’s world record half marathon time of 1:14:03. Herb Lindsay did the same in 1981 with a 1:01:47. Other notable participants have included many Olympic and international greats such as Greg Meyer, Jon Sinclair, Frank Shorter, Rob DeCastella, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Vermont’s own Judy St. Hilaire, Alison Roe, Bart Yasso, Benji Durden, and many more nationally known runners. The half marathon was a favorite tune-up for the New York City Marathon.
Race history with the unique cultural and aesthetic environment of Manchester, plus great support for runners, insures a wonderful experience; whether you’re here for a personal record, a first ever 5K, a first ever half marathon, a fun run, or just a fitness walk. Plan your fabulous weekend in beautiful Manchester.
In 2013 nearly 600 runners toed the line for the half marathon and almost 300 came to run the 5K. This year they expect to reach the 1,000 cap early. Tricia Warwell of Syracuse, New York won the 2013 women’s half in a time of 1:33:50; and Daniel Hebert of Charlotte, Vermont returned after finishing second in 2012. He improved his time by 3:40, capturing the men’s race in 1:17:54. The 5K was won by Kathleen Mack of Brandon, Vermont (23:37) and Jeff Johnson of Shaftsbury, Vermont in (20:20).
http://Cool Running Results
Manchester and the Region
Manchester is a destination for sports including running, skiing, golf and equine activities. Set in the midst of the Green Mountain National Forest, it’s only 17 miles from the New York border. The region is also known for fine dining, cultural events and discount name-brand shopping at a variety of outlets. This has long been a tourist destination.
It is a region of extraordinary natural beauty and unique features, including spectacular mountains. The Green Mountain National Forest surrounds it and Stratton Mountain lies just east, as does the Appalachian Trail. The protected area of Mount Equinox and its famous skyline drive are immediately west.
Manchester was chartered in 1761 by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth, and named for Robert Montagu, 3rd Duke of Manchester. At that time Vermont was claimed by both New Hampshire and New York. Manchester was settled in 1764, and most of the town was laid out just after the Revolution.
Because Vermont was claimed by neighbors its destiny was not settled and therefore was not one of the original 13 states. It claimed independence on its own in January, 1777 as “New Connecticut”, and then adopted the name Vermont in July, 1777. It was an independent country until 1791 when it was admitted as the 14th state of the United States.
Enjoy his beautiful locale before and after the race. Manchester has Elm-lined streets and marble sidewalks and is nestled in the shadow of Mount Equinox, the highest mountain in the Taconic Range at 3,848 feet.
Visit the Southern Vermont Art Center and its galleries and sculpture garden and its 407-acre campus with walking trails; visit the Frog Hollow State Craft Center; the Hildene Mansion, home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Lincoln and President and Chairman of Pullman Company. Lincoln first visited Manchester in 1863 with his mother, and came back to build this 24-room summer mansion and 412-acre estate and farm. It is open for visitors; Lincoln’s descendents lived on the estate until 1975.
For variety visit the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Orvis Fishing Tackle is the oldest surviving mail order retailer in the country, founded 1956. Manchester was the original home of Burton Snowboards. And a favorite is the Northshire Bookstore, one of America’s leading independent bookstores.
Take the Skyline Drive to the top of Equinox to view the valley, the Green Mountains, and portions of New York, Quebec, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
For helpful hints, discounts and coupons, check out the NEW Visitor Welcome Center at 39 Bonnet Street, Manchester Center, Vermont 05255. Many of the local inns and restaurants will have specials for race weekend, so be sure to check it out. Go to Visit Manchester Vermont phone 802-362-2100 or Manchester Chamber .
You must run this one; it is unique. Proceeds will benefit charities of the Manchester Lions Club, the Battenkill Valley Runners, and Manchester Parks and Recreation. Visit Race Website today and sign up for this classic race and as a bonus see what Manchester and southwestern Vermont have to offer!