The Sixth Annual Middlebury Maple Run—Half Marathon and Relay
It’s “The Sweetest Half.” Don’t miss the Middlebury Maple Run Half Marathon and Two-Person Relay, Middlebury, Vermont on May 4, 2014-- welcoming, scenic, friendly, and memorable. A spring race at its finest, this one is set in historic and lovely Middlebury, Vermont in the unmatched Champlain Valley.
Posted Friday, 7 February, 2014
Runners of all ages and all paces will enjoy a scenic 13.1 miles tour along the farms, village streets, and the campus of Middlebury College! It is serene, scenic, exciting and simply a wonderful event in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont. It’s set in Addison County in the gorgeous Champlain Valley between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks of nearby New York. This is a terrific run through a vibrant college town, with beautiful and historic farmland and a quintessential covered bridge. Much of it passes fields, horse farms and pastures, and nearly half the course is on comfortable hard-packed dirt roads.
It has an open country rural loop to the north of town, a terrific roll through an unbelievably enthusiastic Middlebury College campus, and a wonderful packed dirt and gravel out-and-back to the south. The start and finish venue, Porter Medical Center, is ideal and traffic free.
This is Vermont at its best, with budding spring exploding throughout. The race organizers—Co-Directors Sue Hoxie of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce and Andrea Solomon, a professional event planner, and their committee--are pulling out all the stops to make their sixth annual another terrific and memorable event. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the runners’ experience, although the first five years went off without a hitch.
There will be cash prizes for top finishers: Individual open (top three), individual masters, and top women’s, men’s and mixed teams. And speaking of cash, you can save yourself a little by signing up before January 31, so get in gear. Please see the Website at www.middleburymaplerun.com for details on registration, prizes, lodging accommodations, packet pickup, course information and maps, records, FAQ, amenities, contacts, sponsors, beneficiaries, area information, T-shirts (registration by April 18), parking and shuttles, and so much more. They have also posted a new race video.
The Middlebury Maple Run Half Marathon is one of those “must do” spring races in New England with a beautiful setting. The date is ideal, the organization and amenities top notch, the course is outstanding, and there is something for everyone in this rural Vermont tour. It has a 9:00 a.m. start time at the Porter Hospital just off South Street in Middlebury, Vermont 05753. There is a two-person relay for those not ready for the full 13.11 miles, which runs concurrently with the individual half marathon; the relay handoff is at mile 7 on the campus of Middlebury College on this USATF-certified and sanctioned course.
Pre-race headquarters will be at the Middlebury Inn (http://www.middleburyinn.com) on Court Square for Saturday (May 3) registration and packet pick up from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Middlebury Inn also has special rates for participants and a late checkout option; it has been welcoming guests since 1827, has “modern comfort and classic historic charm”.
Late registration/pick up will also be available on race morning at the Middlebury Regional EMS station, 55 Collins Avenue 05753, which is adjacent to the starting line. It is available from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. (Bag check will be available in the registration area.) Registration rates are very reasonable and include an affordable “student rate” that won’t increase. The earlier you register the more you save. Those registering by April 18 are guaranteed a free high quality cotton T-shirt with unique race logo. You can upgrade to a technical T-shirt for a small additional fee.
Cash awards will go to the top three open runners, women and men; the top masters (40+) runners, and the three first place teams: women’s, men’s, and mixed. They also will be awarded Middlebury-made Danforth pewter medals and large bottles of wonderful pure Vermont maple syrup. There is a lot to like about this event, including the maple-themed age group awards (ten-year increments—19-and-under through 70+); awards go to the top three in each 10-year group. All runners will receive a finisher’s award, which is unique to the race—a nip-sized little bottle of maple syrup. Following the race there will be outstanding post-race food and a party with live music.
Runners enjoy the extraordinary enthusiasm generated as they make their way through the Middlebury College campus, which encompasses about a mile of the course. The relay handoff is also at the 7-mile mark in front of Old Chapel on campus, about a 10-minute walk from the start-finish line. The students are always out in force and it is really energizing after a quiet rural tour north of town. Middlebury College is a fantastic backdrop with its beautiful, lovely, postcard-type campus.
"What a gorgeous course, and what enthusiasm. This is well done!"
Middlebury College, founded in 1800, is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the USA, and is now one of the town’s great resources and “industries.” Middlebury’s campus is nestled in the middle of town. It offers more than 850 courses in at least 44 different majors. Middlebury competes in Division II with 31 NCAA athletic teams; and those teams have produced 30 national championships since 1995.
Beautiful, Unique Course
Middlebury is nestled between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, and this course is beautiful and very rewarding in itself! The Porter Medical Center is on the south edge of the village, and the first miles head north towards town, running past the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, which crosses Otter Creek, Vermont's longest river. (The Pulp Mill Covered Bridge is a two-land bridge of three spans, and one of only six remaining in the US. Built in the 1850's, it underwent a full restoration in 2012.) The course is very spectator-friendly, with a six-mile counterclockwise rural loop to the north, including Morgan Horse Farm Road about 1¼ mile (Sheep Farm Road) on hard-packed dirt on a closed road.
Runners return through town via the college campus only a few blocks from the early miles, passing half way just before the college. Then it passes directly in front of the Porter Medical Center and start-finish area at mile 8, followed by a 5.1-mile out and back to the south on all hard-packed dirt—South Street Extension. Both the northern loop and southbound out-and-back wind through quiet farm-bordered roads, with fields and pastures and beautiful views of the mountains as you stride along in quintessential Vermont.
The starting line and finish line are adjacent to the Porter Medical Center with parking nearby.
This intriguing route runs past the famous University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm, a National Historic Site. The farm is at 3.3 miles, but the course runs along and between its lovely pastures for miles.
Much of the course is flat with just enough rolling hills and a few long grades to provide gorgeous views of the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Hills are small and climbs short, with scenic views throughout.
Truly a Must Run
Now in its sixth year, this is one race you must do. If you have run it previously you know why. If you have yet to experience it, you must place it on your calendar. It continues to grow and is well planned and enjoyable in every aspect. The organizers are runners, and of course they know what runners want. Running in such a beautiful location, it will be a spring highlight for many experienced runners, and a first ever challenge for others.
The two-person relay adds an interesting dimension and opportunities for many more to participate. This one is for everyone from the swiftest to the back-of-the-pack runners; it is the same beautiful course for all. Think spring, and sign up now! Be a part of the Sweetest Half, the Middlebury Maple Run. Make it a memorable weekend visit to Middlebury and surrounding towns.
Middlebury and Addison County--Pure Vermont
Middlebury is the county seat (Vermonters call it a shire town) of Addison County, located in the lower Champlain Valley of Vermont. It is midway between Burlington and Rutland. Middlebury is a small mill town with a rich history and distinctive character, including Otter Falls, which is in the center of downtown. The creek bisects Middlebury, where the water drove the early mills of the village.
This region became a rich source of farm products and manufacturing using water power from the falls. The village grew up around the early mills. That character is still distinctively visible. The famous Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History is in Middlebury and is well worth a look. You can choose from a variety of recreational activities, arts, historical sites, entertainment, and shopping, lodging and dining choices.
Addison County offers something for everyone—every season of the year; and is especially vibrant and alive in the spring sugaring season with pleasant breezes off Lake Champlain. The “Sweetest Half” runs at the end of the maple syrup season.
The region includes quaint villages and thriving towns. There are many working farms, including dairy and horse farms. It is picturesque and charming, and an outstanding place to run.
The Sweetest Half--Savor the Experience
This race shows the best of Vermont just after maple sugaring season, so don’t miss the sweetest half--a great rural course, historic location, friendly, welcoming community, two-person relay, post-race party and terrific organization. Addison County is beautiful in the spring. The gorgeous farms and covered bridge are wonderful too! Run this half marathon along Otter Creek and the Champlain Valley, beginning and ending in historic Middlebury village. You will love running this course at this wonderful time of year.
Check the Website for additional information at www.middleburymaplerun.com. You may send inquiries directly to email@example.com or call 802-388-7951 ext. 2.