Vermont, home to wonderful things such as: Ben and Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese, Magic Hat Beer and of course many of my family and friends. Runitlikeamom was thrilled to bring our Connecticut based relay team up north to the beautiful green mountains of Vermont.
The race was held on Memorial Day weekend, so here is my first piece of advice if you decide to do this race next year: book your hotel room early. Many of the hotels fill up quickly.
Upon arrival, on Saturday night, we were able to pick up our race packets at the conference center. Registration was quick, easy, the shirts are high quality and the conference center had lots of cool gear to shop.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner on race night at one of Burlington’s most popular restaurants, Trattoria Delia. There is nothing like fresh, homemade pasta to get you race ready.
On the morning of the race we enjoyed a free continental breakfast in our hotel and were offered a free shuttle ride from the front door of our hotel right up to the start line. We had no parking or time constraints on the morning of the race and it helped to put us all at ease. The city laid out the red carpet for runners, and for that we are very appreciative.
A Runit run down of my race highlights:
- The start of the race is extremely emotional. Music pumping, crowd cheering, thousands of runners who have trained, sweat and sacrificed their time and energy to compete, all jointing together to support one another. I had goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes.
- In the relay race you can have up to five runners, which allows for shorter distances in each leg. This is appealing to newer runners, or those who are uncomfortable with distances greater than a 5K.
- Unlike other urban-centered races, the Vermont City Marathon has developed a course that does not draw you far out of the city limits. The course is structured with several out and backs and turns which allows the crowed to see runners in various locations. This is especially helpful if you are spectator with young children looking to cheer on a particular runner; you can see them multiple times without having to walk very far.
- The views. Just when you think you are tired and your legs can’t take any more, you run through the fog, turn your head to the right and see the beautiful landscape of Lake Champlain and the surrounding mountains. If that doesn’t give you inspiration, I’m not sure what will.
- The crowd! Not surprisingly, the people of Vermont really embrace and support the runners. I have never participated in a race with such crowd support.
- The finish. The race ends by leading you down Burlington’s bike path and dropping you into Waterfront park where a narrow path is surrounded by thousands of people, screaming, cheering and encouraging you to give it all you’ve got! The fans were so close I could feel their air horns blowing through my hair. It was an amazing end to a fabulous race, and something that I will never forget.
All in all, this race is awesome, and it gets two Runit thumbs up! So next year, when you are planning your race schedule, seriously consider packing your bags, heading north, and making a weekend out of it. You won’t be disappointed!