M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon

M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon

M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon

( 30 reviews )
93% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Burlington,
    United States
  • May
  • 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay, Virtual Race
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

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The M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon is a flat, fast course that winds through Burlington and along Lake Champlain, the MTBVCM is a community effort, recognizing all those who have had a hand in making the race a success since 1989. The course runs through the best of Burlington, from Church Street Marketplace to the Burlington Bike Path and offers exceptional views of the Adirondack Mountains. The race can be completed as an individual or as a relay time of 2-5 people.

Tim Snow

10 5
"Great race for a first marathoner!"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Tim Snow's thoughts:

What a wonderful experience for my first marathon!

After a couple of years being a runner and close to 20 years photographing races of different lengths I bit the bullet and decided to run my first marathon. I chose Burlington Vermont for a few reasons; I have always had a love affair with Vermont, growing up I spent many weekends couch surfing in South Burlington after incredible concerts at Burlington's 242 Main, an all-ages punk rock venue. As I discovered hiking and later trail running Vermont's Green Mountain and the Long Trail were always high on my list as a destination...an easy 2.5 hour drive and I'm there! I also didn't want my first 26.2 to be a cattle call type of affair with 50,000 other runners, crowded everything and a really impersonal feel.

When I signed up for the race I also signed up for the "New to 26.2" option which included a Marathoner In Training type shirt, and most importantly, a coach who offered a training plan and a private facebook group where all of us new marathoners could share our training stories, positive or negative, nutrition and gear tips. It turned out to be a great group of people, and we regularly keep each other up to date in our current training and goals.

As race weekend approached it became clear that I made the right move in booking a hotel early (I drove down the day before from Montreal, roughly 2 hours from Burlington). My biggest piece of advice for this race: BOOK YOUR HOTEL EARLY!!! Burlington does not have a ton of hotels. The Vermont City Marathon is a Boston Qualifying race, it falls on Memorial Day weekend AND it is the weekend that most Burlington university students graduate...I heard a lot of people complaining that the hotels were all booked and they had to stay 30-45 minutes away. As the race starts at 7AM, this means an even earlier wake up call then normal.

I arrived the afternoon before the race to pick up my race kit and check out the expo. Picking up the race kit was simple, I didn't even have to wait in line. The race shirt was really nicely designed though I took some points off as I can't stand race shirts that have all of the sponsors logos on the back. As Hoka One One are a title sponsor they had a large presence at the expo, and the majority of the tables were local Vermont companies from maple syrup to medical practitioners to the local Fleet Feet. It was nice but I didn't linger as they didn't really have much to offer me.

Race day! Most hotels offer a shuttle service to the start line which is a nice touch. I decided to drive so I could have a speedy return to my hotel to shower and change after the race for the ride back home. I found free parking 15 minutes walking distance from the start line which was a perfect warm-up/cool-down before and after the race. Lines for the porta-potties were predictably long but that's pretty much par for the course. Weather was weather...can't complain about stuff we can't change!

The course itself was beautiful! Starting on the water in Battery park then running through Church Street was a lot of fun and the crowd support was fantastic! You then do a roughly 5-mile out and back on the Burlington Beltline surrounded by green...beautiful place to let your mind wander, run through some misting tents to cool off, stop to pee again at some less crowded porta-potties (I drink lots of tea...) and have the elites breeze by you on the other side of the road...they are flying!

After that you do another fly-by on Church heading towards South Burlington. Again, the crowds were fantastic! I ended up running into (heh!) some folks from the "New to 26.2" group and we stuck together for some great miles, chatting as we ran, swapping stories. it was great!

Once we left South Burlington we were met with the Assault On Battery, the climb that everyone dreads near mile 15. I actually quite like hills so I loved it, taking in the crowds that were there encouraging everyone!

From there we headed into northern Burlington and the neighborhood section of the race. It was absolutely festive with people set up on their lawns handing out water, popsicles and maple syrup to the runners. It was a super section of the course, especially as I was in a bit of pain suffering from some IT band issues from miles 20-24 and had to walk in parts. This is where the community kicks in as runners and spectators alike offered encouragement! I finally flagged down a medical person who gave me some pain killers and was able to run again from miles 24-26.2...which features some beautiful scenery and you run along the bike path parallel to Lake Champlain with views of the Adirondacks across the water.

The finish was electrifying! The chute was super loud as people lined both sides to cheer on their loved ones and encourage strangers for what felt like a half-mile! Wow it was loud!

After collecting my medal and realizing I ran a marathon (never thought I'd do that!) i grabbed some of the great food for the finishers including hot pizza and hung around but sadly couldn't really enjoy the atmosphere as I had 30 minutes to get my car, get to the hotel, shower and head home.

All-in-all it was an absolutely incredible experience that I could not recommend any stronger. Be it your first or 20th make sure you add the Vermont City Marathon to your list! Oh another nice touch is the free race photos...make sure to thank your photographer!

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