- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
We welcomed state #7 of half-marathons with the beautiful state of Vermont. It was an action-packed long weekend of fun, fun, fun. We left the state of Illinois with clouds and rain showers and entered Vermont in clouds and rain showers. But we didn’t care because we packed our rain gear and umbrellas and headed outside.
First off, if you plan on running this race, I highly recommend the Clay Brook at the Sugarbush Resort. The facility was beautiful! It was one of the race locations listed for the marathon and I’m so glad I picked this one. It was quiet with a great pool, hot tubs, comfy rooms and an awesome restaurant.
We had 2 whole days before the race here so we decided to look around. I had listed some places I wanted to see while out here and was totally prepared with locations, maps and prices.
Some great places to see and eat would be:
The Ben and Jerry’s Factory. For $4.00 you get a tour and a sample of ice cream.
The Prohibition Pig Restaurant. Awesome pork sandwiches that melt in your mouth!
The Blue Stone Restaurant. Amazing pizza and craft beers.
Waitsfield Farmers Market. Loaded with all kinds of delicious foods, drinks, crafts and music.
The Warren Store. A must-see stop! Ton’s of cute things and the best deli sandwiches and bakery.
Warren Falls! An easy-to-get-to watering hole. Bring your swimsuit, water socks or sandals and a camera.
Rumble’s Kitchen! The best breakfast, lunches and dinners and full bar!
Ski Lift at Sugarbush. Amazing view of the mountains!
Hike the Mountains!
Mad Marathon Packet Pick Up on Saturday
Packet Pick-up for the Mad Marathon was really easy at the Waitsfield Inn. They had a nice tent in the back and there I got to meet Bart Yasso! He was so nice!!! After grabbing our bibs, shirt and bag we headed across the street to the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market. There we found different flavored bagels and some delicious peanut butter from the Vermont Peanut Butter Co. Then we picked up avocados, bananas and a small knife from the local grocery store and boom we had our pre-race breakfast!
It’s too bad I had to give up my peanut butter at the airport security coming home. Who knew peanut butter was dangerous…
Anyway we had a blast that whole day. We found the Warren Falls, the Warren Store and the Clay Brook had a Highlander festival planned. Pre-race day was fun and relaxing.
Whoo hoo, Mad Marathon Race Day! We definitely got a great night sleep before the Mad Marathon Half. That’s because we probably spent 90% of our day outside on Saturday. All that clean, fresh air was a perfect preset for race morning.
Getting to the Race
We got to the start about an hour early with absolutely no traffic. The parking lots seemed to fill up fast. Runners and spectators parked everywhere. If there was a plot of grass, a car would fit in it.
The start of the race was on the street and the finish was in the town’s plaza. Both were super-close to our car. And the finish line looked like a covered bridge. It was a beautiful morning of 55 degrees and lots of sunshine. You had the normal potty lines. And there were port-a-potties at every water stop along the course.
Getting into our corral was easy. All races started at the same time and you decided where you wanted to start on your own. There were marathoners, half-marathoners, relay teams and walkers.
After the national anthem we were off. Now if you don’t like beautiful scenery, covered bridges, herds of cows along the course, babbling brooks, panoramic views of the mountains and fresh air then this isn’t the race for you. But if you do like those things, then you will totally be in awe at every hill top.
Mental Diary Time
Here’s where I write what I was thinking during the run. It’s pretty close to being accurate since I wrote this all down as soon as we got back to our room.
The Start: Stay positive! You know there are hills, you can do it. The goal today is to get to the medal! Now, time to kiss Duane good-bye and hope we both make it back.
Mile 1: Not bad–beautiful going through town and through our first covered bridge.
Mile 2: We are hitting our first hill and I’ve never seen a race where everyone in front of me suddenly starts to walk this soon. It felt great to walk since the hill actually made you feel like you were almost parallel to it. I am run/walking up a mountain!
Mile 3: Still going up. When does this hill end???? OMG, Bart Yasso is next to me! I’m running with the legendary Bart Yasso!!!
Mile 4: Wow this is beautiful! Everyone was loving this course!
Mile 5: Farm, farms farms! OMG there’s a cow right along the course eating grass!
Mile 6: Turn around point for the Half marathoners. I wonder what the marathoners see that we don’t. I need to do this one as a marathon one day…
Mile 7: Cow again! They look so happy out here!
Mile 8: I cannot believe this scenery!
Mile 9-10 Heading downhill. Ever have one of those dreams that you’re falling and it never stops? That’s how this hill felt.
Mile 11: Wow, I’m still going downhill. Took a peek at my watch–8:10 pace. What!!! I’ve never been that fast at mile 11. Ha, I think I like hills!
Mile 12: No, this can’t be over soon!Mile 12.5: Gave a thanks to God and the universe for giving me the legs to see all this!
Mile 13: Heading back into town and I can hear the announcer.
Finish: Yeah I did it! I got a hug from a gal at the finish and she asked me how I liked it. I told her I loved it!
It was a blast and this race is so ORGANIZED! Kudos to the race director, volunteers and all their sponsors. We enjoyed bagels, fruit, local chips and the most delicious cider donuts and cider from Cod Hollow Cider Mill. After watching the winner of the Mad Marathon come in under 3 hours, we then headed across the street to the Waitsfield hotel for some well-earned beers! We were both in dire need of a shower, therefore we headed home to the Clay Brook. There we enjoyed a nice shower and lunch at Rumble’s Kitchen with a beautiful view of the mountains. After a nap we took off to take a picture of the covered bridge. Then we soaked our feet in the Mad River which felt WONDERFUL. We treated ourselves to an awesome dinner at The Peasant where we had more beer and delicious food. Try the risotto–it’s amazing!
The next day we continued being tourist by visiting the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. After walking around Waterbury, we headed back to the resort. Being a little too sore to do a big hike, we decided to swim in their beautiful pool instead! We soaked up some rays, did a small hike, dinner and then watched the sunset over the mountains. We had a great stay at the Clay Brook of Sugarbush Resort and loved every minute of this trip and race (even the hills!)
Would I recommend the Mad Marathon race?
Heck yeah! I would even label this race as a “bucket list” race to do. We were both actually kind of sad we weren’t doing it again. We need to save our pennies to visit other states. But if we weren’t doing the 50 half in 50 states, we would definitely run this race again. Who knows, maybe even the whole marathon…