- 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
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The Vermont City Marathon has been on my list for a long time, and boy was it worth the wait!
Location: Burlington, Vermont is a unique city located on beautiful Lake Champlain. Wherever you look there is fresh, local food and there are craft breweries everywhere. There is plenty of lodging on the waterfront as well as a bit out of town. I stayed about 2 miles from the start and the race offered shuttles from multiple hotels. The shuttle worked great.
Expo: The Expo was located at the Doubletree Hilton, which was very conveniently located off the main interstate. Bib and shirt pick up was a breeze and there was lots of great swag from RunVermont (neck cooling sleeves and shaker bottles to start) and other vendors. I really enjoyed the Cabot Cheese, Untapped Maple and local brewery booths. There was also an opportunity to meet the one and only Meb! I was disappointed at the lack of race-specific merch. However, I got to the expo at 2:00 on the second day, so that may have been my fault as well.
Starter's Village: The start village at Battery Park was spacious and high-energy. There were plenty of porta-johns and also some good places to sit. The corrals were a bit small and self-seeded. I didn't find this to be too much of an issue, thankfully.
The course: One of my favorite things about the Vermont City Marathon is the unique course. It is a "clover" shape, which makes it easy for any friends and family to see you multiple times while spectating. The two passes down Church Street make for bit of energy between some more quiet areas. In terms of hills, there were 2-3 slight hills then the "Assault on Battery" just after mile 15. This climb is definitely a challenge, but the Taiko drummers make it worth it. After this big climb, the last 11 miles are flat-downhill. If you don't wreck yourself on the big hill, this is a PR-friendly course.
Course support: The support at this race is some of the best I've experienced.The aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were fantastic. There was food throughout the course, as well as Untapped Maple hydration, gels, and waffles. The neighborhoods also put together also food stops and hosed off runners.
Finish village: The finish line of this race was electric and unbeatable! The food selection was incredible, they even had Vermont's finest, Ben & Jerry's. I did not personally indulge in the beer tent but they provided beer from 3-4 local breweries, which is much better a Miller Light.
I would definitely recommend this race to a friend and hope to be back another year!