Don't Miss a Beat on the Hills
Not only is the marathon course well-manned with volunteers, water stops, aid stations and spectators, it also offers some entertainment along the way. And some of that entertainment has become famous for its perfectly timed placement. Around mile 15, runners meet the challenge of Battery Street—a six-block climb adjacent to the downtown region. Listen for the Taiko drummers located in the middle of the hill and catch their rhythm and enthusiasm to keep pace all the way up the incline. It's amazing what a little music or rhythm can do at just the right time! And the music isn't only there. The marathon course is actually lined with musicians in many locations—just about everything but classical music, says Delaney. In 2009, there were 12 different bands on the course.
After making your way up Battery Street, you can catch your breath as you make your way through tree-lined neighborhoods of Burlington, then it's off to the beautiful bike path, a cool and lovely paved rail trail, from mile 22 to the finish. This path has views of Lake Champlain on the right and the other side has woods or residences, with cheering crowds toward the finish holding up signs and ringing cowbells to give you that last push. The hoopla and energy certainly doesn't calm down at the finish. The crowds at the Keybank Vermont City Marathon are beyond compare—making the journey of 26.2 miles even more memorable. Close out is probable with only 3,600 marathon bibs available. Registration is running ahead of last year, so register now.
Miles For a Mission
Running a marathon, or any race for that matter, can be a personal growth experience. But it's also an excellent way to give back by raising money for a nonprofit organization or charity. In 2010, runners can use the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon as a fundraising element for one of several charities, including the American Cancer Society, Team Hole in the Wall, Team in Training, March of Dimes, Vermont Children's Hospital, Fletcher Allen, UVM College of Medicine, and Common Ground Youth Center.
Once you sign up to run for a charity, the RunVermont.org Website enables you to create an online fundraising page to track your progress and share your experience with family and friends. Both marathon runners and relay teams can raise money for charity—so give yourself even more incentive and add purpose to your race.
Run the Relay—Cover the Miles as a Team
The KeyBank Vermont City Marathon was one of the first races in the country to offer a marathon relay. This year the relay features 2-person teams as well as 3-5 person teams to cover the full 26.2 miles. Distances for the 5-person relay teams range from 3.1 miles to 6.4 miles.
Relay exchange points 1, 2 and 3 are each within a couple hundred yards of the starting line, allowing teams to support each other for a good portion of the first half. Transportation is provided to other hand-off point, taking the worry out of getting to your transition in time.
The course is limited to 700 3-5 person relay teams and 700 2-person teams. In 2010, relay participants will be selected via lottery (sells out annually). Registration for the lottery is open January 1-31, 2010. Relay teams will be randomly selected by February 15th. For more information, visit http://www.runvermont.org/marathon/relgeneral.html.
The Expo, the Goods and the "Even Betters"
The Sports and Fitness Expo, located at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center (only a few blocks form the start, finish, and on the course near mile 16), occurs Friday, May 28th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 29th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free to all visitors. Runners must attend the expo to pick up their race packets and T-shirts. Since all racers will be wearing the D-Tag Timing System this year, there's no need to get your chip programmed as in other years. This means there's more time to check out all the great vendor booths—from running merchandise to nutrition information to gait analysis services to FREE Ben & Jerry's ice cream. To see a list of last year's vendors, visit http://www.runvermont.org/expo/vendorlist.html.
At the expo, runners can also listen to a course review that explains various twists and turns experienced on the roads. Saturday will feature the Outdoor Adventure Film Series of short films chronicling stories of running, unique endurance events, and great moments in racing history. Films in 2009 included the award-winning The Spirit of the Marathon and Running the Sahara. A celebrity runner will also be on-hand at the expo to speak and sign autographs—stay tuned for that announcement.
Spend Memorial Day Weekend in Burlington
Late spring in Burlington, Vermont is the perfect time to run. Usually the temperature is ideal and the scent of blooming flowers and budding trees fills the air. And with all that the city has to offer for the entire family, the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon becomes the ultimate destination race. Spend Memorial Day weekend in Burlington. Take a boat tour of Lake Champlain on Saturday, run the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on Sunday, and spend Monday visiting one of the many local attractions—Ben & Jerry's, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the Church Street Marketplace, the Green Mountains—the list goes on. And it's a great way to actually keep that New Year's Resolution! Sign up early and start your once-in-a-lifetime experience today.