If you're looking for a destination marathon that won't break thebank but still offers a wealth of culture, scenery, history and outdoorfun—look no further than Burlington, Vermont. Kick off your springdistance racing adventure and your vacation at Burlington's 22nd AnnualKeyBank Vermont City Marathon (KBVCM), on Sunday, May 30, 2010. A fewdays of relaxation (and a little nervous energy) before the big day andthen a few more days to recover and take in the culture and sights ofthis fascinating area can make for the perfect getaway. This is anadventure you won't want to miss—before during, and after your race.
Marathons are growing in popularity, and the number of marathonfinishers continues to rise each year. Approximately 650,000 runnersfinished a 26.2-mile race in 2009, a significant increase over previousyears. Evidence of this can be seen in the faster-than-usual closeoutof Boston Marathon registration, which filled up in 157 days early thisyear, and many others as well—spring and fall. Keybank Vermont Cityoffers a terrific alternative to Boston for New Englanders and forthose around the country looking for the New England MarathonExperience.
Choosing which marathon you want to tackle—and the region you wantto visit--can be almost as exciting as those early training runs inpreparation for the big race. People sometimes look for a marathon thatmeets a laundry list of criteria—location, date, medal design, course,expo, etc. The KeyBank Vermont City Marathon is sure to meet many ofyour requirements for a destination race, a wonderful mini vacation ina beautiful college town and a gem of a New England city.
It'sa well-organized race that's fully stocked with water stops, volunteersand cheering crowds. And as a vacation spot, it's easy to get to by caror air travel from northeastern USA cities and Canadian cities as wellwith the Burlington airport just minutes away, and Interstate 89running north-south on the outskirts. Burlington offers loads ofnon-running activities for the entire crew. Their manageable fieldsize, competitive pool of runners, fast course and nearly perfectlate-May weather will also help to keep you on track to meet (or beat)your goal time.
Burlington's Beauty Includes the Marathon Course and Beyond
If you want to run a marathon that involves much more than just 26.2miles and a medal—this is your race. Burlington, the Green Mountainstate's largest city, features a bustling waterfront and downtownregion as well as scenic and laid-back New England neighborhoods. Someof Burlington's energy comes from the colleges that call the area home,including the University of Vermont (UVM), Burlington College, andChamplain College. Visitors of any age can find activities inBurlington or its neighboring towns, such as the famous ShelburneMuseum just to the south.
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain, the country's sixth largestfreshwater lake, Burlington welcomes visitors and provides theopportunity to learn about the harbor, the lake, and its species offish, amphibians and reptiles at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and ScienceCenter. The pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city and waterfront alsoboasts miles of paths to take in the views of the lake or New York'sAdirondack Mountains towering in the distance. Just up the street fromthe harbor in downtown is the pedestrian-only Church StreetMarketplace, which is packed with restaurants, bars and shops (themarathon runs through the Marketplace twice).
Burlington can also claim a few local celebrities that got theirstart in the Green Mountain state. The jam band Phish formed at UVM andperformed at Burlington's Main Street bar, Nectar's in the early 1980sbefore becoming a national act.
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream also started scooping in a "dilapidatedgas station" in Burlington in 1978. Since then the company has grown insize and its offerings of mouth-watering flavors. The Ben & Jerry'sheadquarters in nearby Waterbury offers daily, affordable (just $2!)plant tours and tastings, as well as sales of all their famous flavors.And Ben & Jerry's brings their flavors to both the EXPO and thepost-race party in Waterfront Park. Sounds like a perfect post-marathontreat the whole family will enjoy! Visitors can also take a ferry across Lake Champlain to New York. The500- passenger Spirit of Ethan Allen III offers several meal cruises aswell as narrated Lake Champlain tours.