Friday, June 1, 2012

Further thoughts on the Vermont City Marathon

Todd's excellent race report captures the energy and the beauty of the Vermont City Marathon.   As a newcomer to the race, I would add just a few additional impressions.

First off - the weather in northern Vermont is apparently totally psycho.  Just days before the race, forecasters had us on the edge of our seats, with predictions of either rain or, even worse, 90 degree heat.  Somehow, though, we were blessed with a beautifully clear day, with temperatures around 60 degrees at the start of the race, and no higher than 70 degrees four hours later.

I'd feared that the lack of starting corrals would lead to a difficult start, but most runners found appropriate places and the race opened up fairly quickly.  I very much enjoyed the first three miles, which were run through Burlington's town center as the town's Sunday morning brunch-goers cheered us on.

The next section, a six-mile out-and-back along the Burlington beltline, was gorgeous, but at times congested with runners going opposite ways along the same road.  I looked for Todd (who was well ahead of me) on the other side of the road but didn't see him; I did, however, manage to give Eric a high five.  It was awesome to come back into town at the end of loop and see family and friends cheering for me.

The next loop went south through the city, and much of this is a blur.  However, I loved the views across the lake on the last two miles of this loop.  The track got very narrow at sections, but I was well ahead of my pace group at this point, and so not feeling the crowds.  The loop ended with the "Assault on the Battery," and, despite all the hype, I didn't find this hill that challenging.  I just slowed it down a bit and let the cheering crowds -- and again, my family! -- provide the adrenaline boost to get me up the hill. 

The next eight or so miles were much more mellow as the race winded through a number of neighborhood streets.  Here, the spectators weren't here to cheer on a particular runner; they were camped out and partying and enjoying the show.  Finally, in the last couple of miles, we hit a quiet stretch on a bike path through the woods, and then the race was over.

There are a few things that could have been better -- more portable toilets, more evenly mixed gatorade, better organization post-race -- but it is hard to worry much about such small details.  The marathon was smooth, well organized, and the crowds couldn't have been better.  I only wish I'd carried a camera. 

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more that the event was well organized. Any criticisms I had were minor at best. Hats off to the organizers and volunteers!