Runners for Middlebury’s Half Marathon and Relay Registering at Record PaceBy Sue Hoxie
Race Organizers Planning for Approximately 1,000 Participants
Middlebury, Vermont – February 9, 2012 – Planning for this year’s “Middlebury Maple Run – The Sweetest Half” is well underway. Now in its fourth year, the half marathon (13.1 miles) and two-person relay race will take place on Sunday, May 6th with a start time of 9:00 a.m. This year the race starts from a new location (in front of Porter Medical Center on South Street), but use the same finish line in front of the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association (MVAA). Registration has been open since early November and entrants are 50% ahead compared to this time last year.
The race has grown steadily since its founding in 2009. The inaugural race attracted 225 registrants, 2010’s race had 569 registrants and 2011’s race had nearly 800. This year race organizers are planning on a field of approximately 1,000 participants—800 runners completing the half marathon course and 200 two-person relay teams.
Runners can register online or download and mail a paper entry form. Student registration rates never change: $35 individual/$45 team. Rates for non-students are $45 individual/$65 team. Prices increase again on April 22nd and t-shirts are guaranteed to every person who registers before then. Links to online registration or a downloadable form can be found at the event website at: www.middleburymaplerun.com.
Improvements for 2012’s Race
Several improvements are being implemented for the 2012 race:
- Because the number of runners has increased four-fold since the course was originally designed, the starting line is now on South Street in front of Porter Medical Center which provides a wider and safer starting area.
- With the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge’s closure, the first two miles of the course have been re-routed. While runners may miss running through one of Vermont’s historic covered bridges, the new route (South Street, left to Main, right to Academy, straight to Weybridge, right to Pulp Mill Bridge) has far fewer turns and will allow competitive runners to get up to speed quickly. In addition, there will be fewer road closures in the downtown area.
- In response to runners’ requests race organizers are providing an upgrade option ($10) to purchase a moisture-wicking tee shirt.
- Race organizers are using the latest technology to accurately time participants. Known as B-Tag ChronoTrack timing, this technology uses an RFID tag which attaches to each runner’s bib number. This is a significant upgrade benefiting both the runners and organizers.
- Also in response to runners’ feedback, a fifth water stop has been added to keep runners hydrated.
- Organizers have designated Pat Hendrick Photography as the race’s official photographer. The company will have multiple photographers on the course taking pictures of every runner. Runners will be able to purchase pictures of themselves after the race.
Benefits to the Local Community
Proceeds from the 2011 Middlebury Maple Run, approximately $12,000, were distributed among one national charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and several Addison County-based charities. For 2012 organizers have designated Addison County Humane Society, H.O.P.E. and Girls on the Run as the local charitable recipients.
Local lodging properties, restaurants and merchants will reap benefits as well. Approximately 40% of 2011’s runners were from out of state—the majority from neighboring New England states and New York—but some traveling from Quebec, California and Washington.
After last year’s race the Addison County Chamber of Commerce estimated the Middlebury Maple Run provided direct economic impact to the area of at least $100,000. Many runners make the race part of a weekend getaway and travel with friends and family. Overnight stays translate into additional revenues for restaurants and local shops as well. Runners who are here just for a day trip still may stop to dine, shop or gas up before they head home.
About the Course
The race course is USATF-certified (#VT09002RF). The race is run on a 50/50 mix of paved and hard-packed dirt roads with several elevation changes—some long grades but nothing too steep. Runners will enjoy beautiful views of the Green and Adirondack Mountains and green pastures throughout the race. The first half of the course is a loop and the second half is an out-and-back which will be closed to traffic. The midway point and relay exchange zone is on the Middlebury College campus.
About the Middlebury Maple Run Organizers
The Middlebury Maple Run was started in 2009 by a group of local runners to raise funds for charity and to create an event that brought visitors to the Middlebury area during a time of year when there are fewer tourists. The Middlebury Maple Run Organizing Committee is made up of: Terry Aldrich, Middlebury College; Benj Deppman, Deppman & Foley; Dave Donahue, Middlebury College; Sue Hoxie, Race Co-Director, Addison County Chamber of Commerce; Angelo Lynn, Addison Independent; Andrea Solomon, Race Co-Director, Middlebury College. The event website is www.middleburymaplerun.com.