Vermont City Marathon sign-ups still open as racers prepare
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Runners in the Vermont City Marathon are taking their final rest and carbo-loading before the big race on Sunday.
The race is bouncing back from the pandemic with around 5,000 runners participating this year.
Run Vermont executive director Joe Connolly said they will have spots for people to sign up for the marathon through the expo Friday and Saturday, but there are not a lot of spots left for marathon teams.
Connolly says this is the fastest field of top runners he can remember in at least 30 years. “Our first record is 2:35 for women. We have two women entered who have run faster than that within the last six months, including someone who went to 2:29 at Cal International in December -- so, six minutes ahead. If we get a decent day, I’m probably going to be writing some checks for bonuses,” said Connolly.
He says they usually get an increase in registration after the Boston Marathon and they saw more than usual this year. It’s not just runners in attendance, this year there are also hundreds of volunteers. This comes as the marathon continues to bounce back from the pandemic, where upwards of 8,000 people used to run and up to 1,700 volunteered.
This is the second year the course is different than what some veteran runners might remember. The Burlington Beltline section is no longer part of the race and runners don’t have to go up the entirety of Battery Street anymore. Runners still go through the heart of downtown but they do the loop twice.
Connelly said he doesn’t know if the course is here to stay but notes it was specifically a comeback decision. Traditionally, there were 1,700 volunteers and 28 stations. Now, there are 550 volunteers total for the new course. “It’s a little bit less infrastructure and a little easier on the volunteer side and that’s important for the community right now. So, give us a few years, and let’s see if we can get it back,” said Connelly.
He says the biggest crowds last year were up on Main Street and by the waterfront. He recommends spectators park outside of the mainstream Church St. and St. Paul Street footprint and walk down to where they want to view the race, or if they come early and park, you’ll likely be parked in until at least noon.
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