More than 700 runners, many traveling with family and friends, are expected in Middlebury the weekend of May 6-7 for the ninth edition of the Middlebury Maple Run – The Sweetest Half. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 7th from the parking lot behind Porter Hospital.
Race organizers have added a three-mile fun run to this year’s event, giving athletes three distances to choose from—a half marathon (13.1 miles), a two-person half marathon relay, and the three-mile fun run. This shorter distance will appeal to new runners who are interested in getting their feet wet in a running event or anyone interested in making it into a fun family event. The three-mile fun run uses the same start and finish as the longer races, starts at the same time (9 a.m.) and uses a loop course that is a subset of the longer course.
After finishing their race, athletes can load up on freshly-made pancakes and locally-tapped maple syrup. The Rotary Club of Middlebury cooks the post-race breakfast which in addition to satisfying hungry runners, it also serves as a fundraiser for Rotary projects. Entry into the post-race breakfast is included in the registration fee for all runners, and guest tickets are available for purchase.
In addition to the pancake breakfast, back by popular demand this year:
- Event sponsor WhistlePig Farms is offering a bottle of WhistlePig Rye Whiskey to the oldest male and female finishers of the full half-marathon distance
- Live music along the route provided by Middlebury College student bands
- Finishers’ medals produced by Maple Landmark Woodcraft
- Vermont-made syrup for age group awards
- Winners’ medals produced by Danforth Pewter
In addition to bringing visitors to Middlebury during tourism’s shoulder season, the race’s secondary mission is to raise funds for local charities. Since 2009 the Middlebury Maple Run has donated more than $55,000 to area non-profits. Since 2014 race proceeds are distributed through a grant program. This year, three non-profits serving Addison County will receive funding:
- Boys and Girls Club of Vergennes
- Havurah House
Race proceeds are also distributed to organizations that provide support services such as the Middlebury Police Department and Middlebury Regional EMS.
Registrations are still being accepted online until race day or runners can register in person at the Middlebury Regional EMS from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 6th or from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. on the morning of the race. Links to online registration can be found at the event website at: www.middleburymaplerun.com.
There will be two short-term road closures to make the race safe for participants and motorists:
· 8:55 – 9:15 a.m.: South Street from Collins Drive to Main Street and the intersections of Route 30/Academy Street/College Street/Weybridge Street. Once all the runners have cleared the College Street/Weybridge Street intersection the road will be re-opened.
· 9:45 – 11:30 a.m.: South Street and South Street Extension from Porter Field Road to the intersection of Morse Road. Residents, employees, hospital visitors and emergency vehicles will be permitted to pass.
The road closures have the approval of the town of Middlebury, the Middlebury Police Department, Porter Hospital, and the Middlebury Regional EMS.
About the Course
The half marathon race course is certified by USA Track & Field and 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.
Community Support Essential
Support from the business community is essential to the event’s success. IPJ Real Estate and Marble Trail Financial (also known as Addison Advisors) return this year as title co-sponsors of the half marathon. Middlebury Pediatric Dentistry and Porter Medical Center/UVM Health Network is sponsoring the three-mile fun run. Support is also provided by the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Deppman & Foley, Omya, Cabot Cheese, Middlebury Fitness, WhistlePig Farms, Two Brothers Tavern, National Bank of Middlebury, Drink Maple, Mitchell’s Tees, Middlebury Regional EMS, as well as media sponsors Addison Independent and 92.1 WVTK.
About the Middlebury Maple Run
The Middlebury Maple Run, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was started in 2009 by a group of local runners to raise funds for charity and to create an event that brings 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; 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. The event website is www.middleburymaplerun.com.
Photo caption: Phoebe Novello, West Windsor, Vermont, was the first female to finish the half-marathon distance in 2016. She ran the 13.1 course in a time of 1:21:18. Phoebe also won the race in 2014.