Location: South Hero, Vermont
Date: October 12, 2014
The Green Mountain Marathon has a website with most of the information you need. Packet pickup is on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (race morning). Folsom Elementary School, which acts as the race hub, is conveniently located and quite hospitable. The race is well-marked and aid stations are placed every two miles throughout the course.
You can stay in Burlington, Vermont, which is only 25 minutes away. You can also stay in Plattsburgh, New York, which is about an hour away (it’s not that far, but you have to take a ferry to get to the race if you’re coming from the New York side of the lake). In addition, Montreal is only 90 minutes away.
$55. You read that correctly. $55. I’ll be impressed if you can find a full marathon (with a shirt and race medal) that is cheaper than that!
This course rivals the Wineglass Marathon for scenery/fall foliage. The difference is that Wineglass finishes in Corning, a small city, whereas Green Mountain Marathon is 100% small-town.
Despite the name of the race, this course is about as flat as they come.
The race is an out and back – it starts at 190 ft elevation and has a high of 210 ft and a low of 100 ft.
It is a Boston qualifier.
Nearly half of the course is run on hard-packed dirt roads – when I said small-town, I wasn’t kidding! The dirt roads do not slow you down nearly as much as you would think.
You get a shirt and a race medal. Hey, it’s only $55 – what did you expect?!
The race starts and ends right near the house where Clarence Demar once lived. Demar won the Boston Marathon in 1911, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1928 and 1930, and he won a bronze medal in the marathon at the 1924 Olympics.
The race has drawn a few impressive age-groupers. For example, in 2013, 60-year-old Claude Skeene ran 3:12:46 and 56-year-old Deb Thomford ran 3:38:09.
This race isn’t for everyone. If you love NYC, Chicago and Boston, this might not be the race for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a well-organized, affordable race, this is perfect! Burlington is an amazing place to visit, as is Montreal. The course is quite scenic and it’s nice to go to an event and not worry about parking, start corrals, etc.