I just put in the relay registration for the Vermont City Marathon! So pumped! My friend and I are planning on splitting the race this year, so we would each run a half marathon.
VCM holds a special place in my heart. I think I first ran the race when I was in 6th grade and have run it many times since. Last year was particularly special for me because the college I go to is in Burlington, which is where the race is held. I had a lot of fun doing training runs on the course and visualizing my race plan. It’s not a gigantic race or anything, but it is pretty big for Vermont. When the end of May rolls around there are always plenty of people I know running it. All those regular faces I see at the small summer races line up in Burlington to take part.
A few of my relay bibs…
Unlike the past two years, I’m not going to train specifically for VCM. My big race is my marathon on May 11th and VCM is only two weeks later. I know, probably not the smartest idea. Since I’ve never run a full marathon I don’t really know what to expect for the recovery. I will definitely be taking those two weeks in between VERY easy. I know that I won’t feel too great for a little while and am aware that I probably won’t be racing at my potential for VCM. I’m just going to try not to get too competitive about it since I know there will be some familiar faces in the race. I’ll do my best to just enjoy the experience. After all, it is a pretty fun race.
Plenty of people have asked me why I’m not running VCM as my first full marathon. For me, it’s a mix of a few reasons. First, it’s really bad timing with school and all. Last year I had finals two weeks before VCM. During finals it can be really difficult to get good runs in, so my training wasn’t quite up to par, which basically meant that I had a really really long taper. Overall, just not good timing. Maine Coast Marathon is the weekend right after finals, which means that I’ll be tapering during exams. I hope that’ll work out better. Secondly, I’ve just had really crappy luck with the weather. Last year was 40 degrees and raining while the year before got up to mid-70’s by the end of the race. Watch, the weather will probably be perfect this year! I just kind of want to start on a clean slate and I think the race in Maine fits that better.
A Little About the Race
There are three different types of races in the marathon; the full 26.2, split it in half for two 13.1 legs, or a 3-5 person relay. I’ve run the second leg in the 5-person relay, and the second half, so the only part I haven’t done is the first 3.1 miles. The multi-person teams are chosen by lottery since there are so many people that want to take part. My friend and I both put in teams, and we’re just crossing our fingers that one of them gets picked!
The race begins at 8:00am on May 25th this year. It starts in Battery Park and goes all over Burlington – residential streets, the infamous Church St, out on the connecter, through a few parks, and finishes on the bike path overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The race definitely isn’t flat, but it’s not super hilly in my opinion either. There are a couple good hills, especially coming up Battery St around mile 15, but for 26.2 miles it really isn’t that bad. The last few miles end on the bike path and are flat to slightly downhill, which is awesome.
One of my favorite parts of the course is the entertainment factor. I always enjoy the Taiko drummers lining the course. Plus, the little kids in the neighborhoods are so cute handing out popsicles and cheering the runners on. The crowd is great and I never go more than a few miles without recognizing someone cheering for me.
What about you? Have you ever run VCM? How was it? Any other spring races coming up for you?