Thursday, June 15, 2017

Vermont Covered Bridges Half Marathon



June 4, 2017
Woodstock to Quechee, VT
Time: 1:45:30
AG Place: 16th


I FINALLY was able to cross Vermont off my list. I have read many race reviews from other websites trying to find the best race to run in Vermont, and this received the highest reviews by far. And I understand why. 

So on Saturday, Mom and I traveled up to Manchester, NH. Later in the day might I add because there was no packet pickup the day before the race. Already bonus points right there because there were not a lot of flights out of DC available. 

We drove up to Quechee VT and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express which I recommend the area we were in because it was close to the highway, to dining options and not far from the race parking lot/finish area. That night we dined at the Norwich Inn which was a lovely restaurant and excellent. I highly recommend it as they had plenty of food options. 

The next morning we got up rather early because we had to drive to the parking lot and take the shuttle up to the top of the mountain. Now I say mountain because the staging area was actually Killington Mountain where people go skiing every year. It was about a 15-20 minute drive, and while we waited in line to get on the bus, organizers were handing out water bottles. The organization that morning was perfection. 

Once we got to the top of the mountain, we went to pick up our bibs at the tent. We probably could have slept in later, but race organizers directed us to get to the lot before 6:30, which we did. Once we got our bibs (which we did not need to show proof of identification (weird), we hung around and tried to stay warm. Oh yeah, it was a bit nippy that morning. Lows in the 40s. 

Around 8:00 am organizers informed us to begin lining up. We lined up on the two-lane road behind a blow up sign that said start. At 8:15 am sharp, the gun went off, and that was it. We were on our way. The course was pretty much a net downhill, meaning we started higher and ended lower, but there were some hills and rollers in there. 

The course was beautiful, and we wondered how many bridges we actually would run over. FYI, it was 1. You only run over 1. So the course began down that two-lane road, through neighborhoods, some roads not paved and took us past farms, cows, golf clubs and along the river. There were water stops at every 2 miles, but we didn't get any Gatorade until mile 6. I will say, I did not like that feature and believe they should have had both options at every stop. It started to warm up, and I took off my long sleeve shirt and hat. I was overheating quickly. 

The hill at mile 8 was the worse, but everyone said that. Steep as can be if you look above and see the quick blip that goes up immediately. But at that hill, people were passing out Ice cubes which was very nice and appreciated. 

The turnout of spectators was very welcoming, and they knew the main spots to go to, specifically the hill. There were minimal cars as the route was 90% closed off to traffic. 

The mileage was marked very well, and overall this race was impeccable. The finish area included a yoga station that I took full advantage of the stretch it out, plenty of food options and an ice cream truck. There was also transportation back to the parking lot if you chose to ride or you could walk the .7 miles. 

Overall, I was very impressed with this race, how beautiful it was and of course welcomed the net downhill. The medal I will say was the only thing I was not crazy about. It was small and nothing spectacular. 

Perks: The course, the organization, post race food, spectators, packet pickup the day of.
Ehh... not a fan: the medal, lack of Gatorade until mile 6

Grade: A-


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