Maple Run half-marathon coming Sunday

MIDDLEBURY — Approximately 800 runners, many traveling with family and friends, are expected in Middlebury the weekend of May 2-3 for the seventh edition of the Middlebury Maple Run – The Sweetest Half. The race is set for Sunday, May 3, at 9 a.m., with runners starting from and finishing at the Porter Hospital campus on South Street.
This year’s field of entrants includes Michelle Lilienthal, an elite runner from Portland, Maine. Lilienthal’s personal best at the half marathon distance is 1:11:45 (5:28 minutes per mile) set at the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championship for a third-place finish. The current course record for women is 1:24:08 set by Sara Tuff Dunn in 2012. The men’s course record is 1:14:23 set by Taylor Sundali, also in 2012. Lilienthal will be visiting Middlebury-based friends.
In addition to bringing visitors to Middlebury during tourism’s shoulder season, the race’s secondary mission is to raise funds for local charities. Race proceeds are distributed through a grant program. This year, five nonprofits serving Addison County will receive funding: Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program, Addison County River Watch Collaborative, Charter House Coalition, Special Olympics of Addison County, and Addison County Readers. The common thread among the recipients is that their projects will have the biggest bang for the buck in terms of the number of people served, reached or affected.
Race proceeds are also distributed to Girls on the Run as well as organizations that provide support services such as the Middlebury Police Department and Middlebury Regional EMS.
Registrations are still being accepted. Runners can register online at www.middleburymaplerun.com until Thursday, April 30, at 4 p.m. Registrations will be accepted in person at the Middlebury Inn from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, or at the start/finish area on the morning of the race from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Student registration rates never change: $40 individual/$50 team. The rates for non-students are $60 individual/$80 team.
About the Course
The 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.
The Middlebury Maple Run 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; and Andrea Solomon, race co-director. The event website is www.middleburymaplerun.com.

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