Maple Run expected to draw a crowd; some roads closed Sunday

Approximately 800 runners, many traveling with family and friends, are expected in Middlebury this weekend for the eighth edition of the Middlebury Maple Run – The Sweetest Half. The 13.1-mile half-marathon running race starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, in the parking lot behind Porter Hospital.
Event organizers added a new feature or two to the event every year. New this year:
• The oldest male and female finishers will receive a bottle of WhistlePig rye whiskey (bottled in Shoreham) for their efforts.
• A new age group award has been created for the race’s youngest participants. Boys and girls age 13-15 and 16-19 will have separate age group awards. The first-, second- and third-place boys and girls will be awarded bottles of maple syrup.
• Mr. Sappy, the race mascot, will make a special appearance and perhaps even run the race.
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 four nonprofits serving Addison County will receive funding: Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society; Open Door Clinic; Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects, known as HOPE; and MiddSummer Lunch/Charter House Coalition. 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 organizations that provide support services, such as the Middlebury Police Department and Middlebury Regional EMS.
Registrations are still being accepted. Online registration was open until Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m. Registrations will be accepted in-person at the Middlebury Inn from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, or at the start/finish area 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. Links to online registration can be found at the event website at: www.middleburymaplerun.com.
Road Closures
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 racecourse 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 that will be closed to traffic. The midway point and relay exchange zone is on the Middlebury College campus.
The event website is www.middleburymaplerun.com.

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