Get ready for the Maple Run

For a decade now runners have been coming to the Land of Milk and Honey during the first week in May to take part in the most beautiful half-marathon around. On Sunday, May 6, the Middlebury Maple Run celebrates its 10th anniversary. Founded in 2009 by a group of running enthusiasts, the event has grown from a starting field of 225 runners in its first year to more than 850 in 2017. Various perks have been added to the event during the past decade: a two-person relay race (2010), a three-mile fun run (2017), a pancake breakfast (2015), live music along the course by Middlebury College student musicians (2015), a finishers’ medal produced by Maple Landmark (2014), among other highlights.
“We’ve always tried to add something new or different every year of the race to make it interesting and keep runners coming back,” said Sue Hoxie, race co-director. “But, what has remained the same over the years are the friendly volunteers, a beautiful, scenic race course, and a desire to support the local economy and Addison County nonprofit organizations. This race has really become a destination event for New England runners and annual tradition for many who live locally.“
New for 2018 are two programs that will help runners achieve their goals. A 16-week training program with personalized coaching was available to all runners to help them prepare for the event by giving them a schedule of miles to run per day and week. On race day complimentary pacing services will be available for runners with goal times of 1 hour, 40 minutes, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30. Both programs are free with registration and keep runners on track to meet their goals.
This year’s races offer athletes three distances to choose from — a half marathon (13.1 miles), a two-person half marathon relay, and a three-mile fun run. The shorter distance may appeal to new runners who are interested in getting their feet wet in a running event or anyone interested in turning the day into a family event. The three-mile fun run uses the same start and finish as the other distances and uses a loop, much of it through the Middlebury College campus, that is a subset of the longer course. The half marathon and relay races start at 9 a.m. and the three-mile fun run starts at 9:15 a.m. The fun run is not recommended for children under 7 and baby strollers are not permitted on the course.
After finishing their race, athletes can load up on freshly-made pancakes and locally-tapped maple syrup. Entry into the post-race breakfast is included in the registration fee for all runners, and guest tickets are available for purchase.
In addition to the pancake breakfast, back by popular demand this year:
• Event sponsor WhistlePig Farms is offering a bottle of WhistlePig Rye Whiskey to the oldest male and female finishers of the full half-marathon distance. 
• Live music along the route provided by Middlebury College student bands
• Finishers’ medals produced by Maple Landmark Woodcraft
• Vermont-made syrup for age group awards
• Winners’ medals produced by Danforth Pewter

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