Middlebury Maple Run expected to draw crowd; roads to be closed

MIDDLEBURY — More than 800 runners, many traveling with family and friends, are expected in Middlebury the weekend of May 5-6 for the 10th anniversary of the Middlebury Maple Run – The Sweetest Half. On Sunday, May 6, runners will toe the starting line located in the parking lot behind Porter Hospital. The half-marathon starts at 9 a.m., with approximately 550 runners, and the 3-mile fun run, with an anticipated 250 runners, starts at 9:15 a.m.
The Middlebury Maple Run hosts three distinct races, giving athletes several distances to choose from: a half-marathon (13.1 miles), a two-person half-marathon relay, and the three-mile fun run. This shorter distance will appeal to new runners who are interested in getting their feet wet in a running event or anyone interested in making it into a fun, family event. There are nearly 100 elementary school students pre-registered for the fun run — from Mary Hogan School, Salisbury Community School and Vergennes Union Elementary School. The three-mile distance uses the same start and finish as the longer races, and uses a loop course that is a subset of the longer course.
A new feature of this year’s race is complimentary race pacing services. Half-marathoners with goals for a specific finish time can run with a pace leader and be assured of finishing the race in their desired time. There will be five pace groups with half-marathon finish times of 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30. This service is being offered by Beast Pacing, a California-based company that uses local runners to help race participants achieve their goals.
After finishing their race, athletes can load up on freshly made pancakes and locally tapped maple syrup. The Middlebury Lions Club cooks the post-race breakfast. 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 are:
•  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.
•  A shot of UnTapped All Natural Athletic Fuel.
•  Finishers’ medals produced by Maple Landmark Woodcraft.
•  Vermont-made syrup for age group awards.
•  Winners’ medals produced by Danforth Pewter.
•  Fundraising Event.
In addition to bringing visitors to Middlebury during tourism’s shoulder season, the race’s secondary mission is to raise funds for local charities. Since 2009, the Middlebury Maple Run has donated more than $60,000 to area non-profits. Since 2014, race proceeds are distributed through a grant program. This year, six non-profits serving Addison County will receive funding: Dinners with Love, Hospice Volunteer Services, Middlebury Summer Lunch Program, Open Door Clinic, Special Olympics and the TurningPoint Center of Addison County.
Race proceeds are also distributed to organizations that provide support services such as the Middlebury Police Department and Middlebury Regional EMS.
Registrations are being accepted online until race day or runners can register in person at the Middlebury Regional EMS from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, or from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. on the morning of the race. Links to online registration can be found at the event website middleburymaplerun.com.
The half-marathon 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 that will be closed to traffic. The midway point and relay exchange zone is on the Middlebury College campus.
Support from the business community is essential to the event’s success. IPJ Real Estate and Marble Trail Financial return this year as title co-sponsors of the half-marathon. Other sponsors include Deppman Law, WhistlePig Farms, UnTapped, Danforth, Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Cabot Cheese, Community Barn Ventures, Drink Maple, Green Mountain Yogurt, National Bank of Middlebury, Omya, Mitchell’s Tees, and Middlebury Regional EMS. The media sponsor is the Addison Independent.
The Middlebury Maple Run, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, 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 of Deppman Law, Dave Donahue of Middlebury College, Race Co-directors Sue Hoxie and Andrea Solomon, and Angelo Lynn of the Addison Independent. The event website is middleburymaplerun.com.
Maple Run Road Closures
During this Sunday’s race in Middlebury there will be two short-term road closures to make the race safe for participants and motorists
• 8:55-9:10 a.m. and 9:20-9:30 a.m.: South Street from Collins Drive near Porter Hospital 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.

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