Middlebury Maple Run to draw more than 500 runners

MIDDLEBURY — More than 500 runners will toe the starting line on Sunday, May 5, for the 11th Middlebury Maple Run — The Sweetest Half. The event features three distinct races, giving athletes a choice of distances — a half marathon (13.1 miles), a two-person half marathon relay, and a 3-mile fun run. The race starts at 9 a.m. and the last runner will finish around noon. Typically, 40 percent of participants travel from other states, so Middlebury will be busy with athletes and their families and friends.
The most significant difference to this year’s race is a course change that affects the half marathoners and the second leg of the relay. The new route will divert runners at approximately mile 7.5 (at the college’s outdoor track) onto a segment of the Trail Around Middlebury and Middlebury College’s NCAA approved cross country trails. Runners will be on a wide dirt trail for about 1.25 miles that intersects with South Street Extension at approximately mile 8.75. A new course and elevation map will be posted to the event’s website soon.
“For several years we’ve been trying to improve traffic flow and runner safety near Porter Hospital. With traffic entering and exiting Porter and runners moving in both directions, this area of the course has become congested, created inconvenience for anyone accessing the hospital, and compromised runner safety,” said Sue Hoxie, race director. “We’re confident runners will like the variety of terrain this re-route offers. We’ve got it all — pavement, dirt, and trail.”
The number of participants in the 3-mile fun run has grown since it debuted in 2017. This is the first year that the top three male and female finishers will be eligible for prize money ($75/$50/$25). Race organizers have expanded age group awards so that the top male and female finishers in four age categories (12 and under, 13-18, 19-39, 40+) will receive a 250ml bottle of Vermont maple syrup.
After finishing their race, athletes can load up on freshly-made pancakes and locally-tapped maple syrup served by the Middlebury Lions Club. Entry into the post-race breakfast is included in runners’ registration fees, 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.
•  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 six pace groups with half marathon finish times of 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45.
•  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 $65,000 to area non-profits. Race proceeds are distributed through a grant program. This year, six non-profits serving Addison County will receive funding: ACORN, Addison County Home Health & Hospice, Bristol Family Center, Habitat for Humanity, Willowell Foudation and WomenSafe.
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 until race day or runners can register in person at the Middlebury Regional EMS from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 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 at middleburymaplerun.com.
Road Closures
There will be short-term road closures that 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 half marathon course is certified by USA Track & Field and is run mostly on a mix of paved and hard-packed dirt roads, as well as one mile on NCAA-approved dirt trail. The race features several elevation changes — mostly long grades, but the dirt trail section includes a short, steep hill. 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.

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