Vermont City Marathon Race Recap & Review

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Vermont City Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Pre-Race๏ปฟ

As you may know by this point, I am not a phenomenal planner, so of course I had family things to do marathon weekend that made it so I wasn’t able to be in Burlington nearly as much as I would have liked. Originally I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but after seeing how much the entire town gets into the race, I really would love to make an entire weekend of it next time! I haven’t run many large races to compare, but living so close to Boston I have spectated the Boston Marathon many years, and Vermont had the similar feel of the entire city being taken over by running. Needless to say, it was very cool!

My boyfriend and I arrived Saturday evening (after a few delays) right at the end of the expo so we didn’t get to really see all the awesomeness. Though the volunteers were INSANELY friendly and helpful in suggesting food stops, shops, race day spectating spots, or any other tips you needed about the area or race!

With all the friendliness plus the giant maple syrup bottle it was hard to remember we weren’t in Canada ๐Ÿ˜‚โค๏ธ

I love camping (and saving money isn’t terrible) so if I can I generally try and find a campsite rather than hotel for racecations. I found the North Beach Campground was not only right on the bike path that was part of the course, but it was only a little over a mile away from the start! I loved that in a worst case scenario of being unable to find parking (since the start was in downtown), Christian could just drop me off and walk back to the action. This also gave us the option of just walking to the start as a nice morning activity/warm up. In the end it was torrential raining all night making for a pretty cold next morning so we opted to drive.

The green area is the campground. Pretty much at the mile 25 mark!
๏ปฟRace Day

I generally am laid back about races and don’t need to be at the start much earlier than necessary so the 6 minute drive was perfect to let me sleep in as much as possible. Also contrary to my worries, we had no issue finding parking what so ever, even with it being the latest time they recommended parking due to road closures. AND we were only like a 5 minute walk away from the start.

The park that the start is held at was mildly chaotic, but again I’ve never had experience with such a large race before so it easily could have just been the sheer amount of runners. We were in line for the port-o-potties when they announced that we needed to evacuate the park because of a severe storm. I honestly thought it was a joke at first because the half of the sky I had been looking at looked like a beautiful day, but looking the opposite direction it looked SUPER ominous. We evacuated to the nearest building which, for Christian and I, ended up being an awesome little church. Since we were all just hanging out, the pastor decided to redo a portion of the morning’s service. It was all running/racing based and included a talk/prayer and a song! It was honestly really, really cool and I was really grateful for the storm in the end because as a non-religious person I would have never gotten to experience it had there been no evacuation. We also happened to take shelter with the local weatherman so we got a live weather forecast and update about the storm afterwards! It down poured and lightninged, but it passed pretty quickly and we were allowed back to the start.

The Race!!

The start was HUGE! It was kind of hard to squeeze into place, but once it actually started the pace picked up surprisingly quickly! There were a lot of people around you for awhile, but I didn’t feel like people were in the way or slowing/blocking me. After the storm passed it seemed like it was going to be a hot, sunny day so I tried to drink a little water at every station. Literally my only “complaint” about this race was that the water was in plastic cups instead of paper, making it so I couldn’t squeeze the top shut for a smaller hole to drink from. For me being able to use that technique is a big deal because otherwise I’m hopeless at drinking from a cup ๐Ÿ˜…

Two of my Ragnar teammates found me at the start!

The first segment flew by! (But it was only a 5k..) And we were back at the start area! I did REALLY like this course’s “clover” shape so you see your spectators 3 times not including the start and finish. That also means you have 3 mid-race segments that have end-of-race crowd density while you run through the center of downtown that’s been completely closed off by the race and spectators. Again, I felt that little Boston vibe.

The second segment is an out and back over a closed segment of highway (but scenic highway). I’m pretty sure it was gradually downhill out and gradually uphill back. I was a fan. It was also cool because we drove down it as we left and I was all, “This looks familiar.. wait we ran here!” and Christian wouldn’t believe they closed the whole highway down for us until I showed him it definitely was on the course map. I always think it’s neat when they shut down and let runners take over entire roads for races!

Once in downtown again I got a lay! It was crazy how many people there were with signs or handing out things to help runners (nutrition, hydration, and motivation-wise). I feel like the rest of the race, anytime we were running through neighborhoods, every local was outside cheering or offering you something. As for my race, I accidentally totally subconsciously sped up at mile 12 because half marathons.. oops. And kept it up through 15 because we were back in town and it was hard not to get overly hyped. There was also one big hill DURING the crowded section (YAAAAAS hills โค๏ธ)so you know I was going to try and sprint up that.

Only having a little fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

The last section was definitely not my best. I started having some stomach problems at mile 17ish, I think. I wasn’t thinking I could eat my fuel anymore and plain water sounded awful. Luckily there were an INSANE amount of locals handing out ice pops and watermelon which did sound ok so I lived off crowd support the rest of the race. I think part of my problem was I don’t plan ahead so I hadn’t really looked at the course in detail and though the segments were more even. The last one being extra long when I didn’t expect it was definitely disheartening. Mile 21 I slowly started my pity party and now I wish I had thought to bring my Aftershokz for when I did actually need something to take my mind off the race. At mile 23 my hip (sleeping on the ground definitely left me sore) started to hurt so badly I came stupidly close to stopping. Honestly I think I might have if I hadn’t had to quit Providence at mile 23. For some reason that was the last straw, and there was absolutely no way I was stopping at the exact same mile again. I think I had even talked myself into being able to stop at 24, just not 23 lol. But then soon as I got to 24 I started feeling better and kind of figured I should just finish it at this point ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was definitely hard running directly by my campsite. I think 25 is when the 4 hour pacers caught me so I cranked out mile 26 way faster than I thought I could in order to pass them back. The last like 100-200 meters was on grass which was a really cool throwback to highschool XC for me! I made my goal of under 4 hours with 3:57:51, but by gun time I missed it by 5 seconds (which doesn’t actually matter, just makes my finish photo looks SUPER disappointing ๐Ÿ˜‚).

Pretending I’m not dying on the bike path lol
SUCH an awesome finish pic!!
Post Race๏ปฟ

Like I said, I had to scoot after the race, even more so with the late start since we were now late to checkout of our campsite. But again the whole city was in on the race so the campground already knew and weren’t upset. We did run by the Ben & Jerry’s factory on our way out, but the tours aren’t self-guided and everyone seemed to have the same idea so we didn’t have time. We did take a look at the ice cream flavor graveyard though which I didn’t know was a thing, but was funny!

Marathon Training: Week 6

Now that I’m done cutting training weeks short with races I’ll start posting weekly updates again! I’ll post about the races soon I swear!!

[Day 36] Monday, September 25
Easy 6 MI (@9:02-9:45)

Monday was SUPER humid and didn’t feel like Fall at all. It was scheduled for easy and after having run the Jamestown Half and Rugged Maniac Saturday I made sure to do so. Even while taking it slow I felt like I had turned to liquid by the end of my run. My Performance Condition went down for the first time since getting my new watch โ˜น๏ธ, but I blame passing by the evil dog’s house because I can guarantee I slowed down my pace and my heart rate went way up all at once (even though the dog wasn’t actually present). My right foot bothered me a bit again. (It started during the half Saturday.)
7.26 mi @ 8:46

[Day 37] Tuesday, September 26
6 x [800 (@7:02), 400 Recovery (@9:02-10:19)]

I felt pretty awful all day Tuesday so I didn’t think a track workout was going to go well or get done at all. The sun is starting to set SO early so I tried going to my high school track instead of college because I had been told they had lights. It was really nice to actually have other people still out and running “with” you since they didn’t have to be insane enough to run in complete darkness. They even had bathrooms right next to the track that they left open at night!!! I actually was so excited about the bathrooms that I used the men’s twice before realizing. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The workout ended up going just fine, but my foot was hurting pretty bad by the end.
800s @ 6:55, 6:56, 6:51, 6:50, 6:54, 6:41
Total : 6.52 mi @ 8:25

[Day 38] Wednesday, September 27
Rest

On Wednesday I decided to try using my Kinvara again since it felt like my foot was hurting where my Pegususes had a bump for support. My foot felt somewhat better. It kept misting, making it even more humid than Monday’s run. ๐Ÿคข Today was just a day to makeup some miles for my Challengeville Bigfoot challenge so I took it easy.
7.26 mi @ 8:54

[Day 39] Thursday, September 28
Tempo 5 MI (@8:01)

Race pictures for the Jamestown Half came in on Thursday!! Needless to say I was pretty pumped! I wasn’t super feeling the tempo workout scheduled for today. Definitely was a bit of a rough time keeping the pace at points, but did it!
5 mi @ 7:45 [7:50, 7:53, 7:48, 7:44, 7:44]
Total: 7.22 mi @ 8:09

[Day 40] Friday, September 29
Easy 5 MI (@9:02-9:45)

Oh man it actually felt like Fall on Friday!! I got out of work early to run so I could help my boyfriend’s grandparents stomp grapes to make their wine! That also meant I got to do my whole run in daylight ๐Ÿ˜Ž. I felt overall better than Thursday and my foot felt better too!
7.24 mi @ 8:27

[Day 41] Saturday, September 30
Easy 6 MI (@9:02-9:45)

I cut Saturday short since I only needed 5 miles to complete the challenge and had extended other days longer than scheduled. I even managed to be the first newbie to complete the Bigfoot Challenge! (Might have been by default.. dunno.. but still counts!)
5.14 mi @ 8:37

[Day 42] Sunday, October 1
Long 10 MI (@8:42)

Felt really good! It was a nice confidence booster to feel so good running 10 miles decently fast, but I couldn’t keep a pace to save my life. It literally felt like every time I tried to slow down I sped up and vise versa. I’m hoping to improve upon that before the marathon since pacing myself early on is going to be pretty important.
10.09 mi @ 8:19

Weekly Total: 50.72

Thanks again for reading!