10 Races to Train For Now

Missed out on training for the spring marathons and half-marathons? Start now for the fall. Here are 10 gorgeous runs in every part of Vermont —including some new ones —each with a unique twist and in every corner of the state. 

Sept. 9-10: RAGNAR,
West Windsor

This one’s a little different: The idea of this national series is you get a team of runners, set up camp for the weekend and run…and run…and run. After a two-year hiatus. RAGNAR returns this year to the beautiful trails of the Ascutney Outdoor Center.  Runners complete loops on three trails, ranging from 3.1 to 7.2 miles in a relay format, with a total of 15 miles per runner with the race running through the night and a tent village at the base. Runragnar.com

Sept. 10: Charlotte Covered Bridge Half Marathon, Charlotte

There is nothing more Vermont than running under a covered bridge. Charlotte’s course (run a half, 10K or 5K, takes you under at one, past open farm fields with bales of hay, and along the shores of Lake Champlain. Racevermont.com

Sept. 10: Manchester Maple Leaf Half Marathon, Manchester 

Starting in the village of Manchester, this 13.1 mile course loops out through rural villages and farm fields showcasing some of the prettiest roads in southwestern Vermont. Last year’s record-setting time of 1:11:21 is the time to beat. Manchestervtmapleleaf.com

Sept. 17: Northeast Kingdom Marathon, Island Pond

What’s truly unique about this newer race? Entry is free. The USATF certified self-supported half/full marathon was started recently as a way to support Island Pond – a small, former railroad town nestled deep within the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Following the lead of the innovative Millinocket Marathon – runners who participate are asked to be generous and support the Island Pond community and surrounding region in every way possible. brightonrecreationvt.org

Oct. 1: Fly to Pie, Newport to West Glover

There is so much to love about this marathon (with shorter distance options, too)  but let’s start with the fact that it’s a one-way, 26.2 mile run through gorgeous (and hilly) Northeast Kingdom country. And it ends at one of our favorite pizza places, Parker Pie, in Glover. Kingdomgames.com

Oct. 2: Middlebury Maple Run, Middlebury

This half-marathon through the village of Middlebury and its college campus was moved from spring to fall this year. But the gorgeous course (with the option to do a two-person relay) is the same and covers both dirt roads and pavement, passing sheep and horse farms with a covered bridge crossing. The best part? Finishers get a jar of maple syrup and a pancake breakfast. Middleburymaplerun.com

Oct. 2: Leaf Peepers Half Marathon, Waterbury

One of the most popular half-marathons in the state, the Leaf Peepers makes a loop through town before heading out on the packed dirt of River Road, which parallels the Winooski River. https://leafpeepershalfmarathon.org

Oct. 16: GMAA Green Mountain Marathon, South Hero 

Perhaps the flattest and one of the fastest in Vermont, this marathon covers the back roads of the Champlain Islands and is a Boston Marathon qualifier.  Both the marathon and half marathon option start and end near the house in South Hero where Clarence H. DeMar, seven-time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived. The half-marathon course is out and back on the west shores of South Hero and Grand Isle; a land of farms, apple orchards, and summer cottages. Gmaa.run

Oct. 16: Trapp Mountain Marathon, Stowe 

The hills and trails of the Trapp Family Lodge come alive for this stunning fall race (a full or a half marathon) that’s run exclusively on trails. The Trapp Family Lodge owns 2,500 acres and the trails wind up to the Slayton Pasture cabin and down through open meadows, orchards, pastures where Highland cattle graze and big views. Be ready for big elevation gains. Ironwoodadventureworks.com 

Oct. 29: Field House Fall Half Marathon, Shelburne

End the marathon season with a run past Lake Champlain, apple orchards and parts of scenic.  In addition to the half-marathon, there are 5K and 10K options and a post-race meal catered by local favorite, Barkeaters restaurant. Racevermont.com

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