5 Great Fall Marathons for This Weekend

Running a marathon is always a worthy goal. But what better way to do it than during fall foliage season? Here are a few marathons around the state that will let you take in the color while you run. 

11-14 | 29029, Stratton

Run, walk or crawl up Stratton Mountain. Take the gondola down. Repeat 17 times until you climb 29,029 feet, the height of Mount Everest. Don’t miss the running festival with food, bands and beer at the bottom.

13 | Trapp Family Lodge Mountain Marathon, Stowe

This annual race–either a half or full marathon– takes runners through colorful fall foliage at the Trapp Family Lodge trails. The race is run on a 13.1-mile loop that is approximately 2/3 double track wide trails and dirt roads, and 1/3 serpentine, rugged singletrack. Full marathon racers will run the loop twice. It’s a challenging trail race with significant elevation gain and loss and some steep scrambling segments. Note: the course is very different from that of the Catamount Ultra, which speaks to the breadth and variety of trails at the Trapp Lodge property.

13 | Circumburke Mountain Marathon and Mountain Bike Challenge, Burke

This annual Northeast Kingdom trail running and mountain biking spectacular is hosted by Kingdom Trails, Burke Mountain and Victory Hill Sector. The 27-mile circuit brings athletes through singletrack and logging trails on Burke Mountain, the Victory Hill Sector and Kingdom Trails. The one-lap event is for runners or bikers and the two-lap event, dubbed the “Circumberzerk 50-miler,” is for bikers only. Expect to gain more than 3,000 feet per lap.

13 | Westmore Mountain Challenge, Westmore

Hailed as one of the most spectacular and challenging trail runs in Vermont, this annual race tends to sell out. It’s a hiking/trail running marathon up and over five Vermont peaks: Moose, Hor, Pisgah, Haystack and Bald Mountains and a fundraiser for the NorthWoods Conservation Corps. The run can be broken up into shorter hikes (as illustrated on the event’s website) but the full marathon is a rewarding feat. Plus, you’ll be looking over Lake Willoughby and the Northeast Kingdom during foliage. What’s not to like?

14 | Green Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon, South Hero

This half marathon and marathon begin and end near the house where Clarence H. Demar, seven-time Boston Marathon winner and Vermonter, once lived. Both are scenic out-and-backs on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle. The race winds past farms, apple orchards and summer cottages on terrain that is flat to rolling and about half hard-packed dirt road. Both races finish at the Folsom School and there will be aid stations every two miles.