Each year, we send out a survey to find the best in Vermont’s outdoors. The best ski areas, shops, bars, brews and restaurants and more. To see all the 2019 Black Diamond Award winners click here:
BEST OUTDOOR EVENTS
The number of outdoor sports events held across the state has grown exponentially in the last few years.
In the March/April 2019 issue alone, we had to expand our events calendar to nearly five pages to include the growing number and breadth of events. And races are outdoing themselves.
Take the Vermont City Marathon: in 2018, for its 30th anniversary, it brought in Olympic medalist and Boston and New York Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi. New this year, the Prouty jumps to the top of the list of road riding events.
The biggest charity event north of Boston, the Prouty has a goal of raising $3 million in 2019 to go toward Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Research Center. While the Prouty weekend also features rowing, running and even golf, the bike rides—the Prouty 100 and the new Gravel Metric Century (which loops through Vermont’s back roads)—are the main draw. NEMBAFest won out in the mountain biking events, followed by the classic Vermont 50 and VMBAFest, which, we’re sorry to hear, will no longer be held.
Best Running Events: 1. Vermont City Marathon, Burlington 2. Race to the Top of Vermont, Stowe 3. Middlebury Maple Run, Middlebury 4. Vermont 50, Brownsville. 5. Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Woodstock
Best Mountain Bike Events: 1. NEMBAFest, Kingdom Trails 2. Vermont 50, Brownsville 3. VMBAFest, Ascutney 4. Leaf Blower Classic, Stowe 5. Circumburke, Burke
Best Road Rides: 1. The Prouty, Hanover/Lebanon 2. VSECU Point to Point, Ascutney 3. Kelly Brush Ride, Middlebury 4. Vermont Gran Fondo, Bristol 5. Long Trail Century Ride, Bridgewater
Best Gravel Rides: 1. Vermont Overland, Reading 2. WATA Gravel Grinder, Waterbury 3. Rasputitsa, Burke 4. Muddy Onion, Montpelier 5. Braintree 357, Braintree
Toughest Races 1. Race to the Top of Vermont, Stowe, 2. Spartan Race, Killington 3. Vermont 100, Windsor. 4. Infinitus 888K, Goshen, 5. Circumburke, Burke
Best Watersports Events: 1. Stand Up for the Lake, Burlington 2. Onion River Race & Ramble, Winooski River 3. Dragonboat Races, Burlington 4. St. Alban’s Great Race, St. Albans. 5. Lake Dunmore Triathlon, Middlebury
Wackiest Races: 1. Pond Skimming (everywhere) 2. Cochran’s Nordic Cross, Richmond . 3. Harris Hill Ski Jump, Brattleboro 4. Paintball Biathlon, Mountaintop Inn,
Chittenden 5. Mud & Ice Quadrathlon, Craftsbury
Featured image: Tinker Juarez leads the pack at the Overland Grand Prix, courtesy photo