Green Mountain Marathon – Race Review

GMM

Location: South Hero, Vermont

Champlain_map

Date: October 12, 2014

Race Organization: five stars original

The Green Mountain Marathon has a website with most of the information you need. Packet pickup is on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (race morning). Folsom Elementary School, which acts as the race hub, is conveniently located and quite hospitable. The race is well-marked and aid stations are placed every two miles throughout the course.

You can stay in Burlington, Vermont, which is only 25 minutes away. You can also stay in Plattsburgh, New York, which is about an hour away (it’s not that far, but you have to take a ferry to get to the race if you’re coming from the New York side of the lake). In addition, Montreal is only 90 minutes away.

Cost: five stars original

$55. You read that correctly. $55. I’ll be impressed if you can find a full marathon (with a shirt and race medal) that is cheaper than that!

Course: four stars

This course rivals the Wineglass Marathon for scenery/fall foliage. The difference is that Wineglass finishes in Corning, a small city, whereas Green Mountain Marathon is 100% small-town.

GMM1

Despite the name of the race, this course is about as flat as they come.

CertVT09006RF

The race is an out and back – it starts at 190 ft elevation and has a high of 210 ft and a low of 100 ft.

It is a Boston qualifier.

Nearly half of the course is run on hard-packed dirt roads – when I said small-town, I wasn’t kidding! The dirt roads do not slow you down nearly as much as you would think.

GMM2

Swag: threestars

You get a shirt and a race medal. Hey, it’s only $55 – what did you expect?!

Other: four stars

The race starts and ends right near the house where Clarence Demar once lived. Demar won the Boston Marathon in 1911, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1928 and 1930, and he won a bronze medal in the marathon at the 1924 Olympics.

The race has drawn a few impressive age-groupers. For example, in 2013, 60-year-old Claude Skeene ran 3:12:46 and 56-year-old Deb Thomford ran 3:38:09.

Overall: four stars

This race isn’t for everyone. If you love NYC, Chicago and Boston, this might not be the race for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a well-organized, affordable race, this is perfect! Burlington is an amazing place to visit, as is Montreal. The course is quite scenic and it’s nice to go to an event and not worry about parking, start corrals, etc.

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19 Responses to Green Mountain Marathon – Race Review

  1. jeri says:

    Cheaper? No. same price? yes. http://www.brookingsmarathon.com/ and they have giant medals, long sleeved tech shirts, and a monster post-race spread. Sometimes sodak is advantageous, I guess. πŸ˜‰

  2. emmelineruns says:

    This is exactly my kind of race, small town, flat, and dirt roads πŸ™‚ why must it be so far away?!

    • Jason says:

      You can fly right into Burlington and stay there!

      By the way, you are tied for first in the March Madness contest – you both have Florida and Arizona… but she has Michigan and you have Michigan State!

  3. mskatieblaze says:

    Great review! I live in the south and you really have me considering this race!

  4. piratebobcat says:

    I like this! I want to run it. I’ll put this on my to do list.

  5. It sounds like a great race. I had to giggle thought – a race that’s got mountain in the name but is flat as a pancake – brilliant! πŸ˜‰

  6. vttrailgirl says:

    I love this course! A good portion of it is run along Lake Champlain, one of my most favorite places in the world. South Hero and it’s sister islands are so different than the rest of Vermont. It’s more like being by the sea and less like the mountains. The views are incredible. If I can offer a precaution, it’s the wind…it’s relentless in spots.
    There are beautiful small inns all over South and North Hero, for lodging. I think North Hero House is still in business.
    Thanks for featuring this marathon. It brought back great memories!

    • Jason says:

      Awesome! I’m impressed that someone else knew this race! And thanks for the suggestions – it’s good to know you can stay right there!

  7. Thanks for the review; this looks like a gorgeous course – and the price can’t be beat!

  8. dnardi710 says:

    This sounds great actually! I have to be honest I actually prefer smaller races for the most part…no crowding, less fuss, just show up and run!

  9. Lovely! And Burlington is really not that far from me! And definitely come visit me in Montreal πŸ˜€ xoxo

  10. mizunogirl says:

    Jacksonville Bank in Jacksonville Florida last year was 55.00 but they seem to have decided to raise the bar to 70. I wish I had seen this post earlier as I was looking for a COLD fall marathon. Looks a lot better than Wineglass to me, just with the community feel and dirt roads. Will put it on the radar for future.

    • Jason says:

      You should check out the Empire State Marathon (https://mustlovejogs.com/2014/03/14/empire-state-marathon-race-review/). I’m biased because I live here but it’s in the fall and it’s definitely cold!

      • mizunogirl says:

        I had looked at that one. This year it has to be Jax Bank because it was paid for by pace Per Mile….And Coach man finally vetoed all out of state races- every time I do one things happen, and it gets me all discombobulated. I went to college in Rochester, so I LOVE love NY, especially upstate. They have great running! And boy if I can get a race in the 40-50 degree range, I’m a happy runner, now off to train at 7 am in the 75-80 degree heat of “spring!” Thanks for the recommendation! It is amazing how many awesome races are out there if one just looks. I’m not one for the huge “rock and Roll events” these are the ones I want to be involved with!

  11. Maria M says:

    Jonathan lives in Burlington and his condo rental overlooks Lake Champlain.

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