Saturday, I ran the Maple Leaf Half Marathon. The race was held in
Manchester Vermont. It is a beautiful little town that offers many mom-and -pop restaurants, craft shops, retail shops in a beautiful valley setting surrounded by the Green Mountains.
The proceeds from the race were donated to The Manchester (VT) Lions Club and Make-A-Wish Vermont Foundation.
Last week I ran a little less than my usual mileage. I wanted my body to feel fresh for the big day and perform well. During the summer months, I integrated more strength training along with my running workouts to improve my overall strength and endurance. I was hoping to become less of a “Back of the Pack Turtle Runner”.
Early Saturday morning around 4:00am, I drove to VT to get there in time to pick up my race packet and prepare for the race. It was such a quick and easy drive! No traffic at 4am! The weather was in the low 50’s and partly cloudy. It was a bit humid. Ugh!
The start was at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center. The start facilities were great. Thompson Recreation Park has a playground, ball fields, Dog Park, 1-mile walking path, and plenty of bathrooms to use before race time.
At 8:00am we all lined up to start the race. There was about 1000 runners. A young man sang the National Anthem, and then we were sent on our way to complete 13.1 miles. The course had a lot of rolling hills and one long killer hill at mile 8.
It was definitely one of the charming cute race courses I’ve ran so far! It was very scenic and fun. The landscapes of Vermont are gorgeous.
I loved it. The race travelled through downtown Manchester, down country roads, past farms and then back to the Recreation center for the finish. Despite my fall allergies and 76% humidity, I had a great run. My muscles felt good and my lungs were able to keep up. The miles flew by.
Three hours later, I collected a beautiful medal. I am still a turtle runner…but a happy stronger one.
The refreshments served after the race was excellent. There was chocolate milk, bagels, cookies, fruit, ice cream and much more.
After having a bite to eat, I headed back home.
Overall the race was a well-organized fun race. It is Back-of-the Pack Friendly. Throughout the race, volunteers were checking on us to see how we were doing.
Later in the evening, I curled up on the couch to watch TV with my spouse and enjoyed some nice relaxation time.