Mad Marathon 2020 goes virtual

While the Mad Marathon won’t be run en masse this year, race director Dori Ingalls said the Mad Marathon will be hosting virtual races in July.

Shortly after the Toyko Olympics were canceled, Ingalls said she also expected to have to cancel.

“Based on guidance from medical, health officials, Vermont and federal agencies along with local restrictions and runner input, we have decided to postpone Mad Marathon 2020 and reschedule for July 11, 2021. The Mad Marathon team feels that hosting the race in July would put runners, volunteers, spectators, supporters and the Mad River Valley community at risk,” she said.

So, she’s taking it online with virtual races this summer. One such race, the Mad Marathon Challenge, will be unique in the running world and feature 26.2 miles in the Mad River Valley. The virtual races will be promoted worldwide in the weeks ahead focusing attention on our beautiful Vermont community.

Because of the deferral of the 2020 Mad Marathon to July 11, 2021, Ingalls said she and her team are offering three options for a virtual event this year. The first is a virtual Mad Marathon whereby participants complete a 26.2-mile marathon and submit their time and distance to the Mad Marathon for inclusion in the results. The second is a virtual half marathon whereby the participant completes a 13.1-mile half marathon and submits their time and distance to the Mad Marathon for inclusion in the Mad Half results. This will include walkers. The third is a three-hour Mad Marathon video course challenge.



“We will provide access to a video of the actual Mad Marathon course played over three hours and the challenge is to run as far as you can and submit your recorded distance for inclusion in the results,” Ingall said.

Another option is a virtual Mad Marathon and virtual half marathon in which participants can complete a 26.2- or 13.1-mile marathon over a course of their choosing during the marathon week of July 12 through 18, 2020. The run can be completed on a treadmill. The participant must have the ability to record the distance and time for their run using a recognized GPS device such as those sold by Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto, TomTom and more. Participants are encouraged to run with others but maintain social distancing. Once completed results must be submitted to the Mad Marathon. All those who complete the run will receive a medal.


Finally, Ingalls and her team are offering the Mad Marathon Three-Hour Challenge.

“It used to be that marathon runners would love to break the three-hour barrier. We know that this is not possible for everyone, but we would like to give every participant a three-hour running experience,” she said.

The Mad Marathon course has been filmed and edited into a three-hour running experience which can be viewed on various streaming platforms. To add to the experience the Mad Marathon will provide pre- and postevent activities, on-course messages and comments by past runners. Each participant can watch the video on their personal device while running on a treadmill. The participant must have the ability to record the distance traveled during the three-hour video and submit the result to the Mad Marathon. Prizes will be awarded and all will receive a finisher’s medal.

For those who would like to run the course on a treadmill, Ingalls has the course on a RunBetter app.