The 2019 Mad Marathon, Mad Half and Relays are fast approaching with the ninth annual race slated for Sunday, July 7. Since 2011 this community event has hosted runners from all 50 states and territories along with 26 countries, last year adding Belgium and South Africa.
The field of runners for 2019 is shaping up to be another diverse group of talented athletes, according to race director and founder Dori Ingalls, Warren.
As a destination marathon, athletes’ ages have ranged from a 10-year-old running on a five-person family team to several marathoners in the over 75-year-old division and a few in over 80. For some runners the Mad Marathon is an introductory race while others have run hundreds. Marathon guide guru and owner, nicknamed Marathon Junkie, Chuck Engle is returning for his fifth quest to win the Mad Marathon. Ingalls again welcomes Bart Yasso, author of “My Life on the Run” and his new publication, “Race Everything.” Yasso is a running legend recently retired from Runner’s World Magazine and a huge fan of the Mad River Valley community. Ironman legend Dr. Bob Laird will return for the ninth year to organize the medical team and longtime sportscaster Peter Graves will be behind the microphone welcoming runners to the finish line.
The Mad Marathon has received numerous awards over the past years from marathon and half marathon clubs along with Vermont’s Department of Tourism and Travel.
Last year the race was named for the second time a Top Ten Summer Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, the Mad River Valley has received worldwide attention by Runner’s World Magazine as a Top Ten Destination Marathon in 2018 and again for 2019. The Mad Marathon was in the company of large marathons in Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; Tromoso, Norway; Sydney, Australia; and the Great Wall Marathon in Tianjin, China. The other three events on the list are marathons in Missoula, Montana; Anchorage, Alaska; and Kauai, Hawaii.
“These awards are based on a variety of criteria including exceptional volunteers, friendly community, course beauty, organization, hospitality and more. As far as I am concerned, these awards belong to the Mad River Valley community,” said Ingalls.
“The Mad Marathon would not exist without generous sponsors, committed volunteers, friends and dedicated runners that have grown the Mad Marathon into this unique and exceptional event. I continue to be thankful for the support of this wonderful Mad River Valley community,” she added.
A variety of activities are planned around the Mad Marathon. Launching the weekend of events will be Lawson’s Finest free concert on the Mad River Green July 5 with The Grift. Saturday morning, July 6, the Mad Mile returns for youth runners and the Kids Rainbow Run will be hosted once again in the evening. For more information and registration visit www.madmarathon.com.
Expect brief road closures (open to local residents) Sunday, July 7.