**This post has been updated to address questions about course certification. Please read entire post. **
If you’ve had the opportunity to flip through your Runner and Guest Handbook, perhaps you’ve noticed that we made some modifications to the course for the 2011 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. Specifically, we modified the course route in Waterfront Park. For the very first time the course will finish by running down the middle of the lawn in the south end of the Park. The actual Finish Line itself will be just a few hundred feet from the ECHO Lake Aquarium traffic circle.
In the Finish Area runners will be greeted with medals, blankets, water, a quick snack and medical services if needed. After some decompression time, runners will exit the Finish corral and head for the new Reunion Zone where to meet friends and family. Our planning team, including a strong group of local runners, contributed to the plan for the location of other services in the Park.
You’ll find all the necessary amenities, including the Runners Food Tent, Massage Tent, Baggage Tent and all of your favorite vendors (like Ben & Jerry’s & Michelob Light) in the heart of Waterfront Park. Some of the other folks who’ll be there to make your day include VT Maple Sugar Foundation, Stonyfield Farms, VT Pure/Crystal Rock, the ever popular Kettle Korn and Scooter’s Pretzels. We’ve added lots of directional signage, additional bleacher seating and Park Ambassador volunteers to help find your way around Waterfront Park.
In order to make this all happen in Waterfront Park, we made two other minor modifications on the course. The first modification is that you will run about 100’ farther on the Beltline. The second modification is a shift to the left fork of the driveway in Leddy Park, just after mile 18. And that’s all there is to it!
As some of you may have heard (or witnessed first hand), Lake Champlain is at a record level with flooding impacting the entire waterfront community. At this time, we believe the impacts on our marathon course will be negligible. We’re working closely with Burlington Parks and Recreation to monitor the course conditions all along the Burlington Bikepath and we know they’ll be right there beside us if we need to make adjustments. RunVermont has a contingency plan in place that addresses a number of different emergencies, including waterfront flooding. We can express, with confidence, that we will provide a great race even if a “worst case scenario” were to present itself.
Updated 5/9/2011: We have rec’d several calls and emails at headquarters regarding the certification of the 2011 marathon course should we need to alter the course due to flooding. Here’s what you need to know:
Barring any raceday emergencies that cause us to re-route on the fly, KBVCM will be held on a certified course that is recognized by USATF, IAAF, Boston, etc. In case the flooding persists we are working on alternative routes. Any alternatives will be measured and mapped to the USATF standards and we’ll have followed the necessary guidelines to make sure we are certified. We can’t guarantee we’ll race on the course as currently shown in our Handbook and on file with USATF, but we can guarantee that whatever we race on will meet the standards when the horn sounds at 8:03am on the 29th.
A Google search will show you numerous examples of races that had to re-route after the race started or got the course wrong. Race day emergencies and errors in course setup are a completely different thing. As long as a course that had to be altered is proven longer than 26 miles 385 yards by a post-race certification USATF, Boston, etc will recognize the times run as “marathon” times. Boston even usually allows extra time for runners who just miss their standards on a course known to be long. We have an extensive list of measured alternatives should something occur on race day that requires a re-route after the start.