Written by Joe Connelly
We’re back in the office and just wrapping up after Saturday’s Half Marathon Unplugged. From the staff of RunVermont, we want to send a huge THANK YOU to the 512 runners who came out to run this morning. That’s an all-time high for this race, up 67 from last year.
Also on the Thank You list, (and this is not the obligatory “thank you list”; this comes from our hearts because we know how lucky we are to be able to produce races in the communities we produce them in and work with such great partners to make it happen):
- Our volunteers on the course; Anne Marie, Cindy S. & Cindy D., Sherry, Anne, Jim, Carlie, David, Karen & Kimberly – Thank you for keeping things safe for the runners!
- Our bike escorts, Ann & Moe, having you out there gives us so much confidence; you are our eyes on the course.
- The water station teams: the UVM Nordic Ski Team, Rock Point School, Saint Michael’s College Nordic Skiing and Cross Country teams – Patrick, CJ & Bear, thank you for assembling your groups and keeping our racers hydrated!
- And our Flynn Dog staff for packet pickup, the food, and the finish line. Elizabeth, Karen, Mel, Scott, Gail, and Jen’s two friends selling shirts (sorry I didn’t catch your names in the frenzy of trying to get results finalized) – Thank You to all of you for being 100% rock solid dependable!
Two people that I want to single out who are unbelievably supportive of our events and helped us deal with the challenge Mother Nature threw down on the course with all the snow this winter are Glen Cuttitta of Colchester Parks & Rec and Mari Steinbach of Burlington Parks & Rec. Glen and his staff worked hard to get us as much parking as he could at the start, despite an ice rink that will probably be there until the July 4th fireworks, and he helped us put the pieces together to change the first miles to an out-and-back which believe me, saved all your ankles. As for Mari and her staff, if you noticed a 3’ high pile of snow at about the 9.7 mile mark, you can thank her for putting the wheels in motion to get that cleared off the bikepath, where it was mid-week.
Runners, based on the fact that we ordered quite a bit more than last year and there was even less leftover, I take it you liked the food? Please support our food sponsors, and mention you enjoyed their food at this race. This is a little thing that goes a long way for us next year…
- Chef’s Corner made the wraps, soup, and brownies. They’re building a lunch counter at the Flynn Dog, so if you live or work in the south end go see Chef Jozef and Chef Scott. They’ll be open around mid-May, and for now you can find them at their Williston deli at Taft Corners.
- Great Harvest Bread made the rolls. Hauling the bread wheels around in my truck Friday night, I can’t remember when my truck smelled so good! Please stop by their shop on Pine St for a loaf or some rolls and say “hi” to Sara and Ethan, you’ll be glad you did!
- Coca Cola of Northern New England. Stan from Coke is the man! Every event we have he hooks us up for the fluids to help recharge when you finish.
- Metaball, from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates. If you’re looking for an alternative to the “big guys” in the sports bar business, this Grand Isle company is the place to start. Some of the skiers I work with used their products this winter with great success.
And finally, a big Thank You to the neighborhoods we run through, particularly the Delta Park area in Colchester and South Cove in Burlington. This race started in 2007 as a small event with about 200 runners. We still don’t think of it as a big event, but with growth in size there is certainly more stress placed on the people who live in the areas we run through. So for anyone who was held up trying to get out of your driveway, or who had a delay driving around, we hope it was not too long and thank you for your patience.
Next report I’ll say a few things about the event from our perspective.