In this October edition of the RunVermont Pulse


1. Some words from our Director, Connelly's Corner

2. Island Vines Recap

3. Local Running News: Saint Michael's College Equality Invitational 

4. Out of town guests

5. More to come with Youth Programming

6. Sponsor Shoutout, Skirack 

7. What races would you like to see us produce in the future?



Connelly's Corner


First steps, first strides:

Hello again from RunVermont’s home base in Burlington. We are so pleased reading your feedback after our first RunVermont Pulse newsletter last month! When you work on a project like this, the fear is that it hits everyone’s inbox and everybody clicks the X button as fast as possible. Clearly not the case here, and we certainly appreciate that. 

I’ve been a runner since 1980, but it took me a few years to consider myself a runner. I started off, with a pair of adidas tennis shoes mind you, as a high school sophomore on the XC Ski team. We just ran to get in shape to ski race. That was my first running community. Everyone on the team, all the boys and girls, all ages 7th grade to seniors, we all ran together. At least we started out together until the fast kids would move ahead after a mile or so. At the time I had no idea how far we ran, our coach just set a route for us and we’d go run it. I didn’t wear a watch – just my tennis shoes, sweat pants or those funky early 80’s cotton shorts, a t-shirt. Probably a pair of tube socks too. Years later I mapped some of those runs and they were mostly 5-8 miles, with many on the higher end of that scale. Knowing what I know now, I’m amazed that we didn’t get hurt running all those miles off no base and with the “wrong” shoes. 

The best part was belonging to that community. It was new friends. It was a shared experience, sweating, getting in shape, telling stories. You can learn an awful lot about the kind of person someone is when you’re both out on a run that is a little longer than you probably should be running but you don’t know any better. And in that kind of setting it doesn’t really matter if you should really be running 7:00 miles or 9:00 miles or 11:00 miles and you’re actually running 30 seconds or a minute too fast or slow. You’re putting the time in, and you’re doing it in a way that helps your teammates get their miles in too. 

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a bunch of running communities... College XC, the GMAA, a loose group of my college teammates and coaches for 35+ years post-college. We’re trying hard to build the RunVermont community. Once every couple weeks we’ll post a meet up time and place for a group run. Everybody is welcome to be a part of our running community and we hope you’re able to join us soon!! Just maybe leave your tennis shoes at home. 


Island Vines Recap

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It was another beautiful day and successful race at Snow Farm Winery. This year was our 10th annual Island Vines and we can say that with complete integrity because it has prevailed year after year, even through the pandemic.  We love the opportunity to provide a race outside of Burlington. This event brings in runners from all over Vermont, and even other states. We believe that Snow Farm and the race course provide a perfect depiction of Vermont, the charm of Lake Champlain and the agricultural abundance of the green mountain state.

For the first time ever, we held a kids fun run at Island Vines. Kids age 4 to 14 ran a half mile loop around the vineyard, proudly displaying their self-decorated bib and eager to get to the finish flag. We are so happy to include and inspire the future generation to be active and attend community-focused events. Based on the positive feedback we have received from both runners and spectators, we will definitely continue to offer the kids run.

We love a good post-race and we think you do too. Snow Farm is a fantastic venue to chill out. Our goal with this event is not just to produce an excellent race but to set up a super fun time for you, your family and your friends for after the race. Food, drinks, music (thanks Ryan Sweezey!), great weather, that’s all part of the Island Vines post-race DNA.

As always, a huge thank you goes to our volunteers for doing such a fantastic job for us on race day. It is incredibly kind that so many folks show up to spend their time and energy with us. These events would not be possible without all of the help that the volunteers provide. 


Local Running News

Saint Michael's College Equality Invitational


On Friday, September 23rd, Saint Michael’s College held their annual Equality Invitational. Unlike most college running competitions, the race distance is the same for both the men and women cross country teams. The meet is said to be the country's only NCAA women's cross country race this is longer than 6 kilometers. Some universities in Canada hold invitationals where all runners run the same distance. In 2019, St Mike's traveled to Montreal to race the UQAM Equality Invitational.


Molly Peters, the long time head coach of St Mike’s nordic ski and cross country teams is a huge advocate for gender equality in college level athletics. Molly works with Kasie Enman, a 3 time winner of the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon and RunVermont Hall of Farmer, to push for equal distance racing. These two women, as well as other EISA (Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association) coaches formed the Equal Distance Group. The group contacted the US Ski and Snowboard Cross Country Sport Committee and strongly advised that they implement equal distance racing. Their proposal was granted, which led to the International Ski Federation (FIS) and NCAA to implement equal distances for the men and women nordic races for the upcoming championship season.


Shortly after, Molly’s focus shifted to urging equal distances for both genders in cross country. Currently, The NCAA offers a 10K for men and a 6K for women at regional and national championships, with most regular-season races at an 8K length for men and 5K length for women. Molly believes that the discrepancy in race distances is centered around gender bias, instead of actual ability.


Molly and her collegues continue to work on  making this 8k distance the national standard, regardless of gender. Molly has shared that, “This race is a representation of not only the future of running but the future of all women’s sports as we fight for equality for all.” We are inspired by and stand beside Molly, Kasie, and all of the individuals involved in advocating for the running industry and making sports more inclusive and less divided. 

You can sign Molly's petition and learn more about her equality movement by clicking the button below. 

"We request NCAA Division I, II and III Cross Country Committees and NCAA President Mark Emmert to take an important step forward for gender equity and inclusion by creating equal race distances for men and women at NCAA Cross Country Championships: 8km for all genders."

Sign the RunEqual2023 Petition


Out of Town Guests


We were lucky to be joined by Janice and Allen Eubanks who came in from Mississippi to run in Island Vines. We asked them a couple of questions about what brought them up for a visit:

RunVermont: How did you choose Vermont for a vacation?
The Eubanks: We are trying to visit all 50 states and we wanted to enjoy the cooler Fall weather in Vermont.

RunVermont: Do you typically tack a race onto your travel plans? Do you always race together?
The Eubanks: Yes, but not as much since the pandemic but we do often race together. 

RunVermont: Did you enjoy the course/the event?
The Eubanks: Yes, the island was beautiful. The mileage was super precise and we loved the smoothie and food

RunVermont: How else did you spend your time in Vermont?
The Eubanks: We flew into Hartford, CT and made a loop taking Hwy 100 up to Burlington and then back down the interstate. We stopped in Stowe and Woodstock, among other charming towns, and visited a couple of apple orchards. We also found several covered bridges

RunVermont: Did anything about Vermont surprise you?
The Eubanks: It was incredibly green and that there were no billboards.

RunVermont: Would you come back for a RunVermont run?
The Eubanks: Definitely if we lived closer but we will look for a race next time we are in Vermont!

We are thrilled that the Eubanks came over 1400 miles to run with us. It is amazing how running unites people from all over the country, and sometimes the world! We are incredibly grateful to live in such a beautiful state and are more than happy to showcase how special it is with anyone who wants to run with us!


More to Come with RunVermont Youth Programming

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This December marks one year of Youth Director, Lauren Miller, joining our team. Lauren recalls being extremely impressed with and inspired by the youth programming that was already in place when she arrived. The youth side of RunVermont is primarily centered around Mini Milers and Mini Marathon, both in the Spring. Both programs have continued to grow and evolve over the years and Lauren plans to maintain that same trajectory.

At Island Vines, we included our first ever Kids Fun Run, a half-mile lap around Snow Farm’s vineyard. Some runners were joined by their siblings or were accompanied by their parents, while others ran solo. All of the kids were radiating with self-pride and accomplishment, made evident by their big smiles as they sprinted to the finish line. We still have not determined who had the most fun, the kids or those who were watching the event.

We are offering another youth fun run at Sam Mazza’s Farm in Colchester on the morning of Saturday, October 28th. The run will complement an event they are hosting that same morning, a kids costumed dance party! The image below provides some more details.

Lauren plans on extending RunVermont's youth programming beyond the Spring and is working on making it more of year round offering for a wide variety of ages. There is a lot to look forward to so make sure that you stay in the loop! 


Register Here


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We want to extend a huge thank you to Skirack for all of the support they have provided to us over the years. Their sponsorship has recently shifted from being solely for the marathon, to a year round position. They have been exceptionally accommodating and easy to work with. Thank you to John George-Wheeler, Clarke Shedd and the rest of your team for everything you do. Sending a big  congratulations to Clarke for finishing in first place for our Island Vines 5k with a time of 18:59 and John Benner for finishing in first place for our Island Vines 10k with a time of 31:46.

What races would you like to see from us in the future?


We want to hear from YOU! Send your ideas to