As we are quickly approaching the start of the 28th edition of the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay I wanted to take a moment to give you the latest insights into race preparations.

Our event has been using the Heat Alert System that is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine specifically for such events.  The Wet Bulb Globe Temp is determined by measuring ambient air temp, humidity, wind and solar radiation. Under this system, we would interrupt the race if the Wet Globe Temperature reading were to exceed 82. This is a very different value than 82 Fahrenheit. Since this system was put into place (about 5 years ago) we have never exceeded the race cancellation threshold of 82 WBGT. You will encounter signs alerting you to the current status of heat risks at each aid station throughout the race. Conditions are rated on a green (safest), yellow (caution), red (high alert), and black (extreme alert) scale.

Our Medical Team and Race Production Team have been meeting daily to plan for the needs of the runners under the forecast conditions.  Here is a quick summary of the additional initiatives that have been put into place:

  • 9 additional misting stations
  • 5 additional ice stations
  • 4 roving ice patrols
  • More than double the ice order for the entire event
  • Increase in water and cup supplies for all aid stations
  • Added shuttle buses for North Ave to pick up runners who drop out
  • Extension of the time limit from 6 hours to 6.5 hours
  • Messaging to runners to slow down, hydrate, and keep an eye on one another
  • Messaging to the community to “pitch in and hose down” to encourage residents and spectators to also provide aquatic relief
We have had several inquiries about the possibility of starting an hour earlier. This is not an option for us due to the scheduling of our public safety teams who provide traffic control services. The most recent forecast would also suggest that an earlier start would not provide much relief as the few degrees gained in a lower temperature would be offset by much higher humidity at 7am.

Finally, we would encourage you all to slow down, watch out for one another and remember there is no shame in not completing your race. There’s always another day to run, and we want you all to enjoy that opportunity as well.


Peter Delaney

Executive Director RunVermont