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Vermont City Marathon moving to October

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:32 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:43 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont City Marathon is back for 2021, but it’s moving to the fall. That’s one of several things that will be different this year.

Whether you’re a runner or an onlooker, this year’s marathon will be smaller with a different route-- no beltline this year. But even with those changes, officials tell me having a race at all is a sign of things getting back to normal.

At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, RunVermont announced their plans for the 2021 Vermont City Marathon to happen in person.

Instead of the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, the race is set for Oct. 24 with a mini-marathon the day before.

“One of the benefits we believe the move and date will allow us is that we hope that we will be able to engage the primary asset for this event and that is the community at large,” said Peter Delaney, the executive director of RunVermont.

But the day is about the runners and it will have a different look.

“It will be moving to a two-loop 13.1-mile course. The start and finish will be co-located at Waterfront Park,” Delaney said.

Officials say the loop will pass along all the main highlights like the bike path and Church Street.

“Additionally, the format changes will include wave starts. We will have multiple waves, size is yet to be determined,” Delaney said.

With the date change and the unknowns of the pandemic, organizers are shrinking the field of runners down from over 7,000 relay runners and marathoners to about 3,500. Runners who signed up for the 2020 race didn’t get a refund, so the Vermont City Marathon is giving them first dibs on signing up for this October event.

“All of the eligible participants for 2021 will be those people who are registered with us for 2020,” Delaney said.

The city says the Vermont City Marathon will be one of many big events in a post-pandemic world

“I think when we get together this way this fall, it’s going to be one of the moments-- I hope there are many-- that I think will be a special moment of being on the other side of this pandemic,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.

As for that route change, Run Vermont tells me that’s only for this year. They will return to their normal course for the 2022 Vermont City Marathon.

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