Yesterday morning was an absolutely great day to tackle the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon in the Woodstock/Quechee area of Vermont and the ideal race conditions made for some really good running. I have run the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon twice previously and shaved 12 minutes off my PR there finishing with a time of 1:47:42 good for 8:13/miles.
The Covered Bridges Half-Marathon is consistently ranked one of the top most-scenic runs and the fact that the race sells out in record time is a true testament to the desire of many runners to get into this race. The course takes runners through some idyllic New England streets, along a brook, through the woods and even over a covered bridge indeed. The race kicks off bright and early at 8:15 from Suicide Six Ski Area and takes runners along 13.1 miles of truly some of the best scenery you can find. Though I was hoping to see a moose or a bear with a trout in its mouth along the course, nothing could disappoint when running this course and the fan support is of the highest caliber with people cheering, ringing cow bells or busting out some beats on pots and pans or old paint buckets.
The night before the race we opted to carbo-load at Harpoon Brewery just down the road in Windsor and enjoyed food, a pint and live music with the fresh Vermont air really making you consider to grab the real estate listings before heading back home. A microbrew around a fire pit with some live music playing is about all this runner needs to get into a good pre-race mindset, that’s for sure.
The race directors for the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon do a really nice job getting the logistics right from busing runners to the starting line where number pickup takes place to funneling runners into the chute post-run to gather the race medal and tech-shirt. Live music is present on the course ranging from polka bands to drum corps and a band rocked the finish line after-party where runners could refuel with plenty of snacks and fresh offerings for those over 21 from our friends at Harpoon Brewery. The only down side to the post-race party was the line for the massage tables was moving at a snail’s pace and there weren’t enough hands to keep up with the demand.
The Covered Bridges Half-Marathon is sort of a bucket list race that those who love running and those that love the half-marathon distance need to tackle. Registration sells out fast so you need to be sure to follow the race on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you don’t miss registration announcements.