2018 Tips and Suggestions

What time does the race start?
The Maple Leaf half-marathon and Kotler 5K will start at 8:00 am on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Where can I get a nice pre-race dinner?
The Perfect Wife Restaurant (2594 Depot Street, Manchester, VT 05255) will once again be offering a special runners dinner on Friday September 7, 2018. No need to pre-register, just show up!

How do I register for the races?
You can register online or by paper form. Registering online is quick and easy and is highly recommended. Online registration closes Wednesday September 5, 2018 at 11:59pm EST or when we reach 1,000 participants, whichever comes first.

Is there an option to register on race day?
Post-Registration will take place on Friday September 7, 2017 from 4pm-7pm at 340 Recreation Park Road (race start/finish), provided that there are still spaces available. The race is capped at 1,000 participants for the Half Marathon and 5k combined. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted. Race day registration will be available from 6am-7:15am.

What is the Jay Hathaway Memorial Team Challenge?
Teams of runners and/or walkers can compete for the Hathaway Team Challenge Trophy in either the Half Marathon or Kotler 5K. The top four participants’ finishing positions in their race will be added together, with the lowest cumulative total being declared the Team champion. Each runner/walker will go the full distance in their event (i.e., not a relay event.) One champion team will be crowned in each event.  Please note that this is somewhat different from the past: A team can consist of any number of runners greater than 4. However, only the top 4 finishers’ positions are computed for the team’s finishing position.

Is the race capped?
Yes! 1,000 runners/walkers for the 5k and half marathon combined is the limit.

Is the half-marathon course certified?
Yes it is! USATF: VT12004JK

Are walkers allowed in the half-marathon?
Walkers are welcome for the half marathon, as long as they can complete the course within the 4 hour time limit. After 12 Noon we will have limited bike marshal escorts and water stations.

Race Swag
Ask and you shall receive! Thanks to an amazing response to the 2016 survey, every participant who registers prior to August 1, 2018 will receive a race shirt in their selected size. Shirts will be available on a first come, first serve basis for post-registration. Tee shirts will not be mailed.

Is there an age limit for the races?
You must be 12 years or older to participate in the half marathon. There is no age limit for the 5K, although minors will need a parent’s signature to participate.

Will there be on-course photographers?
Capstone Photography has been confirmed for 2017 and will once again take pictures of racers on the course as well as at the finish line for purchase after the race. Get ready to smile!

When can I pick up my race number, race swag, etc?
You may pick up your bib and tee shirt on Friday Sept. 7th at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center between 4:00pm-7:00pm and from 6:00am-7:30 am on the morning of the race.

There is a fair amount of parking at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center, where the races start and finish. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time on race morning as traffic increases after 6:30 am. Arrive early and enjoy a coffee and crepe from local food trucks! Additional parking options include Manchester Elementary Middle School (80 Memorial Ave., Manchester, VT 05255), just a short 3-5 minute walk to the park.  ARRIVING EARLY IS FAR BETTER THAN ARRIVING LATE. We start the race PROMPTLY at 8 am!

What can my family do while I'm running the half-marathon?
The Dana Thompson Recreation Park has a playground, ball fields, an enclosed dog park, and a 1-mile walking path. All facilities will be open on race day. The park is also just a short walk from the Northshire Bookstore and other amazing Manchester businesses.

Do the Maple Leaf races benefit a charity?
Yes! The Manchester Vermont Lions Club organizes, staffs and produces the race, all on a volunteer basis. All proceeds go back into the community in the form of grants, scholarships, donations, eyeglass purchases, hearing aide purchases and vision screening.

Is there a way I can communicate with other participants?
Join us on our Facebook page, or get to the start corral and chat it up!

Are there port-a-potties on the course?
We have plenty of restrooms and port-a-potties at the start, mid-way point and finish of the races. 

What will the weather be like on race day?
This is Vermont - the weather changes faster than you can finish a 5K. Typical early September weather at the start will be sunny, cloudy, overcast, or rainy - but we promise there won't be any snow. Expect a temperature range from the mid-40's to the high 70's, with the average in the mid-50's. Bring sunscreen and a rain hat - you never know.

Can I listen to music?
The use of personal music devices is discouraged at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon and 5K. To enjoy all that our race has to offer and for the safety of all participants, we encourage a headphone-free environment during the entire race. The majority of the roads are open to traffic during the races, and your safety is our primary concern.

Are wheelchairs or hand cycles allowed?
Definitely! Please remember the rolling course travels over some dirt and loose gravel roads, so please plan accordingly.

Are baby strollers allowed?
No. Our race insurance doesn't allow baby strollers. There race starts and finishes at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center, which has multiple playgrounds and a fields to keep the family busy.

Can my pet accompany me if it's on a leash?
No! Our insurance strictly forbids it. Sorry, but there can be no exceptions.

Where are the water stops, and is there sports drink available?
Water stops are staffed by enthusiastic volunteers at 8 locations on the half-marathon course, and at 1 stop on the 5K course. Gatorade sports drink will be available at half of the water stops on the half-marathon course.

When will the awards ceremony take place?
Awards for the 5K will start at approximately 9:00 am, and awards for the half-marathon will begin at approximately 10:30 am. Please check your race results before leaving, awards will not be mailed.

What if I need medical attention?
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and the Manchester Rescue Squad provide onsite trained emergency medical staff.

Are any roads closed on race day?
Route 30 from the Dana Thompson Recreation Center to the intersection of Route 7A, and Route 7A to the Equinox Hotel will be closed from 8-8:45 am. While all other roads are open, please exercise extreme caution. (Which is why headphones are not a good idea.)

How hilly is the course?
Manchester is in a valley, with the Taconic Range to our west and the Green Mountains to our east. While the 5K course is relatively mellow, the half-marathon course can be a bit challenging (Okay, let's not powder-coat this, it's hilly!) There is a very special hill that starts at mile 8 and ends around mile 9. It's called "Wind Hill" and it will take your breath away, literally and figuratively. Not to worry though, we've strategically placed a water stop at the bottom and again at the top.

I registered but now I can't participate. Can I get a refund?
Unfortunately we do not issue refunds.

What are my lodging options for the weekend?
Visit our friends at ManchesterVermont.com to find the list of local inns and restaurants in the Manchester area.