Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
4.4
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.8
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
3.2
The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon! Take it easy or take it tough…the Mad Marathon has a race for every runner at any level. You will be running through this extraordinary rural community on back and dirt roads, with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, challenging rolling farmlands with tough climbs and … MORE
Local Weather (Jul 07)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 75 80 84 79 74
L (°F) 48 64 66 64 59
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Recent reviews

    MManock FIRST-TIMER '16

    Amazing countryside race. Severely hilly. Beautiful covered bridges. Mountains. Very tiring, but completely worth it! Beginning starts on the main street, turns to cross a covered bridge, and then the … MORE

    Amazing countryside race. Severely hilly. Beautiful covered bridges. Mountains. Very tiring, but completely worth it! Beginning starts on the main street, turns to cross a covered bridge, and then the hills begin… and continue. AND CONTINUE! Then a harsh downhill, some flat, another covered bridge. Rolling from here until a 2-3 mile down hill and finish up the main street.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '18

    I have run all fifty states but some races are still must-do events, and Mad Marathon was supposed to be one such race. I’d heard it was beautiful but challenging … MORE

    I have run all fifty states but some races are still must-do events, and Mad Marathon was supposed to be one such race. I’d heard it was beautiful but challenging and it lived up to both counts.

    Waitsfield is a beautiful little town and worth visiting. There are tons of little B&B’s to choose from (Yellow Farmhouse Inn was lovely). Packet pickup is near where the race begins/ends and takes about thirty seconds. There is also race morning pickup which to me, is always a nice perk even when I don’t need it. There is no city traffic to fight through on race day and it’s overall a peaceful setting for the start and finish. I love races like this!

    The start area is literally around the corner from the finish chute and festivities so logistics are easy in terms of parking and having extra stuff. I parked about 20 yards away which was awesome. After a Marathon Maniacs photo we all walked to the start, listened to a beautiful singing of the National Anthem, and then began the 26.2 mile meat grinder.

    Lots of people flew off the line only to come crashing back to earth after the first few monster hills. This is not a PR course in my humble opinion. Coming off a PR last month, and coming into this race with a new fueling and nutrition plan, I had already tossed time goals out of my mind and planned to focus on scenery. Plus, it was very warm though blessedly not a humid day.

    The course is just gorgeous. It runs along roads both paved and dirt (no rock or debris issues), by pastures, picturesque barns, valley views, over and next to rivers, and through covered bridges. I took several photos on the move to try and capture this Tolkien-esque area. This also helped take my mind off all of the hills. There are many, many hills, but thankfully the last five miles or so are flatter so at least you don’t get crushed right up to the finish. I’ll point out one more time that it’s hilly; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people walking during a race (including me, up the hills!). Don’t get excited about a downhill because you’ll pay for it on the other side.

    There were aid stations roughly every two miles with amazingly cold water. They also had Gatorade and some had gels. It was pretty hot by 10am or so, and combined with the hills those stations were like an oasis.

    The finish chute is cool, with flags and a faux covered bridge finish arch. The medal is very nice and substantial (I don’t care for the pink shirt, but that’s just me). You also get a hug from the race director which is a nice personal element.

    This is not a race you run for a personal best or crowd support. This is a race you run because you know it’s going to be tough but beautiful. It was both and also well worth the effort.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Jul 10, 2018 at 6:29pm

    I've mentioned this in your other reviews, but you and I tend to prefer the same small-town, laid-back types of races... plus I love hills, so Mad definitely piques my interest. Great word too, "Tolkien-esque," I love the images that conjures up (minus the orcs). And how often do you get a finisher's hug from the RD? Nice touch, and especially considering how, um, aglow her runners must have been after 26.2 miles up and down hills on a hot day! Thanks for another awesome review, Meg — and I'd love to know how your fueling strategy worked, since I've spent significant time training my body to run on its fat stores without actually committing to a ketogenic diet.

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    RunnerMeg Jul 11, 2018 at 4:32am

    Thanks Mike! If you like hills, you’ll like Mad Marathon! It was a lovely little race and the RD made it special. I’m newer to the keto/LCHF way of life and its effects on endurance running but I’m curious to see what will happen during the next race (which presumably has fewer hills!). 🤓

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    VTKRAMER FIRST-TIMER '18

    Beautiful course, but the hills were crazy. Mile 2 is basically a climb the entire way...be prepared for ups and downs. The views are spectacular. MORE

    Beautiful course, but the hills were crazy. Mile 2 is basically a climb the entire way…be prepared for ups and downs. The views are spectacular.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race is easily in my Top 5 favorites (out of 56 marathons to date). The scenery is amazing. Course: Yes- the hills are CRAZY! I would have enjoyed it … MORE

    This race is easily in my Top 5 favorites (out of 56 marathons to date). The scenery is amazing.
    Course: Yes- the hills are CRAZY! I would have enjoyed it more had I not run the Bear Brook trail Marathon the day before in New Hampshire – which was equally difficult!
    Crew: The volunteers were very helpful and aid stations were very sufficient.

    Would I return?: Definitely!! I wish I had planned more time to explore the area. Would definitely go back!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 31, 2018 at 6:44pm

    Ha ha, I'm sure your legs LOVED the return flight home! :) Congrats on the hilly back-to-backs, this sounds like a fun and challenging way to notch NH and VT in the same weekend. Appreciate all your thoughtful reviews!

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    demman1024 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    No one said it would be easy. And they were correct! Train on hills and you'll be fine. I really enjoyed this race. I can't remember my exact time but … MORE

    No one said it would be easy. And they were correct! Train on hills and you’ll be fine. I really enjoyed this race. I can’t remember my exact time but i did get first in my age group. It’s definitely not a good one to try to time qualify for anything. So worth it though! Everything about it was just fun and beautiful. Small town atmosphere. The expo was tiny but there was a nice Farmer’s Market with entertainment and lots of things to look at just across the street. Plenty of amazing places to eat and beautiful bed and breakfast. i stayed at the White Horse Inn and it was amazing in every way!
    One of my fav race shirts–maybe because it’s purple? And it fits? Nice medal, hug from the race director at the finish. Nice volunteers–plenty of stuff on course. Do it!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    klucht FIRST-TIMER '16

    This course was brutal, beautiful and fun! I love hilly courses, but this was ridiculous. The background of this race was truly picturesque with rural country farms and mountains. I … MORE

    This course was brutal, beautiful and fun! I love hilly courses, but this was ridiculous. The background of this race was truly picturesque with rural country farms and mountains. I was even lucky enough to run thru the fog which made up for the steep inclines and declines. Temperature was cool which was treat since the race is in July.
    I would highly recommend!!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I have done the Mad Half Marathon five times. The race is held in Waitsfield, Vermont, home of the Sugarbush ski resort. This is only one of two half marathons … MORE

    I have done the Mad Half Marathon five times. The race is held in Waitsfield, Vermont, home of the Sugarbush ski resort.

    This is only one of two half marathons I would recommend in Vermont for people who need a walker-friendly time limit. The half and full marathon share the same start and share parts of the course, but the full has some more hills than the half does. If you enjoy courses and take photos, definitely bring a camera (especially for the farm animal photo stop). This is a well-run, well-organized and well-supported event. With the out and backs, you’ll get a chance to see your friends in the half and full marathon.

    The course: this will probably be the hilliest and toughest course most people will do in their lives. It is challenging, with long uphill and downhill sections (what do you expect, we’re in the Green Mountains of Vermont). The weather is usually perfect- nice sun, little to no humidity, and occasional nice breezes. Make no mistake- prepare for hills. Also, there are sections on dirt roads. The roads are fine (no issues with big rocks or stones) but your shoes will get dirty, so I usually wear an older pair.

    Made your lodging plans early as local hotels and B&Bs fill up fast.

    There are plenty of activities in the area for family members not participating in the race. There is a farmer’s market the day before the event. Ben & Jerry’s is a quick 20 minute drive away. There is biking, cayak rentals, fishing, national parks, and sightseeing galore nearby. Other close trips include the King Arthur Bakery, Champlain Chocolates, and Cabot Cheese to name a few.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    HeatherJ FIRST-TIMER '13

    There are hills...and by hills, I mean mountains. Going down was just as hard as going up, and I heard several runners say this race was used as a training … MORE

    There are hills…and by hills, I mean mountains. Going down was just as hard as going up, and I heard several runners say this race was used as a training event for Pikes Peak.

    The town itself is small, walk-able (mostly) and awesome. With its high focus on local resources and sustainability, I def recommend checking out one of their local restaurants, and staying at a B&B. The course is gorgeous – lot’s of greenery, farmland, and fresh air. Coming from New York City, the fresh air was HEAVENLY.

    Memorable Moments:
    – The local maple-flavored ice-cream at the pre-race outdoor celebration
    – Taking on one of the first hills and looking to my left to see people walking at the same speed I was running.
    – Walking all of mile 15 and eating watermelon. I don’t even really like watermelon, but that was seriously the best watermelon I’ve ever had.
    – Runners taking pictures with a cow at one of the farms. I must have missed why that was special.
    – Deciding to drive back to NY after the race because I just wanted my own shower and bed. It took 8 hours because of shore traffic. Not one of my best decisions.
    – Having to duck-walk back to my apartment after dropping off my rental car because I stupidly wore shorts and had a serious chaffing situation.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    dansolera FIRST-TIMER '16

    I was fortunate to run in 2016, as the entire northeast was beset by a fall-like chill, with pockets of light rain. But that didn't mean there weren't any hills … MORE

    I was fortunate to run in 2016, as the entire northeast was beset by a fall-like chill, with pockets of light rain. But that didn’t mean there weren’t any hills to contend with. The half marathon has two similarly sized hills, while the marathon extends the second one for a solid eight miles. Be ready for a steady climb followed by a long downhill.

    In between, take in the serene beauty of the northeast’s mountains and forests, farmlands and livestock. Aid stations were appropriately placed and stocked, and the post-race party was lively even for the small field of approximately 800 runners. Waitsfield is pretty remote, but if you fly into Boston, it’s a pretty 3-hour drive away. Afterward, eat at either the Mad River Barn & Restaurant Barn Inn & Restaurant or the Mad Taco, both highly recommended, and pair your meal with a Heady Topper.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    FLTLBrun FIRST-TIMER '15

    Small marathon with personal attention from the Race Director and volunteers. Convenient packet pickup with a handful of local vendors. Expect never ending hills, beautiful scenery/views, covered bridges, convenient start/finish … MORE

    Small marathon with personal attention from the Race Director and volunteers. Convenient packet pickup with a handful of local vendors. Expect never ending hills, beautiful scenery/views, covered bridges, convenient start/finish areas (less than 1/10th of a mile apart). But mostly expect a hug from the Race Director as you cross the finish line. A race that really wants you there! Cool medals.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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