Labor Day 15K Course Preview
The next USATF-NE Grand Prix event is quickly approaching on Sunday, August 31st. The GMAA would like to welcome you in advance to one of our races. Since this will be only the second running of this event, we thought it may be interesting to provide you with a course preview and some general thoughts on the race. We hope to see on Labor Day Weekend!
General Course Notes:
Bring your sun screen and/or hat as the course has very little shade.
Expect it to be humid.
The wind can be tough if it’s blowing from the north or the south since there are significant portions of the race that run in both directions.
This is will be only the second running of this race, so there is a marshmallow soft course record to attack.
You cannot drive the whole course due to a short section on a bike path that is closed to cars.
Parking for the event is at the finish line at South Burlington High School and the start line is about ½ mile away at Dorset Park.
Mile 1: You will start at Dorset Park and run west on Swift St. The first mile starts fast with a slight downhill slope. There is a short uphill at about the 1/2 mile, but you will barely notice it since it comes so early in the race. The first mile marker is a short way after the left hand turn from Swift St onto Spear St.
Mile 2: This is a flat and fast mile heading south along the ridgeline on Spear St. You’ll want to push it here to take advantage of the flat terrain. The westerly views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks off to your right are spectacular on a clear day.
Mile 3: This is another flat to slightly downhill mile along Spear St. Keep working on running fast during this mile and turn in a solid first 5K effort. There are intermittent views of the lake and mountains along the way. The three mile marker will be at about the old graveyard on the right and you’ll turn left onto Barstow Rd shortly after the marker.
Mile 4: Now you will pay the course back for some of the gifts it gave you during the first 5K. It wouldn’t be a Vermont road race without some hills and this mile doesn’t disappoint. The hills roll pretty good for the last ¾ of this mile. There are short and relatively flat or downhill sections between the hills to at least partially recover before starting up again. None of the hills are all that tough on their own, but taken together in the space of less than a mile and you’ll start to notice the burn. Run steady over the hills knowing you’ll be rewarded in mile five. Mile four ends going uphill just before a left hand turn onto Dorset St.
Mile 5: Make the left hand turn onto Dorset St and you can see all of this mile stretch out in front of you. Mile five runs flat to slightly downhill and you’ll be able to crank it back up as soon as you’re feeling recovered from mile 4. This is a great opportunity to make up some of the time you gave back on the previous mile.
Mile 6: This mile starts with a slight uphill that lasts for about ½ mile, then a relatively flat middle section before it turns right onto Old Cross Rd and ends going uphill on a bike path to the top of the course. As you crest the hill you can appreciate the easterly views of the Green Mountains with both Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump in plain view straight ahead.
Mile 7: You’ll run fast down the hill and through a housing development with flat roads. You’ll need to take a few turns during this mile, but it offers a good opportunity for a fast pace if you’re still feeling good. The seven mile marker is a little before another left hand turn onto Hinesburg Rd.
Mile 8: Once you turn left onto Hinesburg Rd, you will start up a .4 mile long grinder of a hill. Work the hill as best as you can because once you’re over the top it is downhill or flat for the next 1 ½ miles. Don’t be afraid to let it rip once you crest the hill. The downhill is just steep enough to let gravity do its work without causing you to overstride. If you need a distraction while chugging up the hill, you can admire the views of the Green Mountains off to the right. The eight mile marker is at about the left hand turn onto Hayes Ave.
Mile 9: This can be a very fast mile. The first half is flat and the last half is downhill. Pick out a competitor or two and keep on pushing. As soon as you turn left on Kennedy Drive at the set of lights you’ll know you’re close to the finish. The mile nine marker is at about the low point on Kennedy Dr.
Last .3: There’s a slight uphill after the mile nine marker that may feel unfair after running fast and downhill for so long. Grin and bear it because at the top you’ll take a right hand turn at South Burlington High School and run across the parking lot to the finish line.
If you would like to promote your event with us, contact kevbalance[at]levelrenner[dot]com.