Vermont Ramps Up its Sports Scene in 2014
Vermont Hosts Dozens of Sports, Wellness and Endurance Events this Summer Season
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermonters lead the nation in frequent exercise and this summer season, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) invites all athletes and nature-lovers to come experience sports and wellness events in the Green Mountain State. Beginning in April, VDTM is launching a sports and wellness campaign to increase awareness and participation in the many healthful events and outdoor attractions the state has to offer visitors and residents alike - from marathons and hiking trails to bicycling and yoga retreats.
“While Vermont has consistently been recognized among the nation’s healthiest states over the last decade, we’re not resting on our laurels,” VDTM Commissioner Megan Smith said. “Supporting sports and wellness events perfectly aligns with the state’s identity and our objective to increase visitors, plus these athletes will undoubtedly return for more.”
To increase participation in the state’s sports and wellness scene, VDTM is working with Run Vermont to promote and grow New England’s third largest marathon and summer series of running events. The department is sponsoring Wanderlust’s annual return to Vermont for a multi-day yoga festival, partnering with Vermont State Parks on new outdoor initiatives, as well as working with statewide marathon organizers and the mountain biking industry to grow events’ attendance. The Vermont Convention Bureau is also ramping up efforts to secure major sporting events in Vermont, as well as reestablish the Vermont Sports Council.
Vermont is well known for its winter sports. Business Insider recently reported “If we consider population size, no state is better at producing Winter Olympians than Vermont.” However, summer in Vermont is equally active; there’s an ultra-marathon, adventure race, century ride, distance swim or yoga retreat for all athletic appetites. Sports enthusiasts come to train, race, compete, tour and experience the state’s beautiful landscape.
An integral part of the state’s beautiful landscape is its working farms that produce local meats, dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables. According to the Gallup Wellness Index, Vermont is the number one state for produce consumption, which is helpful as Vermont’s burgeoning farm to plate food scene tantalizes and fuels visitor and local athletes alike.
As Vermont’s sports events schedule proliferates, the caliber of the events and participation continues to increase and appeal to destination-savvy athletes. Seventy-five percent of marathon runners in the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon come from out of state. Other races like the springtime Half Marathon Unplugged, have doubled in participation in two years. The fact that the organization’s 5k races are growing most quickly, followed by the half marathon, reveal a welcomed increase of new runners regionally, reported RunVermont.
VDTM recently increased its annual free bike map production to 40,000, available this spring via VermontVacation.com as well as at Vermont information centers, chambers of commerce, sports shops and bike rental locations. The Department has also hit the road to relay news on the state’s sports and outdoors scene to residents of northeast U.S. and Canadian cities. Stops include the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto, Salon du Vélo in Quebec City, AAA Southern New England Show at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, Ottawa Travel Show, Day Trips and Destinations in Hartford and AARP’s Life at 50+ in Boston.
“No matter where you are starting from, Vermont’s welcoming sports culture helps you stay motivated and accomplish goals,” said Jen Butson, of the Governor’s Council for Sports and Physical Fitness. “We offer a variety of natural settings ripe for progression, rigor or relaxation; plus, events are built to suit a variety of athletic preferences and abilities.”Upcoming events “run” the gamut from gentle to grueling:
4th - Middlebury Maple, Middlebury (Running)
17th - Dandelion Run Half Marathon, Northeast Kingdom (Running)
18th - Shires of Vermont Marathon, Bennington (Running)
25th - KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, Burlington (Running)
24th-26th - Killington Stage Race, Killington (Cycling)
31st-June 1st - Tough Mudder, Mount Snow (Obstacle Race)
4th-8th - Tour de Kingdom, Northeast Kingdom (Cycling)
8th - Tour de Heifer, Brattleboro (Cycling)
14th - Vermont Gran Fondo, Addison (Cycling)
19th-22nd - Wanderlust, Stratton Mountain (Yoga)
21st - Switchback Bike for Lake Champlain, Sandbar State Park (Cycling)
21st - Long Trail Century Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive Sports, Killington (Cycling)
28th-29th - New England Trifest, Fairlee (Triathlon & Duathlon)
6th - Mad Marathon, Mad River Valley (Running)
6th - The Great Race Triathlon XXXV, St. Albans (Triathlon & Duathlon)
7th-20th - LAX Bitter Lacrosse Tournament, Stowe (Lacrosse)
11th-13th - Vermont Mountain Bike Festival, Ascutney (Mountain Biking)
12th - Islands Bike Tour (Cycling)
12th - Kingdom Swim, Newport (Swimming)
13th - Stowe 8 Miler, Stowe (Running)
19th - Tri-Obstaclon, Benson (Obstacle & Endurance Triathlon)
19th - Goshen Gallop, Goshen (Running)
26th - Onion River Century Ride, Montpelier (Cycling)
27th - The Biggest Loser RunWalk, Killington (Running)
4th-11th - Lake Champlain Inn-to-Inn Bicycle Tour (Cycling)
9th - Harpoon Point to Point, Windsor (Cycling)
13th-17th - The Vermont Challenge, (Cycling)
16th - 100 on 100, (Running)
23rd - Champlain Basin Bike Tour, Stowe (Cycling)
24th - North Face Race to the Top of Vermont, Stowe (Run, Bike, Hike)
29th-Sept 1 - Green Mountain Stage Race, (Cycling)
31st - Labor Day 15K, Burlington (Running, USATF – New England Championship event)
6th - Kelly Brush Century Ride, (Cycling)
6th - Manchester Maple Leaf Half Marathon & 5k, (Running)
12th-14th - Connecticut River Cycling & Camping Tour, (Cycling)
21st - St. Albans Raid Half Marathon,(Running)
Fall Date TBD - Spartan Race, Killington (Obstacle Race)
5th - Kingdom Marathon, Coventry (Running or Cycling)
Vermont Sports & Outdoors Scene by the Numbers:
- 50+ Vermont State Parks
- 273 miles of the Long Trail
- 7,000 miles of rivers and streams, including part of the 740 mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail
- 50+ alpine and Nordic ski areas
- 212 miles of Vermont shoreline along Lake Champlain, the nation’s sixth largest lake
- 200 Vermont Outdoor Guide Association (VOGA) outfitters and services ready to assist
- 223 Mountains
- 15 Mountain Bike Chapters in the Vermont Mountain Bike Association
- 626,000 Residents
- 9,217 sq. miles of land; 76 percent forested
- Bonus: Local brews to toast your athletic endeavor? One for every mile of a marathon, plus some: 30+ breweries.
Pair these sports events with arts, agriculture, attractions and lodging at VermontVacation.com. Happy training season!