MIDDLEBURY- More than 800 runners are expected in Middlebury this weekend for the third edition of the "Middlebury Maple Run - The Sweetest Half."
This is another record field - an increase of more than 200 participants over 2010's race. Just in its third year, the race has grown steadily.
In 2009's inaugural race, more than 225 runners participated. Last year's race had 569 runners-353 runners completed the full 13.1-mile distance and 57 two-person teams finished the relay.
Local lodging properties, restaurants and merchants will reap benefits as well. Approximately 40 percent of the pre-registrants are from out of state - the majority from neighboring New England states and New York - but there are runners traveling from Quebec, California and Washington. Many runners will be traveling with family and friends resulting in more than 1,000 visitors in the area during race weekend.
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce estimates the Middlebury Maple Run provides direct economic impact to the area of at least $100,000.
"Many of the participants will be traveling with friends and family and staying overnight. Several of our local properties are either sold out or have seen an uptick in reservations for what is normally a quiet weekend," said Andy Mayer, president, Addison County Chamber of Commerce. "Overnight stays translate into additional revenues for restaurants and local shops as well, not to mention the runners who are here just for a day trip, but may stop to dine, shop or gas up before they head home."
Registrations are still being accepted. Runners can register online until Thursday, April 26, at 4 p.m. or download and mail a paper entry form.
Registrations will be accepted in-person at the Middlebury Inn from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, or at the start/finish area the morning of the race from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m.Student registration rates never change: $30 individual/$40 team. The rates for non-students are $50 individual/$70 team.