The weather in Burlington, Vermont Sunday was dreadful. A steady downpour and a chilly wind, but that didn’t deter the thousands of people lined up to run or watch the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay. About 8000 runners participated in the 25th annual 26.2 mile race — around 3,200 full-course runners and 4,800 relay runners.
Chris Zablocki, of Essex, Connecticut won the marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 25 seconds. He defeated defending champion Matt Pelletier by about 36 seconds.
Heidi Westover of Walpole, New Hampshire was the fastest woman in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 1 second. She won the title for the sixth time.
My husband and I were at the marathon to cheer on our daughter and her fiancé, who were part of a relay team.
I was really proud of them — they decided it would be a great thing to do, they trained for it, and they ran in the rain with big smiles on their faces.
It wasn’t just my daughter’s enthusiasm that struck me. As I stood on the sidelines, I watched hundreds and hundreds of runners of all ages go by. Many were clearly in the zone and others were grinning and waving to spectators and thanking us for being there.
I was awed by the handcylists. Alicia Dana, a member of the U.S Paralympic team, finished in 1:39.54 and became the first woman to win the handcyclist division.
Naturally, the Boston Marathon was on many people’s minds. Several runners who weren’t able to finish Boston participated in the Vermont run. Security was tighter than ever before and support for Boston was visible everywhere from a moment of silence, to the sounds of “Sweet Caroline” over the loudspeakers, to BostonStrong signs.
Bring on the sun
It rained. It was cold and windy. Participants ran and cycled their hearts out while the crowd urged them on. ‘You can do it! You can do it!’
It was a wonderful day. The Vermont City Marathon was a great success. And then the sun came out.
My enthusiastic daughter!