The Ninth Annual Mad Marathon will take place Sunday in the Mad River Valley.
Racers will make their way around the rural community on 26.2 miles of back road. The course offers views of the Green Mountains while passing through rolling farm lands, quaint villages, historic barns, covered bridges and fields.
The race starts at 7 a.m. at the Mad River Green in Waitsfield Village. Runners will head north on Route 100 for a half-mile before turning onto a secondary road and passing through a covered bridge on the aptly named Bridge Street. The first climb arrives one mile into the race as competitors run up past an aid station and hit a second station at the top of the climb on Joslin Hill Road near the 2-mile mark. Joslin Hill meets North Road and rolls along gently downhill for another 2.5 miles, passing through Pine Brook Covered Bridge before reaching a third aid station at Meadow Road. Runners will continue within Neill Farm on dirt roads while passing through farmlands.
When racers reach Meadow Road, they will turn left and run a short out-and-back section. They will eventually turn left again, continuing along North Road until they reach the turnaround location at just over 6 miles into the race at Carpenter Farm.
Runners will retrace their path up North Road before hitting the 9.4-mile mark at the Common Road intersection. Following a short out-and-back section on East Road, racers will hit a stretch of dirt road offering views of barns, farms and country homes. This stretch of the race is roughly 3 miles and joins East Warren Road at the 12-mile mark.
Runners will turn left toward East Warren and travel along rolling countryside road for 3 miles. When they reach Roxbury Mountain Road, they will begin a 4-mile loop along four backcountry lanes (Roxbury, Senor, Fuller Hill and Plunkton).
Returning to East Warren Road 19 miles into the marathon, competitors will begin a gentle rolling downhill slope back to Bridge Street. After that, runners will make a final 1-mile push to the finish line.
Last year’s winner was 27-year-old Dylan Thayer, who finished in 2 hours, 54 minutes, 35 seconds. The women’s winner was 23-year-old Emily Waligurski (3:05.23). A total of 247 racers completed the marathon.
Sunday’s event will also feature the Mad Half and relays. The Mad Mile will take place on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Waitsfield School. Parents can register their children for the Made Mile at the Waitsfield Inn from 4-7 p.m. on Friday and from 8:30-9 a.m. on Saturday at Waitsfield School. Registration fee is $5 and each runner will receive a Mad Mile shirt.