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Burlington Out In Full Force For Vermont City Marathon

Angela Evancie
Runners Kellie Connolly and Cara Cadigan celebrate finishing the Vermont City Marathon.

Burlington was buzzing with activity Sunday for the 26th annual Key Bank Vermont City Marathon.

In Burlington’s South Cove neighborhood, spectators gathered to cheer on the runners during Mile 11 of the race.

Judy Flanagan is on hand to offer her cheers to the runners. She’s from Colchester, but her daughter lives right up the block, so this is the perfect spot to watch the runners go by - with easy access to the spread of bagels waiting back at the house.

Her son-in-law is running the full marathon for the second time. As a group of runners round the corner, Flanagan looks for familiar faces.

“I love this spot, because I love watching them come up and around,” said Flanagan. “I know a lot of people running, so I feel like I can cheer for them right here.”

Flanagan is joined by her family and dozens of other neighbors cheering, clapping and holding up signs for the marathoners. Flanagan’s not a runner, so she’s even more impressed:

“I just am amazed, I keep saying that,” said Flanagan. “My husband’s like, ‘ok we heard you.’ 26.2 miles just…I can’t even fathom running that much.”

That’s exactly what thousands of people are doing. With 8,000 runners, the Vermont City Marathon is the state’s biggest race, attracting runners from around the country.

Brian McMahon is from Washington, DC. This is his seventh marathon. He ran this race in 2012, but he didn’t feel great about how it went.

He came back to Burlington to hopefully improve his performance.

“Maybe not overall time, but a better feeling during the race,” said McMahon. “I didn’t really feel that well mentally and physically two years ago.”

McMahon did improve his time by eight minutes, and says he felt better this time around. And he says his day job is actually harder than running a marathon.

“I teach kindergarten, so I kind of feel like this isn’t as tough,” said McMahon. “Because I don’t have to deal with 18 screaming kids.”

26.2 miles is tough. Runners trained for months, some hoping their time would qualify them for next year’s Boston Marathon.

But for others, running as part of a relay team was more realistic. And the perfect place to relax after the race with your teammates? The beer tent.

Kara Campbell is from Newport. She ran with a group of friends as a five-person relay team. After running her 3.3 mile leg, she’s relaxing outside with a beer. And she’s not super concerned with her team’s finish time.

“Well our team is actually still running, so I’m not sure,” said Campbell.

Campbell says that like of lot of the runners, her plans include relaxing for the rest of the holiday weekend.

Annie Russell was VPR's Deputy News Director. She came to VPR from NPR's Weekends on All Things Considered and WNYC's On The Media. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.
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