The Covered Bridges Half-Marathon

A lovely Vermont Weekend
May 8, 1999
by Papa Bear

Four NY Flyers wended (wound??) our way up to the Green Mountain (and Green Meadow) State on the first weekend in May for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. My wife and I took an extra day and went up Thursday. What an antidote to the stressful New York pace of life! We spent the time exploring lovely natural and man- (and woman-) made features. The race was Saturday morning so we had both Friday and most of Saturday and Sunday to enjoy ourselves. We stayed in a beautiful little B&B run by a little old lady in Woodstock.

On Saturday morning the weather was a gorgeous (for running) cloudy and cool. We parked in Queechy (the finish) and were bussed to the start. At the start we had about an hour to kill. It was the parking lot of the S uicide Six ski area, about 4 miles west of Woodstock. There I met up with Bill Gentry and his friend Dana.

The course drops a net 200 ft. from start to finish with one gradual hill after mile 5 and a short steep one at mile 8. Bill Gentry managed to say hello to John and Catherine in the first few miles - I missed them. At mile 4, we crossed through the covered bridge in Woodstock and there we were met by the first collection of what would otherwise be very sparsely stationed spectators. A few miles further on there was a 3 mile stretch on a flat, very well maintained dirt road, along the left bank of the Ottaqueechy river. This was really a gorgeous venue. This idyllic stretch ended as we passed the second covered bridge and then abruptly hit the steep hill at mile 8. The rest was gently rolling terrain (actually it really was gently rolling) into the town of Queechy (where we passed another covered bridge) where a very welcome downhill drop over about a half mile brought us to the finish.

The best part of the post race festivities was a free pint of Catamount beer, which I liked so much I brought back a case!!

Folks - this is one you really ought to try some time!

Postscript: Catherine Nayardy drove back to New York to run in the Women's Half-Marathon the very next day.