Saturday, Sept. 8, turned out to be a beautiful day in Manchester. The weather gods looked down and rewarded us with wonderful morning weather, prior to the rains and wind, which made their appearance in the afternoon.The sunny, bright day presented an opportunity to display the beauty of our town, in all its splendid glory, to over 1,000 participants in the Jay Hathaway Memorial Maple Leaf Half Marathon and 5K.
This event was organized and presented by the Manchester Lions Club, the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce, Batten Kill Valley Runners and Stratton Mountain Resort.
The Maple Leaf committee members have received many favorable comments from visitors, mentioning the beauty of the area, the helpfulness and friendliness of our volunteers and indicating they will be sure to come back in the future. This very successful event could not have come to fruition without the generous support of all our sponsors. They have all been mentioned through ads placed in this paper. I would like to especially recognize the following:
Our title sponsors, the Hathaway family and friends, and our presenting sponsors, The Perfect Wife, The Spiral Press Café and MVP Health Care.
In addition to our sponsors, many community members and organizations pitched in to help in a variety of ways. Members of the Lions Club worked long hours, before, during and after the race. Set up of the course in the wee hours of the morning was handled by the
The Manchester Rescue Squad and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center were on hand to tend to anyone displaying difficulties and to render first aid to the injured. The Stratton Fitness Center was on hand to massage tired and cramping runners. GNAT provided publicity and filmed special aspects of the race. Joe Slowik of Leader Beverage provided gallons and gallons of water for the runners.
A special thank you goes to Don Dorr, and to St. Paul's Catholic Church, who kindly allowed runners and volunteers to park on their property. Recognition must also be given to Pastor Margaret Dawedeit for her inspiring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, Bruce Charbonneau firing his military rifle to start the race, Bob Hartwell driving the lead vehicle, and Dick Bailey driving the sweep vehicle to pick up runners unable to complete the course, and to be sure no one was left to fend for themselves after the marshals were relieved from their posts. Hand Motors kindly allowed us to use one of their vehicles for this task.
We had about 150 individual volunteers involved in tasks such as; traffic control, responsible for keeping runners on course and safe from traffic hazards, providing water, driving the lead and trailing vehicles, assisting in runner registration, and identifying and announcing runners in the finish area. A very special thank you must go to the Town Select Board, John O'Keefe, Town Manager, Lee Krohn, Town Planner, Tricia Hayes, communications coordinator for the town project, and the Schulz Construction Company and their employees. These are the people who worked out the plan to open Center Bridge for a two hour window, on race day, so runners could stay on route to complete our newly certified 13.1 mile course.
In addition, the Manchester Police Department, along with the help of the Manchester Parks and Recreation, played an integral part in making this a most successful event.
Thank you to all who came out to encourage the runners. We apologize to those who were inconvenienced by traffic delays, and thank you for your patience and cooperation. This was indeed a cooperative venture with the community.
Manchester Lions Club