MANCHESTER - With the Maple Leaf Half Marathon and the Kotler 5K Run/Fun Walk - which is being presented by The Perfect Wife Restaurant, The Spiral Press Café and by MVP Health Care - coming up on Saturday, Sept. 7, beginning at 8 a.m. here are some helpful tips to follow for race day.

1. One of the most asked questions on race day is, "Where is the starting line?" Runners will start near the north end of the Lions' Club's red barn at the Recreation Park. While the starting banner cannot be put up until all the necessary service vehicles are in place, the banner should be up at least a half-hour before the starting time (8 a.m.).

2. The finish line is on the same road, about 300 yards further back.

3. For those wondering what to do for the rest of the weekend, visit the Chamber of Commerce's web site for a full listing of area events.

4. Arriving early is way better than late. The race will start promptly at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.

5. Early arriving runners and walkers can pick up their bibs and other materials on Friday, Sept. 6, at the Park Building at the Dana Thompson Recreation Center, 340 Recreation Park Road Manchester Center between 4-7:30 p.m. (Participants from southern Vermont are urged to beat the Saturday crowd by picking up their materials early.) Participants will enter through the front doors, pick up your materials, visit the Expo and exit to the right.

6.


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The Perfect Wife Restaurant is hosting a runners' dinner at the Recreation Center on Friday evening from 6-7:30 pm. Seating will be limited and reservations are recommended.

7. The park will be shared on Friday between the organizers of the Maple Leaf and the local high school for a football game at Applejack Field. Traffic will be busy particularly between 6:30-7 p.m. Arriving before or after the football fans begin coming is recommend. There's plenty of parking, just follow the marshals.

8. We are having a Race Expo of the sponsors also on Friday night during packet pick-up and the dinner. These folks help bring the race to the runner.

9. On Saturday, Sept. 7, race day, bibs, etc. can be picked up from 6-7:30 a.m.

10. The races will start at 8 a.m. sharp. This is an hour before starting time previously. The traditional date of the first Saturday following Labor Day falls earlier in the month for the next couple years, so the time was changed in hopes for cool running conditions.

11. There is plenty of parking at the Recreation Center. Traffic will be diverted to adjoining lots after 7 a.m., though. Follow the traffic marshals directions, please. Again, arriving early is better than arriving late.

12. For those runners coming from afar who will be spending the weekend, they are encouraged to get in touch with the race's lodging partners. To find out more about lodging, contact the Manchester and the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-362-4144 EST between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

13. In planning with the local police department, runners are asked to leave their backpacks or other bags/packages in their cars. Unattended backpacks, bags, packages, etc. will be confiscated and moved away from the race area as a precaution.

14. Babies, infants in strollers or pets are not allowed to participate in the race.

15. Runners are asked to line up for the start at 7:45 a.m. There will be pace markers indicating their suggested position. It is also asked that 5K participants line-up on the left side of the road, while half marathoners stay on the right side. At the one-mile mark (roughly), the 5K course splits off to the left on School Street, while the half marathon proceeds straight into town. There will be traffic marshals on the course to point runners in the right direction.

16. On race day, Saturday, Sept. 7, if runners have any questions, seek out the volunteers wearing yellow Maple Leaf ball caps, either at registration in the Park House or out on the grounds of the Recreation Park. If they don't know the answer to the question, they will be able to direct people to a knowledgeable committee member.