Tips | Classes | Pace Calculator | Coaching | Community Runs

Tips for First-Timers

Vermont City Marathon is known as a great “first-timers” marathon. The size of the event, number of volunteers, community enthusiasm and support, and the scenic beauty make this marathon event one that will provide a lasting impression. To help make your VCM experience go as smoothly as possible, we encourage first time runners to remember the following:

Please review your registration confirmation carefully for any errors.  If you do not receive an email registration confirmation you are not registered.

Be Informed
Please make sure to read all VCM Race materials. Stay connected through our emails and newsletters, our blog, The RunDown, and follow us on twitter and Facebook.

Your Race Packet and Bib
All marathon runners must wear a Race Bib and timing tag while participating. You will receive your bib with b-tag timing at Packet Pick-Up at the Sheraton Hotel.  Complete the emergency contact information on the back of your bib. Regardless of how physically fit you feel on race day, completing this information may save your life.

Bib Placement
Pin the bib to the FRONT of your shirt.  Keep your bib visible at all times.  Do not hide or cover your race bib with anything.  Do not fold, crumple, cut or otherwise alter your bib in any way; doing so may destroy your timing device. No Tag, No Time. No Exception. Please review the complete instructions for the B-Tag Bib.
Water Stations
It takes some practice to master drinking and running at the same time. If you need to walk or stop to get the water down, be sure to glance in back of you and pull off to the side. Do not become a hazard for other runners. If you’re hot and want to pour a cup of water over your head, make sure the cup has water, not Gatorade in it! Toss your cup safely to the side or better yet, put it in the many trash barrels available at each station.

Start Line
Line up according to your expected pace. Pace signs are posted in the Start area. It can be frustrating and even dangerous for faster runners to weave around slower runners at the start of the event when the pack is thick.  VCM offers runners the opportunity to run with pace leaders.  Bios of the pace leaders will be featured on our blog, The RunDown, leading up to the race.

Have Fun!
You have spent months training for this day. Enjoy it. There will be thousands of spectators and volunteers cheering you on as well as live music, food and a Finish Line celebration. Rain or shine, fast or slow, be proud of your accomplishment!

Unofficial race-day results will be posted on CoolRunning when available.  Official results are posted to this site as soon as possible following the race. For information on how results become official and when to expect official results, please read this blog post.  Once results are ‘Official’ you may print your finisher’s certificate.

Avoiding Pre-Race Jitters

Each day spend 15 minutes visualizing your race. Close your eyes before you get out of bed in the morning and play out the race in your mind. See yourself on race morning. You are calm and organized, your emotions are controlled.  See yourself on race day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you cross the finish line.

Visualize your success
See the clock.  See your goal time. If you visualize success over and over again, chances are you can will it to happen on race day!

Make sure you are organized the day before the race. Race morning is not the time to decide what to eat or wear.  Have everything set out the night before and perform your morning automatically like you do every day in training. Nothing new!

Focus internally on performance rather than outcome. All energy and focus should be on yourself, taking care of your body so that it can perform the way you want it to.  Focus on what you are doing at that very moment. Live in the here and now. Don’t think too much, just simply do what you have trained your body to do day in and day out.

Mental Cues
Have some emotional and biomechanical  cues or mantras that you will say to yourself throughout the race to help you remain focused. Mental cues include: “I feel strong”, “I am confident”, “I will succeed.”  Anything that keeps your emotions in check and triggers internal confidence and a positive attitude are good mental clues.  Biomechanical cues are also very important throughout the second half of the race.  Many runners look at the elites and wonder how they make it look so easy. It is not easy for them. They have just practiced running efficiently when they are exhausted. This makes them more efficient and eliminates wasted energy and pace declines. Some biomechanical cues include: high cadence, run from hips, efficient stride, no wasted energy, smooth and light, relax the face… Never ever say to yourself, ”I am so tired, my knees hurt, I have to slow down.” Instead say, “Stay strong, I have worked so hard, I will be done soon, keep pushing, I will take it one mile at a time, etc.”

Remember the goal of the taper is to reach a state of physical AND mental preparation that leads to optimal performance. Now go have the race of your life!

Kim Loeffler, MS Exercise Physiology, Pro Triathlete and Coach
Kelly  Liljeblad, Elite 2:32 Marathon Runner and Coach


Winter/Spring 2014 class information
2014 information included for reference; 2015 class information details anticipated November 2014

Marathon/Half Marathon 101

For First Time Marathoners and Half-Marathoners of ALL Levels
This educational course offers many tools including tips on training schedules, nutrition, strength training, proper shoe analysis, mental preparation and more. Class is geared for registered marathon and 2-person relay participants of the Vermont City Marathon and Relay; however participants may have another marathon or half marathon event as their goal. Class participants have over a 90% success rate.The first five classes will be in a classroom setting and cover all of the topics outlined above. The next four classes will be active; Coach Kim will get you outside to take your running to the next level. You will finish up with one more indoor classroom session to get you prepped for your big day.

New this year: All participants will receive a Vermont City Marathon IN Training Shirt!

Class Size
Limited to 25

2014 Kim Loeffler smileCoach: Kim Loeffler
Running has always been a passion for Kim. She started running in the 7th grade and went on to run cross country and track for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After college she moved to Boston to pursue her Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology. Her competitive drive never faded and she eventually caught the Ironman bug. She has spent the past  ten years racing as a Professional Triathlete. Her career highlights include a top U.S. finish and 8th place overall at the Ironman World Championships, two U.S. Ironman National Championship titles, a 70.3 National Championship title and a combined ten Ironman podium finishes.

As a new mom of a 5 month old daughter, her goals have evolved. She has joined a great team of coaches at ON TRACK where she mentors athletes of all abilities. Kim is looking forward to sharing her passion and helping new marathoners realize that with determination and discipline, anything is possible.

Classes meet on Wednesday evenings.
Class dates: 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/26, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23,  Sunday 5/4 & 5/14.
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
All participants will receive weekly updates from Coach Kim, including weeks when class does not meet in person.

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
60 Main Street
Burlington, Vermont


Marathon 201

For Runners Who Have Run One or More Marathons/Half-Marathons
If you have run one or more marathons or half marathons and want to improve any aspect of your training or performance, this course is for you! This 10-week educational course Samoffers various training tools for increasing your running IQ, including: how to improve your training schedule, speed work, race strategies, running physiology, mental preparation, injury prevention and treatment and how to get faster without getting burned out.

Class Size
Limited to 25                                       


Coach: Sam Davis
Sam Davis has been running competitively for over 37 years.  His accomplishments include being a collegiate cross country champion, as well as a former record holder in track. He is also an inductee into the RunVermont Hall of Fame.
Sam has completed over 25 marathons (including four KeyBank Vermont City Marathons) and countless half marathons and has PR’s of 2:32 and 1:08 respectively.  Sam is a USA Track & Field Certified Level 2 Endurance Coach and provides consultation for runners of all ages and abilities.

Classes meet on Mondays
Class dates are 1/27, 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/17, 3/31, 4/14, 4/28, 5/12 & 5/19.
Time: 5:30-7:00pm

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
60 Main Street
Burlington, Vermont


Pace Calculator

Use our handy pace calculator to calculate your time, distance or pace by entering 2 out of the 3 in our calculator tool below.

Personal Coaching Services

Looking to take the next step in your training and racing? RunVermont is now offering one on one, personalized coaching. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a veteran, looking to concentrate on the 5k, the marathon or any distance in between; our coaches can help you!

Coaching Program Includes:

  • Customized training plans designed to help you reach your goals this year and beyond
  • Weekly interaction with your coach
  • Post-race review
  • Cost: $150/month

Coach Sam Davis:
Sam Davis has been running competitively for over 37 years.  His accomplishments include being a collegiate cross country champion, as well as a former record holder in track. He is also a member of the RunVermont Hall of Fame. Sam has completed over 25 marathons (including four Vermont City Marathons) and countless half marathons with PR’s of 2:32 and 1:08 respectively.  Sam is a USA Track & Field Certified Level 2 Endurance Coach and provides consultation for runners of all ages and abilities.

“I believe that one size does not fit all when it comes to training. I strive to customize training programs to an individual’s lifestyle and include factors such as running age, past injuries and long term goals. I have learned more from my mistakes than from my successes and strive to apply that knowledge to better help runners achieve their goals.” – Sam Davis

Coach Joe Connelly:
Joe Connelly has been a part of the RunVermont staff since 2004 and has volunteered with the Vermont City Marathon since 1990. A Vermont resident for 30 years, Connelly has coached adult runners and triathletes for over 20 years and has been the Head Coach for Men’s Cross Country at Saint Michael’s College since 2001. He recently earned USATF Level I certification. His coaching philosophy is decidedly Lydiard-based and focuses on long-term development for distance runners.

For more information or to set up a consultation e-mail the coach directly:

Community Runs

Marathon Training Runs

Hannaford Training Runs
RunVermont & Hannaford team up for group training runs; runners of all paces encouraged to attend. 

  • Date: Saturdays from March to May 2015; 2015 schedule/routes anticipated January 2015
  • Cost: Free!
  • RunVermont will provide the route, a map, a leader and Hannaford will provide post run goodies!
  • More information: e-mail or call the RunVermont office 802-863-8412

SKIRACK / GMAA Long Runs on VCM Course
2015 schedule anticipated January 2015

  • Location: SKIRACK, 85 Main Street, Burlington, VT
  • Extras: Water/Gatorade every 3 miles. Bagels, bananas, hydration at the finish.
  • Cost:  FREE! Just come and run!
  • More info: email Erin Randall Mullins

VCM SKIRACK Pace Team Runs
2015 schedule anticipated March 2015

  • Location: SKIRACK, 85 Main Street, Burlington, VT
  • Extras: Meet our Official VCM SKIRACK Pace Leaders! All paces and abilities welcome.
  • Cost: FREE! Just come and run!
  • More info: Email Jack Pilla

Year-Round Community Runs

Sunday Morning Runs
Informal, casual group runs co-sponsored by RunVermont and Green Mountain Athletic Association. As long as the Burlington Bike Path is clear the runs head out there for an out and back run of whatever distance you are up for. As the snow and ice accumulates the runs head onto city streets. There is always a group introduction before beginning so you can find out who is going what pace and distance.

  • Dates/Times: Every Sunday, 8am
  • Location: Meet at The Edge on Eastwood Drive in South Burlington, inside the lobby.  (From Shelburne Rd. – turn onto Farrell then onto Eastwood)
  • Extras: Water, Gatorade, and bagels provided as well as use of the club before and after your run.
  • Cost: FREE!  No membership required, just come and run when you can!
  • More info:  For further information, e-mail Erin Randall Mullins, visit the GMAA website or call RunVermont at 802-863-8412.

“Run with Jan” Sunday Morning Runs

  • Dates/Time: Every Sunday, 8:15 am (summer 7:45am)
  • Locations vary, but include the Burlington Bike Path, Richmond, Charlotte, Shelburne, South Burlington and Essex. Each week’s location is posted here and on the group’s Facebook page.
  • Cost: FREE! Just come and run!
  • More info: All paces and distances welcome.
  • Established in 2003 as a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training (TNT) fundraiser running group, the Run with Jan group expanded to also include TNT alumni, supporters, friends and visitors over the years. Runners provide their own drinks and/or sports gels.For more information, contact coach Jan Leja

SKIRACK Social Fun Runs

  • Dates/Time: Thursdays, 6:00pm
  • Location: SKIRACK, 85 Main Street, Burlington, VT
  • Distance: 4-ish miles, easy-to-moderate pace
  • Extras: This group often gathers post-run at for a beverage at a local watering hole.
  • Cost: FREE! Just come and run!
  • More info: Contact SKIRACK at 658-3313