The goal of our Invited Runners Program is to promote and support hard-working, talented, dedicated runners, who may be holding down full-time jobs, but who are also dedicated to spirited competition and pursuing the highest level of achievement in their sport. It is not necessarily our goal to bring in the fastest runners we can possibly find, simply to establish impressive course records. We seek to bring together groups of men and women who are evenly matched in their running credentials, in order to provide close and entertaining competition and to push our Invited Runners to their highest level of performance. We do not actively seek to find international athletes, but concentrate our efforts on identifying and promoting up-and-coming American runners.
Many marathons have invited/elite athletes who are clearly so fast that they run as a pack well ahead of the general runners. A quick look at our results in any given year will clearly demonstrate that there is far more harmony at VCM, with a fairly seamless overlap of the slower invited runners and the faster open runners.
Where do we find our Invited Runners? Many of them have run with us in prior years and communicate with us beginning in September, October and November. Others hear about VCM through word of mouth and email or phone us inquiring about obtaining Invited status. The Invited Runners Coordinator and the Technical Director are constantly on the lookout for athletes whose recent marathon results fall within the general range of desired times. The program has limited spots available contact us early!
For men, we are looking for runners with current results in the high teens through low 2:30’s.
For women, we are looking for runners with current results in the mid to upper 2:30’s to high 2:50’s.
We accept Masters runners who have recent times in the 2:30’s for men and in the vicinity of low 3 hours for women. Athletes who have served suspensions related to PED use are not eligible to be part of the VCM Invited Runner Program nor are they eligible to win prize money at this event.
All Invited Runner Program Racers receive:
- A complimentary entry
- A seeded bib number
- Front of Start Line access
- Special on-course aid stations
- Personalized baggage handling for warm-ups
- Other race day perks
- Program Racers with faster results may also receive complimentary housing for the weekend and/or transportation reimbursement.
Accomplished racers who have only half marathon or 10k results to submit can also be accepted – if those times fall within our established program criteria.
Note that the time standards listed above are our general criteria and can vary during any given year. Please contact us if you would like to be considered for our Invited Runners Program, even if your credentials fall outside our published standards.
For more information on the Invited Runners Program, email Joe Connelly or call the RunVermont Office at 802-863-8412.