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What to Expect
Due to the nature of this city-wide event there will be major delays from 6:45am to 11:15am. on Race Day. Please download our full color street closure map and complete list of street closures and traffic advisories if you have any concerns about travel around the city on Race day.
2020 Street Closure Map
Street Closures And Traffic Advisories
Interactive Burlington Parking Map
Traffic Advisory FAQ’s
All street closures and parking bans related to VCM are made to insure the safety of our participants. It is the goal of VCM to have as minimal negative impact on our community related to traffic delays as possible. We recognize the inconvenience that our event causes to some of the public and hope this document will help answer many questions.
Q: My house is on the marathon route. Can I park on the street?
A: It depends on where you live. “No Parking” signs will be posted on Saturday, the day before the event. If your neighborhood is posted then you will need to move your car off the street by 4am. Cars on the street in violation of posted signs will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Q: What areas should I avoid?
A: We find that the congested areas tend to go in waves, depending on where the runners are. For example, from 7:15am until 9:00am runners will be entering and exiting the Beltline (Rt 127). This causes backups on Manhattan Dr. From 7:10am to 7:30am runners are running down Main St to Church St. This causes backups if you are driving down Main St from Williston Rd. It is best to consult our color coded maps to figure out when runners will be in certain areas.
Keep in mind that due to the nature of our event the runners will spread out as the race goes on. That means that earlier (7:00am-8:00am) traffic may be completely delayed in an area, but the runners will be through those areas relatively quickly. Later (9:45am-1:00pm) when the runners are more spread out the delays will last longer, but there will be bigger gaps between runners so we will be able to cross cars more often.
Q: Why don’t you let more cars through?
A: Our #1 priority at all times is the safety of the runners in our race. We do not stop our racers, except in the case where an emergency vehicle with lights on approaches. Whenever there is a break between runners our Police and Course Monitors are instructed to let traffic through. We trust the Police and Course Monitors judgment on when it is safe to let cars cross.
Q: What is the best way to get to North Beach or Leddy Park or the Ethan Allen Shopping Plaza?
A: If you live anywhere other than Burlington’s North End and are trying to get to anywhere in Burlington north of Battery Park between 7:00am and 9:15am we recommend driving through Mallet’s Bay in Colchester and entering Burlington via Prim Rd. After 10:15am you may also be able to get to these areas via Manhattan Dr and North St. The Leddy Park access road is closed from 8:00am to 11:30am. Avoid driving near Battery St and the Battery Park area between 7:45am and 9:15am.
Q: What is the best way to get to Oakledge Park?
A: Oakledge Park is a busy place for the VCM, site of our 2 Person Relay exchange, halfway point of the marathon, and the first place our runners use the Burlington bike-path. Because of this, the entrance to Oakledge and streets west of Pine St are closed to cars until 10:00am. After 10:00am Oakledge will be open as usual.
Q: I will be driving from the north end of Burlington to Shelburne Rd on Sunday morning. What is the best route?
A: From 8:00am to 9:15am it is difficult to get from Burlington’s North End to downtown or points south or east due to major delays at Park St and Pine St. Prior to 7:15am the best route is Manhattan Dr or North St to Prospect St. At 7:15am we will re-open North Ave in the Battery Park area. From 7:30am to 8:00am King St and Maple St eastbound are open. From 8:00am to 9:15am it is best to avoid this area.
Q: I will be driving from the south end of Burlington to Colchester on Sunday morning. What is the best route?
A: Prior to 9:30am we recommend I189 and I89 to Winooski and then Mallets Bay Ave. After 9:30am the Beltline will reopen, and best access is from the streets east of Church St.
Q: What is the best way to get to Church St for Sunday brunch (and to watch the runners of course!) at 9:00am?
A: By 7:45am all our runners will have completed the Hill Section of the course. The rest of our course is completely to the east of Church St/Pine St/North Ave. If coming downtown after 9:15am it is recommended that you drive no further west than South Winooski Ave and walk to Church St.
Q: I need to come downtown in the morning and leave by 8:30am. What is the best way to avoid getting stuck downtown?
A: If you are going to need to leave downtown before 9:15am we recommend that you park to the east of Church St and walk into downtown. Driving out of the downtown core between 8:00am and 9:15am is very challenging due to multiple street closures on all sides of the downtown core.
Q: I need to put my boat in the water at the Coast Guard ramp on Sunday. When can I do this?
A: We recommend early morning (before 6:00am) or after 2:00pm as access times if you wish to use the Coast Guard ramp to launch your boat. The College St entrance to Waterfront Park is closed from 7:45am until 10:45am due to runners on Battery St. From 10:45am until 1:15pm there will be runners in the area where cars enter the boat ramp. After 3:00pm you should have full access to this boat ramp. As an alternative we recommend the boat ramp at Delta Park in Colchester.
Q: I live on Park St. In the past I have been unable to get out of my driveway on Sunday morning. How can I get my car out on Sunday morning?
A: If you live on or near the marathon route, Park St or elsewhere, there may be times when there are too many runners in front of your house for a car to safely exit your driveway. If you think you might need to drive from your house on Sunday morning it is a good idea to park your car on a nearby street east of the marathon course. Keep in mind that the nature of our event means that areas become congested and clear up at different times and at different rates. Please refer to our color coded maps determine the times when your neighborhood will be most congested with runners.
Q: Why can’t I drive on Pine St during the marathon?
A: Due to backups on St Paul St and Shelburne Rd, Pine St serves as the main emergency vehicle route during the marathon. Pine St may be used by local traffic only. Local traffic will be diverted onto any of the east-west streets (Howard St, Locust St, Birchcliff Pkwy, etc) as soon as possible to keep Pine St open.
Q: I see some vehicles on streets that you said were closed. Why can’t I drive on those streets?
A: Any vehicles on closed streets are official VCM vehicles with course passes, or they are local traffic.
Q: What if I get stuck? How do I get through the gridlock?
A: It is the nature of our event that some delays are inevitable. If you are caught in gridlock it is likely that it will clear up in 15-20 minutes at the most, please be patient. Feel free to ask the Police Officer or Course Monitor in your area about any alternative routes that may be available. They are your best resource for where our course goes. Keep in mind that it is their goal to minimize your inconvenience, but they must first keep in mind the safety of the runners.
There is wonderful music to greet the runners and spectators along the marathon course.
Email us if you are interested in volunteering to perform on race day.
2019 Entertainers (in order of appearance on course):
95 Triple X: Top 40|Pop Radio, Mile 2.9/9.2 on Church St
Sambatucada: Brazilian Rhythm, Mile 4.9/7.2 on the Beltline (Rt. 127)
Eagle Country 97.5: Country Radio, Mile 6.0/6.2 on the Beltline (RT. 127)
Star 92.9: Playing the 90s to now, Mile 9.7 at the SKIRACK at Main St and Pine St
Binger: Electric Funk, Mile 10.1/14.5, at Arts Riot on Pine Street
12 Strings: Folk, Mile 13.1 at Oakledge Park Relay Exchange Zone
The Burlington Taiko Group: Percussion, Mile 15.1 on Pine St at Main St
Sciatica: Spoof Rock, Mile 18 on Lakewood Parkway
Burlington Concert Band: Big Band, Mile 22 at North Ave & North Cove Road
Free Energy Drummers: African and Brazilian Percussion, Mile 22.6
Watching the Race
There are several excellent areas to watch your favorite runner participate in the Vermont City Marathon and Relay:
See Runners at the Start, miles 3.3, 8.7 and 15.1
Runners pass through at miles 2.5 and 9.
2 Person Relay Exchange with food and entertainment. Please note that there is no parking at or near Oakledge Park. This area is best accessed on foot or by bike (bring a lock.) Please stay out of the Relay Exchange Zone.
Finish and Post Race Celebration with food and entertainment.
Waterfront Finish Area Festivities
The post-race festival begins in Waterfront Park at 10:00 am on race day. Come celebrate at the finish area in Waterfront Park with Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks as a dramatic backdrop. From the runners’ food tent to fare from local vendors, there is plenty to eat for everyone.
There will be a band and those 21 years and older can receive a complimentary beer (sponsored by Michelob) with your bib; you must have an ID and your bib, no exceptions.
Meeting Family and Friends
Pick a meeting place in advance of marathon day and away from the action at the finish line. Be sure that participants and family members can locate it on the pull out maps provided at the start of the Guide. Here are some good places for runners and loved ones to reunite:
- Reunion Zone at Waterfront Park
- Boathouse near Waterfront Park
- Totem Pole at Battery Park
- Beansie’s Bus at Battery Park
- ECHO Center near Waterfront Park
An INFO booth is centrally located in Waterfront Park. In the event that you need to report a missing child, please do so at the INFO booth.