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Spotlight: Vermont City Marathon

Verdant views of Lake Champlain and a stellar spectator turnout make this race a bucket-lister.

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RACE

Tucked away in the north-Northeast, Burlington, Vt., spends much of the year covered in snow and whipped by wind. But in late May, the trees bloom, the ice thaws and the town hits the streets for the Vermont City Marathon (vermontcitymarathon.org). Known for its amazing spectator turnout, runners enjoy crowd support at every turn—including a crowd of Japanese drummers at the top of the race’s one tough hill.

EAT

Before a big race, it’s always best to stick with simple fare. At City Market (citymarket.coop), stock up on local bread, organic produce and freshly ground peanut butter to fuel your hard effort. Post-marathon, replenish all that salt you sweated out at A Single Pebble (asinglepebble.com). Serving up dishes like Tan Tan Noodle and Tangerine Peel Chicken, this restaurant is considered to be one of the best Chinese eateries on the eastern seaboard.

RUN

Stride off the beaten path at Red Rocks Park (sburlrecdept.com). Just south of town, this green space offers 4 miles of forested foot trails with views of Lake Champlain. If you’re up for an ice bath, head to the park’s public beach for an early spring dip. For those who prefer their land a bit more tamed, Shelburne Farms (shelburnefarms.org) offers lovely trails alongside livestock and tended meadows.

SHOP

After the snow melts in the mountain town, SkiRack Burlington (skirack.com) turns into the go-to run specialty store. Treat yourself to a soothing post-race balm at Lunaroma Aromatic Apothecary (lunaroma.com). The spa boutique offers skincare with a healing twist— try the Lavender Dead Sea Mud to reduce inflammation.

SLEEP

Up your race-day weekend’s charm factor with a stay at the Willard Street Inn (willardstreetinn.com). This Queen Anne–style mansion in the city’s Hill District provides an enchanting room and breakfast in the solarium for as little as $150 a night. Or log a culinary education along with your miles at The Essex Resort and Spa (essexresortspa.com), which offers daily cooking classes on premises.