Saturday June 15, 2013

Thanks to great community support, the Shires of Vermont Marathon on May 19 was a big success. All proceeds from the event go to help United Counseling Service provide life-changing opportunities for children and families in our community.

This year, 451 runners signed up representing 35 states and 5 foreign countries and including about 40 runners who were not allowed to finish the Boston Marathon. Warmed by local welcome and delighted by scenic beauty, the visitors were thrilled to be running in Bennington County. Many experienced runners say the Shires Marathon ranks among the best.

Of course, none of this would be possible without great community support, starting with our hospital and main sponsor, Southwestern Vermont Health Care, whose health professionals, organized by Dr. Judy Orton of Green Mountain Pediatrics, provide truly excellent care on course.

Great support also comes from our corporate sponsors Cigna, The Vermont Department of Tourism, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont.

Huge thanks go to many other sponsors and local businesses who contribute heavily to the success of the event, and to our uniquely beautiful start and finish venues, The Bennington Center for the Arts and Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. Thanks also go to the towns and highway departments who actively support the safety and growth of the event; to the advice and presence of the county sheriff; to our partners, The Bennington Chamber, The Manchester and the Mountains Chamber, The Shires of Vermont, and The Manchester Lions.


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Most of all, thanks go to the hundreds of volunteers who hand out water, food, encouragement, who stand at intersections to make them safe for runners, who cheer, lead medical services on course, entertain, help register, welcome and inform. Without their enthusiastic help, the event would not be so dear to runners.

Throughout the planning process, and all along the course from start to finish, the event unfolded smoothly and successfully. That owes to the unflagging support and guidance from our local club, The BattenKill Valley Runners.

Thanks each and all for giving such a big boost to community wellness!

ROBERT PINI

Race co-director,
Community Relations Director,
United Counseling Service