When is it? The New England Green River Marathon will take place on Sunday, August 30, 2020. Start time for all runners is 7 a.m.
What happens if the race is cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak? We currently intend to hold the race as planned. Many epidemiological models predict that the epidemic will slow down through June. This gives us hope that we will be able to hold the race as planned on August 30. If the governors of Vermont and Massachusetts have not lifted the large-event bans at that point we would defer the race and all entries to 2021. We hope to have more solid information by early July. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.
For spectators and volunteers
Amenities, photos, and awards
Health and safety
Where to stay
How is this race environmentally friendly?
Why are you putting on this race?
How do I register?
Go to our registration page and follow the link to online registration. Regular registrations are full for 2020. See the Registration page for fund-raising entries.
How much is the race entry fee?
The cost is $100 for regular entries.
Is the race full?
Regular registrations are full for 2020. See the Registration page for fund-raising entries.
Is there a waiting list?
No, there is no waiting list. We open 450 spaces for regular registration anticipating a normal attrition rate. In 2020 we are also offering 10 fund-raising entries, your opportunity to help raise money for Connecticut River Conservancy.
Why do you cap registration?
In our survey of runners, they said they liked the small, community feeling of the race and want us to keep it that way. We agree! Also, this is a narrow, winding rural course open to traffic, and we need to keep numbers down for safety reasons.
Can I get a refund if I cannot run?
No refunds are available. You can get race fee insurance when you register (through RunReg) if you are worried you might not be able to participate. If you find that you can’t run, please note that your fees will go toward helping protect the Green River through the Connecticut River Conservancy.
Can I defer to next year’s race if I can’t run?
No, there are no deferrals. You can get race fee insurance when you register (through RunReg) if you are concerned that you might not be able to participate. Your fees will go toward helping protect the Green River through the Connecticut River Conservancy.
Can I transfer my registration to another person?
No. Since we mail the bibs and assign them relatively early, this is not something that works for this race.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be at least 16 on race day.
When (and where) do I pick up my bib and runner packet?
Bibs will be mailed out in the weeks before the race. Please be sure your address in RunReg is up-to-date. T-shirts will be available in the finish area after the race.
I live outside the United States, and am worried that I won’t receive my bib in time.
If you are in Canada, you should be fine. If you are outside the US and Canada, use the form on the Contact page to let us know, and we can make alternative arrangements.
Will there be race-day registration?
No. You must pre-register online.
How do I get to Greenfield/ Marlboro?
Greenfield Community College, where the race finishes, and where parking is provided, is located near the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 2. Take exit 26 off I-91 and follow the traffic rotary to Route 2 west. Once on Route 2, take a right at the first traffic light onto Colrain Road. We are located on College Drive, six-tenths of a mile ahead on the left. GPS: One College Drive, Greenfield, Massachusetts, 01301
Marlboro College, where the race will start, has room for drop-offs only. No parking. There will be buses to take runners to the start from Greenfield Community College (see below). To get to Marlboro College, take Exit 2 off Interstate 91 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Turn right onto Route 9 West through West Brattleboro. Continue on Route 9 for approximately 10 miles, past the Marlboro Elementary School on left. Turn left onto South Road for approximately three miles, through the village of Marlboro to the college. GPS (use with caution; may lead you down rural roads!): 2582 South Road, Marlboro, VT 05344
Which airport should I fly into?
Logan International Airport
1 Harborside Avenue
Boston, MA 02128
Logan is a 2-hour drive from Greenfield. This is a large, busy airport and likely has the most direct flights from your location.
Bradley International Airport
Windsor Locks, CT 0609
Bradley is roughly a 75-minute drive from Greenfield. This is a smaller accessible airport with many direct flight options.
How do I get to the start?
The start is at Marlboro College, but the parking is at the finish at Greenfield Community College. We are running a bus service from the parking area to the start. Buses will leave starting at 5 a.m. The last bus will leave at 5:30 a.m. (see Schedule page).
Where do I park?
There is ample space to park at Greenfield Community College (finish). Runners must take the bus or be dropped off at Marlboro College (start). There is NO parking at the start.
What time does the race start?
The marathon starts at 7 a.m.
Is there an early start option?
No. We are already asking a lot of our volunteers to be out there for so many hours!
Is there a time limit?
Yes, the course will close at 1:30 p.m., six and a half hours after the start.
What’s the course like?
The course follows most of the length of the Green River from Marlboro, VT to Greenfield, MA. We chose this course because of its beautiful, quiet New England scenery- you get to run through a historic covered bridge! See the full course description on the Course page.
What is the net elevation loss?
This is a net downhill (-1,459 feet) marathon (26.2 miles), and as such is a good candidate for a marathon PR and/or a BQ. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t an easy course; no marathon is, and this one does have a few uphills! But if you train right, it could be a fast one for you. Remember, train for the specific race, so be sure to include hills (both uphill and downhill) and dirt surfaces in your training.
Is the course USATF-certified / a Boston Marathon qualifier?
Yes. The course is certified by USATF (course certification MA18003JK) and as such is a Boston qualifier. Note however that the BAA reserves the right to determine that at any time!
When I ran the course, it came out longer/shorter than 26.2 miles on my GPS. Why is that?
GPS measurement isn’t sufficiently accurate to measure courses. USATF requires on-the-ground, calibrated wheel measurement to meet their stringent certification standards, and that’s what we did, using a certified course measurer. See the USATF Position on GPS for more information.
Will my GPS watch work under all those trees and in the valley?
Mostly. The trees don’t seem to have much effect, but some anomalies of signal and recording of distance and speed have been experienced around miles 16-21 where the course goes through steeper topography. This is unusual however. When in doubt, check your elapsed time and mile markers.
Is there a half-marathon option?
No. Due to logistics this race will be strictly a full, point-to-point 26.2 mile marathon.
How many aid stations will there be?
See the course page for details.
Is this race in time to register for the coming year’s Boston marathon?
Yes. A successful time in the New England Green River Marathon will qualify a runner for the following year’s race. The race directors submit data from the race to BAA within two days after the race, and this has been in time to register. NOTE: the August 2020 race will not qualify a runner for the postponed 2020 Boston Marathon on September 14, 2020. The 2020 Green River Marathon serves as a qualifying race for the 2021 Boston Marathon.
Will the course be closed to traffic?
Most of these small, rural roads will be open to traffic. Signs, traffic cones, and race marshals will help alert traffic, but runners will be expected to watch for vehicles and obey the rules of the road. The course will be closed to traffic on Green River Road from Moss Hollow Road to Deer Park Road in the Halifax section of the race from 7:00 am to 8:30 am.
What’s the weather usually like there at that time of year?
The weather can be extremely variable. Some years are very hot and humid while some years the morning temperatures might be in the low 40s. A majority of the course is shaded, though less so in the last 5 miles. The river corridor is frequently a few degrees cooler than surrounding areas. The last five miles however, are on pavement and are more exposed to the sun. This is a summer race, so please train in hot weather to be acclimated and prepared!
Can I run with headphones?
Please don’t. Our insurer and club partner, the Road Runners Club of America, strongly discourages runners from using headphones or earbuds. Why? Because it is the cause of injuries due to reduced awareness of surroundings, including other runners, bicycles, and motor vehicles. Remember, this is an open, rural course with traffic, and you must obey traffic laws, yielding right-of-way when appropriate. Besides, how will you enjoy the sounds of the gurgling Green River, the beautiful birdsong that fills the valley, or the soft sound of rustling leaves if you have earphones on?
Can a friend run along with me? They aren’t registered for the race.
No. We understand the support that people give each other in training, but that can’t be brought to the race. USATF rule 144.3(a) describes being paced by an unregistered runner as receiving “unfair assistance” and may result in disqualification. Besides that, unregistered runners haven’t paid for any of the services they may need, including emergency medical assistance. That’s not fair to those who have paid for registration and the services that come with that. If you want to support your friend who is running, please respect other runners and do so from the sidelines.
What are the rules?
We use the the USATF’s Competition Rules as our guideline for ensuring a fair and safe competition. This is a Boston qualifying race and we take this very seriously. We have unfortunately had to disqualify runners for breaches of the rules. Often this has been due to runners’ lack of awareness rather than dishonesty, so please familiarize yourself with the rules! To highlight a few frequent issues/questions:
- You must wear your official, assigned bib (race number) on the front of your body where it is visible at all times during the race. This can be difficult if layering clothing, so please plan accordingly
- You must follow the directions of race officials
- You may not give or sell your bib to another runner for any reason
- You may not wear a bib assigned to another person
- You must run the entire course without the assistance of another person or any mechanical aid (medical attention is not considered “assistance”)
- You must start at the official 7:00 am start; there are no early starts
- You must finish by the cutoff time of six hours and thirty minutes. In other words, you must finish by 1:30 pm.
- You may not have a friend run with you if they are not a registered runner
- The Race Director reserves the right to interpret the rules and make a final decision on any appeal.
- You must follow the entire physical course without any mechanical conveyance or assistance.
Are there showers available after the race?
No, unfortunately not. The nearby Green River Swimming and Recreation Area has showers and a great place to swim in the river.
Do you have a severe weather or cancellation policy?
Yes. Extreme conditions (extreme heat and humidity, high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms) not only risk the health and safety of our participants, volunteers, spectators and community members, but they also place a burden on the community’s health care system and emergency services. Therefore, extreme conditions may cause delay or cancellation. A review of past weather indicates this is possible but not very likely.
In addition, there is the remote possibility that our riverside course could wash out and become impassable. We will communicate any changes through this site, by email, and on our Facebook page. Check frequently in the days and hours leading up to the race, especially if the forecast is for unusually hot, humid, or stormy weather.
Can I have an early start or late finish? I’m not sure I can do it in 6.5 hours.
No, we can’t allow an early start or late finish. Our volunteers are scheduled and resources are put on the course to fit the 6.5 hour time frame. It’s a long day for our hard-working volunteers, and we feel we can’t ask any more of them.
Is there a medical team on site?
The finish line is staffed by the ConMed Response Team, with qualified medical personnel. There will also be ConMed medical personnel staged at mile 25. Emergency response on the course will be from local emergency medical services. Cell phone reception is non-existent for much of the course and there are long stretches on this course where support will be limited. We will have radio volunteers on the course, but if you don’t feel well, please identify yourself to a volunteer when you can. Help us help you!
For Spectators and Volunteers
Where can I watch?
Join us at the finish at Greenfield Community College! We will have food, drink, and a beautiful place to gather on the lawn in the shade of big trees. There’s lots of room for kids to run around and great scenery. Several local vendors will be providing food and drink. Come and greet your runners as they cross the finish line! Celebrate their achievement!
Are there other places along the course to watch?
Yes, but Please do not drive on the course. The road is narrow, dusty, and cars impinge on the runners’ safety and quality of running. During the race, the Green River Road is closed to motor vehicle traffic between Moss Hollow Road and Deer Park Road. We also want to be good neighbors. There are local working people who must travel these roads, so let’s stay out of their way and out of the way of the runners.
Very limited parking and access are available at the following locations along the
course. Please do not block roads or driveways. This is a “no trace race” so please clean up after yourself and respect our host communities! Again, please do not drive on the course between these locations:
- Mile 10: The Green River Covered Bridge in Guilford, VT. Accessible by Jacksonville Stage Road, either from Rte. 112 to the west or Guilford Center to the east. Pre-downloading maps is strongly recommended as there is no cell coverage on most of the course. We station a professional photographer at the covered bridge who endeavors to photograph every runner with the bridge, so there’s no need for you to catch that shot!
- Mile 16.5: West Leyden. Accessible via West Leyden Road from Rte. 112 up the hill to the west or the village of Leyden up the hill to the east. Again, pre-downloading maps is strongly recommended.
- Mile 21.5: Junction of Eunice Williams Drive and Green River Road. This is where runners emerge from the dirt road onto pavement for the final time. Accessible via Leyden Rd / Eunice Williams Drive to the east. There is usually cell service here.
How do I volunteer?
Visit our signup page (coming soon) and find a job that’s right for you! If you are an experienced runner/volunteer and would like to take a position with more responsibility, please contact us through the “Contacts” page. Thanks for your willingness to help out!
Amenities, Photos, and Awards
What kinds of amenities do you offer on site?
At Marlboro College (start): there will be portapotties, a rain shelter, a bag drop, and race officials to help with any registration questions or other issues.
At Greenfield Community College (finish): parking, porta-potties, rain shelter, refreshments, food, bag pick-up, and awards!
Will there be a bag drop/pickup?
Yes, bags can be dropped at Marlboro College at the start, and will be delivered to the pickup site at Greenfield Community College
Will there be race photos?
Yes! We contract with professional race photographers to take pictures at the covered bridge and at a scenic location out on the course. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we get pictures of every runner at the covered bridge. We also have pictures for many (but not all) runners out on the course. There are also photos of some runners at the finish. These are free, un-watermarked photos, provided to you as part of your entry fee. They are ready for viewing/download a week to 10 days following the race. We encourage family and friends to take finish line pictures so you have some right away!
Do you give awards?
This is a fundraiser, so we do not give cash prizes to top finishers. There are unique, sustainable trophies presented to the top three female and male finishers, and the top three in each of the following age groups (both male and female). Last year they were engraved wood cutting boards. Maybe we’ll do that again this year!
How are award finish places determined?
The top three finishers in each gender will be determined by gun time. Age group awards will be determined by chip time. “Gun time” means who crosses the finish line first. “Chip time” means whoever covers the distance fastest. Why aren’t these the same? Because it takes some people longer to cross the starting line.
Is there an awards ceremony?
Yes. There will be an awards ceremony for the top three male and female finishers. For logistical reasons, age group awards are given individually.
Will there be finisher’s medals?
Yes. In keeping with the spirit of conserving the watershed, medals will be environmentally friendly.
Is there food along the way and at the finish?
There will be gels and energy drinks on the course at selected aid stations. We will provide good local food at the finish!
Will there be a pre-race dinner?
No. The Pioneer Valley region does have many excellent dining options – see below!
Where are good places to eat locally?
In Greenfield, we recommend The People’s Pint, Hope and Olive, and Magpie. If you want to put together a picnic for the tent or hotel room, stop in at the Green Fields Cooperative Market or Foster’s Supermarket.
In Brattleboro, we recommend Superfresh Organic Café, Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, Yala Vermont, and Amy’s Bakery Arts Café. To shop for your own food, try the Brattleboro Food Co-op.
Health and Safety
What provisions are made for first aid or emergency response?
The race contracts with ConMed Response to provide first aid at the finish and at the aid station at Mile 25. Local emergency responders will be summoned to respond to medical emergencies on the course. As cellphone coverage is minimal through the Green River Valley, communications are provided by radio volunteers stationed along the course and connected to a base station at the finish area. In addition, bicycle volunteers ride down the course with the race, keeping an eye on runners and relaying information back to radio volunteers. Help us help you by reporting any medical issues promptly.
I’ve heard that EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) is a problem in the area. Should I be concerned?
EEE is a rare but serious mosquito-borne disease and is transmitted by mosquitoes that are particularly active before dawn and after dusk. The disease is not a problem every year, so please check the state’s EEE page for updates and details. Many of our runners will be up and around before dawn, so we advise the use of insect repellents and to physically cover up with long sleeves and long pants prior to the start. The start is 45 minutes after sunrise, which is past the pre-dawn period of greatest mosquito activity.
Where to stay
Where can I stay in the area?
Note: this is just a sample (but very varied) selection of the available
accommodation in the area. Some of the places are not just convenient, but also
characterful (historic New England homes and inns). You may also want to check
Green River Bridge House (right next to the covered bridge!)
Northampton (30 minutes south of Greenfield)
The Hotel Northampton
Quality Inn and Suites
Hadley (35 minutes southeast of Greenfield)
Holiday Inn Express
South Deerfield (20 minutes south of Greenfield)
Red Roof Plus
Old Deerfield (15 minutes south of Greenfield)
Greenfield (where the bus to Marlboro leaves and the race finishes)
The Brandt House
Poetry Ridge B&B
Old Tavern Farm (Perfect for spectating near mile 25!)
Brattleboro (25 minutes north of Greenfield, 20 minutes east of Marlboro)
Crosby House Bed and Breakfast
Marlboro (where the race starts)
Colonel Williams Inn
How is this race environmentally friendly?
We are a “leave no trace” race! With enjoyment of this area comes the responsibility to reduce our impact on both the natural and human environment. We use compostable water cups and plates for food, clean up all signs and other course marking equipment, and take care not to mar or mark any trees, stones, structures, or other parts of the environment. We work with area residents, towns, colleges, and visitors to keep them informed of our activities and ensure that our use is neighborly, safe, and respectful. Last year, after recycling and composting, our race produced only three bags of landfill garbage at an event with hundreds of runners, volunteers, and spectators!
Why are you putting on this race?
Well, because we love running and we love the Green River! This is a small, rural, community race and isn’t a big money maker; to us it’s more about getting together to celebrate our love of the outdoors and running. To those two ends, any proceeds go to the Connecticut River Conservancy and the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC).
Since 1952, Connecticut River Conservancy has worked to protect your rivers from source to sea so everyone can enjoy them. Our rivers belong to all of us. CRC is their voice. They find environmental problems and fix them, across all four Connecticut River states. They run community river cleanups. They remove deadbeat dams and plant trees. They protect and restore wildlife. They speak up on behalf of your rivers. To learn more or join the effort, visit www.ctriver.org. Connecticut River Conservancy’s work includes the many tributary rivers and streams that flow into the Connecticut River, including the Green River. The Green River Cleanup is the largest local cleanup group participating in CRC’s nationally recognized 4-state Source to Sea Cleanup event each fall. Hundreds of volunteers get their hands dirty and feet wet keeping the Green River free of trash. To learn more about the Source to Sea Cleanup, visit www.ctriver.org/cleanup.
Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health, fitness, and friendly competition through running in Western Massachusetts. Originally founded as a women’s running club in 1972, it quickly moved to wecome all runners. Today the club has over 300 members and reaches over 2,800 runners each year through its races, track and hill workouts, track meets, and robust youth track program. We are a member club of both USA Track & Field (USATF) and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). To learn more – and to join, visit us at https://sugarloafmac.org/