Please see our “Welcome” page for updates related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The race (including the rules)
For spectators and volunteers
Amenities, photos, and awards
Health and safety
Athletes with Disabilities (AWD)
Where to stay
How is this race environmentally friendly?
Why are you putting on this race?
How do I register?
Registration for the 2023 race will open on January 1, 2023 at Noon EST. There is no waiting list and there are no bib transfers.
How much is the race entry fee?
The cost is $110 for regular entries until April 1 at 11:00pm. After April 1 the cost is $120.
Is there a waiting list?
No, there is no waiting list. We open 550 spaces for regular registration anticipating a normal attrition rate.
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.
Are there refunds?
Refunds might be available for adverse weather cancellation (for example, excessive heat or lightning) subject to the restrictions of our insurance. We do not offer refunds for personal circumstances. We strongly encourage you to spend a few extra bucks and get the Race Protector registration insurance when you register. Marathon training is challenging, injuries are possible, and not everyone will complete training successfully. Get the Registration Protector insurance!
Can I defer to next year’s race if I can’t run?
No, there are no deferrals. We strongly encourage you to purchase Race Protector registration insurance, which is available when you register (through RunReg).
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 18 years old on race day. There is no upper limit.
When (and where) do I pick up my bib and runner packet?
In the past we have mailed bibs. This year we will have a traditional bib pick-up. Stay tuned for details.
Will there be race-day registration?
No. You must pre-register online.
Do you offer a military discount?
Yes, for active, veteran, retired, and reservist personnel. Contact the race directors for details through the Contact page. Please be prepared to verify your status.
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
The Marlboro Music Festival Campus, 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 the Marlboro Music campus, 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 the Marlboro Music Campus, but the parking is at the finish at Greenfield Community College. We run 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).
Can I have someone drop me off at the start?
Yes, but there is no parking at the Marlboro Music campus.
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.
How do I get back to my car at the end?
You can park at Greenfield Community College (finish) and get your car right where the race ends.
What time does the race start?
The marathon starts at 7 a.m.
Is there an early/late 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. That’s a 14:53 minute per mile pace.
What are the rules?
We use the the USATF’s Competition Rules as our basis 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 a very few 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 conveyance (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
- You may not have a friend support you on a bike or in a vehicle. This is considered “unfair assistance”
- 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.
- Runners must obey all laws regarding pedestrian use of an open, public road and yield right-of-way when required and appropriate.
- You may carry handheld or backpack hydration
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 of the course?
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, but don’t completely count on it. After about mile 12 and up to mile 20 we have occasionally experienced GPS anomalies due to the steep terrain and dense tree cover. We strongly suggest checking your elapsed time against mile markers to be sure you are at your desired pace. Again, this is unusual, but does happen!
Are there mile markers?
Yes, we place markers at every mile along the route. There have been a few cases of one going missing, but most will be there!
Is there a half-marathon option?
No. Due to logistics this race is 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, but that depends on when BAA opens their registration. Our results have been on time for Boston registration for all the years we have run this event. The New England Green River Marathon race directors submit data from the race to BAA within three days after the race.
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. but otherwise is open to traffic.
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 have been in the mid-40s to mid 50’s (F). 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 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 strongly discourages runners from using headphones or earbuds. Why? Because it is frequently 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 aid stations and 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.
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. Check in adbvance though, sometimes the swimming area is closed for various reasons.
Do you have a severe weather or cancellation policy?
Yes. Extreme conditions (extreme heat and humidity, and lighting storms) 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 due to summer storms 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. Emergency response on the course will be from local EMS, who have been made aware of the race. 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 have radio volunteers on the course to help with communications, 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-line celebration 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.
- 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.
- One of the best spots is at 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. This is the place where they need the most support! Accessible via Leyden Rd / Eunice Williams Drive to the east. There is cell service here.
How do I volunteer?
The volunteer signup link will be posted here in March. 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 the Marlboro Music Festival campus (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 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 a scenic location out on the course and at the finish line. These photos will be available to you with no extra charge as part of your entry fee. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we get pictures of every runner on the course and at the finish.
Race photos 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 award cash prizes to top finishers. All finishers receive a wooden finisher’s medal. The top three female and male finishers in the Open Division, the first finishers in the Physically Challenged (PC) divisions, and the first finishers in each of the following age groups (both male and female) receive a wooden trophy board made by a local woodworker. 2nd and 3rd place runners in each age group receive a New England Green River Marathon mug.
How are award finish places determined?
The top three finishers in each gender in the Open Division will be determined by gun time. Age Group Division and PC Division awards will be determined by chip time. A “Gun time” winner means the person who crosses the finish line first. A “Chip time” winner means whoever covers the distance between the start and finish timing mats in the shortest period of time.
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 and PC Division awards are given individually on a rolling basis.
Will there be finisher’s medals?
Yes. In keeping with the spirit of conserving the watershed, medals will be environmentally friendly.
Are there portable toilets along the course?
Yes, please see the course page for details.
Is there food along the way and at the finish?
There will be gels, water, and energy drinks on the course at selected aid stations. Runners will receive post-race recovery food and drink. Food and beer will also be available from local vendors.
Will there be a pre-race dinner?
No, but 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. All three of these have vegetarian and vegan options. 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, Echo, and Yala Vermont (lunch only). All of these have vegan and vegetarian options. 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. 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 sometimes serious mosquito-borne disease and is transmitted by mosquitoes that are particularly active after dusk and before dusk. The disease is not a problem every year, so please check the Massachusetts 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 about an hour and a half after dawn and 50 minutes after sunrise when mosquito activity has subsided.
Athletes with Disabilities (AWD) Division
AWDs register as part of the regular process, and self-identify as visually impaired, mobility impaired, or wheelchair duo. The Race Directors will contact you to confirm your status and ensure that you have a positive experience.
AWD categories include include:
Individuals with vision impacted by an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or the visual cortex. Visually Impaired athletes must be ambulatory and able to finish the course within the official course cutoff time. Read section on Guides below.
Individuals with permanent physical disabilities that affect their ability to walk/run. This includes athletes with conditions including (but not limited to) limb deficiency, short stature, ataxia, and hypertonia. Mobility impaired athletes must be ambulatory and able to finish the course within the official course cutoff time.
This race is not suitable for wheelchairs or handcycles. The route has many steep downhill sections (some -12%), with rutted, washboarded, and loose/muddy gravel and dirt surfaces. Significant portions of the race are on narrow roads open to vehicular traffic. Also, the route is mostly on a dirt and gravel road along the Green River and has washed out in the past, requiring last-minute surface modifications with steps and trail-like surfaces across damaged bridges or sections of road.
Assisted Wheelchair Duo
Defined as a participant pushing a person with permanent disabilities in a customized racing wheelchair. Both parties will need to register for the event and sign appropriate waivers.
- One person must push the person with a permanent disability the entire race distance within the official course limit time.
- The able-bodied participant must maintain contact and control with the wheelchair at all times throughout the race.
- Only the registered able-bodied participant is allowed to propel the wheelchair forward; no outside assistance is permitted.
- The person pushing the wheelchair must be tethered to the chair.
- Each person in the duo must be registered and both must wear their bibs.
- Times for both persons will be reported to BAA with notes on their respective roles
Each guide as designated by the associated AWD must register in the regular runner category. Registration fee for guides will be waived; contact the Race Director prior to registration to receive the fee waiver code for guides. There can only be one guide for each AWD and the guide must stay with the AWD at all times. Guides must wear their race-issued GUIDE bibs on the front and back of their outermost layer, kept visible at all times. Method of guidance is the choice of each athlete: elbow lead, tether, or run free are permitted. Strapping or tying the hands of an athlete is not permitted. Guides may not use a bicycle or other mechanical means of transport and may not pull or propel the athlete in any way.
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 both convenient and have great character (historic New England homes and inns). You may also want to check Airbnb listings.
The Green River Bridge House has re-opened under new (and wonderful) ownership. They are keeping everything that was great about the old B&B. This charming house is located 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
Wilmington (25 minutes west of Marlboro)
The White House 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. After race expenses, proceeds go to the Connecticut River Conservancy and the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC). For more information about us and the race, see our About page.