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  • Writer's pictureThe Featherbed Inn

4 Sports = 1 Triathlon? Yes, When It's in the Mad River Valley

Math was never my (Karen's) favorite subject, but even so I'm pretty good at counting. And since words are more my thing, I know that when a word starts with the prefix "tri" that means there are going to be three of something. But here in Vermont's Mad River Valley, we have a fondness for wackiness. And for outdoor adventure. So when you add those things up, it's entirely possible that 1 sport + 1 sport + 1 sport + 1 sport = 1 triathlon. Don't argue. But do read on.


On Sunday, April 14, the Mad River Triathlon is making its grand return, having been held for 35 years until, for reasons unknown to us, it disappeared in 2014. It sounds like it will be amazing. Here's the course: It begins with a 5-mile run from the Warren School to the Lareau Swimming Hole (across the road from us). Runners then become paddlers, jumping into kayaks and canoes to paddle for six miles down the Mad River (which at that time of year should be running fast). They will then hop onto bicycles for a 10-mile ride on a combination of gravel, single track, forest roads, and pavement, to the base of Mount Ellen. And finally -- snow permitting -- racers will skin up Mount Ellen then ski down to the finish line.


While we will not -- god knows -- be participating, if you are a person who likes running and paddling and biking and skinning and skiing, we think you should really consider this. Because not only does it sound amazing, the good people organizing the event are doing it in a truly beautiful way. Don't have a kayak? They'll provide one. Don't think you can manage all four events? Choose only those events that interest you. Need accommodation for any of the events? You can do the running leg on a bike, or arrange to have a guided raft to take you down the river, or ride a snow mobile up Mount Ellen. There's even a kids' race, and parents can help their kids with the transitions. The race organizers will go to any length to make this an inclusive event so that anyone who wants to participate can participate.


So, who's in? If you are, come stay with us. It will be, beyond any doubt, an unforgettable experience. We will fuel you with a gorgeous breakfast before the race, cheer you on through each leg, then celebrate your accomplishment with a bonfire and treats.


See you in April?


Karen and Mick



A four-event triathlon in the Mad River Valley.
2024 Mad River Triathlon

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