09 27 2018

By Liz First Raddock
The Mad Dash is the place to be on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 7th and itís not just because of 10K/5K foot race, the 5K fitness walk and the Free Kids Fun Run.

Itís not just because of the quintessential Vermont course on a dirt road, near the Mad River, through a covered bridge, with majestic views of farms and mountains amidst gorgeous foliage.

Nor is just because all participants receive a commemorative t-shirt, a homemade lunch and are entered into a raffle with cool prizes from local vendors. And, itís not just because of the great live music by Phineas Gage.

Those are great reasons to be at the Mad Dash. But the secret to the Mad Dash is its feel-good vibe.

The spirit comes from the magical combination of runners, walkers, volunteers, sponsors and the cheering crowd which always includes babies, students, millenials, parents, grandparents, longtime Vermonters, new Vermonters, out-of-state visitors, and, of course, the weather, which is always unknown but never stops this crowd.

ďThe Mad Dash is the highlight of the fall,Ē said Laura Brines, president of the Mad River Path Association. ďPeople come together to exercise in a beautiful place, to help make this event happen and to raise funds to expand a public trail system.Ē

The feel-good energy starts at 6:30 a.m. during volunteer set up. It goes up a notch when runners and walkers arrive at 8:30 to sign in or register, try on the new t-shirt, drink free coffee, meet up with old friends and make new friends.

Spirits rise just before the race starts. When the race begins, participants settle into whatever pace they choose and take in the scenic course. When they finish, the air is 100 percent full of happy satisfaction. Everyone enjoys food, music and old and new friends. Medals are awarded. Itís over by 12 noon and folks know they have all afternoon to relax after a joyful morning.

Online pre-registration is at, click on Mad Dash. Rain or Shine.

The Mad Dash atmosphere is always upbeat and festive. This yearís event happens on Sunday, Oct. 7th.