DERBY – Dandelions, dandelions, dandelions. And few people know dandelions better than local artist Adrian Yellow and IROC's executive director and organizer of the Dandelion Run marathon, Phil White.
This year, the two have teamed up to raise the lowly weed to new heights.
The Dandelion Run, named as one of the five most scenic running races in Vermont, is scheduled for Saturday, May 19.
The race website describes the Dandelion Run as “a competitive and recreational half marathon on back roads in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom.” There is also a 10K running and walking course for adults and children.
As of April 15, 122 runners had signed up for the annual event that started in 2009. Half of the registration fee goes to either IROC or the Orleans County Victims Assistance Fund.
“We’re doing it cooperatively,” said Phil White, executive director for IROC.
White, during an interview Monday, said that athletes are coming from 10 different states as well as parts of Quebec. The race, said White, is aimed at individuals who want to participate in half-marathons in all 50 states.
IROC officials want to encourage elementary school aged youngsters who can do a five-person relay in the 10K run.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of youth participation this year,” said White.
Vermont Sports Magazine has named this race one of the five most scenic running races in the state. Yankee Magazine named the race as one of the 20 best Vermont summer events.
“That’s because of the Dandelion Festival that we’re gradually building each year,” said White. “Each year we do something to build up bluegrass, fiddle and old country music around the run.”
White said there will be musicians at the relay stations. This includes the contemporary bluegrass band Reckless Breakfast, which will also play during a pasta dinner at the Derby Beach House, Friday, May 18. More local bands will perform at other relay stations.
Something a little bit different this year, Adrian Yellow will be along the route, selling and painting pictures.
“I’m going to go on site, in the middle of the field, doing some paintings of dandelions,” said Yellow. Much of his work will include farm scenes with flowers. “Hopefully the friends and families going to this event will come see what I have for art.”
Yellow will most likely be along the route somewhere in Morgan. He will also be selling finished paintings.