Special Outdoor Recreational Events


It's never too soon to start planning and training for next year.  Here's the line up for 2012:

Kingdom Summer Games 2012

Running – Biking – Swimming – Triathlon  

In the heart of the Northeast Kingdom

IROC’s Kingdom Summer Games – a series of running, biking, swimming and triathlon events – offer challenging, fun, well organized and well supported recreational and competitive athletic events for all ages and all levels of ability.  They take place in one of the most beautiful areas of the nation, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, one of the very first geotrourism areas in the world specially designated by National Geographic.

The buzz is out.  Vermont Sports has acclaimed these “premier” events in several articles and recently selected The Dandelion Run as one of the five most scenic running races in Vermont.  Yankee Magazine selected “The Dandy” as one of the 20 best events of Vermont’s summer.  The Daily News of Open Water Swimming has selected Lake Memphremagog and Lake Willoughby as two of the 50 great open water swimming venues in all of the Americas.  US Master Swimming has selected Kingdom Swim to host the 2013 USMS 9+ mile National Championship. And the reviews by participants explain why, even as these events continue to grow, 2/3rds of our participants return each year.  The Games are now drawing athletes from 35 different states, DC, five Canadian provinces, Mexico, Great Britain and as far away as Mumbai, India. 

May 19, 2012 – The Fourth Annual Dandelion Run – www.dandelionrun.org   We can say without hesitation that “The Dandy” is the most beautiful, most fun, and most challenging half marathon in the northeast.  The course is laid out largely on dirt roads and is run in High Spring, when the world famous dandelion fields of Derby, Morgan, and Holland are blanketed with millions of dandelions for as far as the eye can see.  A Dandelion Festival of blue grass, old country, and fiddle music, in conjunction with the run, provides a great celebration of spring in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom.   It’s May!  It’s Time to Run!  Just for the Fun of it!

May 30 – June 3, 2012 – The Sixth Annual Tour de Kingdom – www.tourdekingdom.org  The Tour has grown to include up to five days of riding. We offer three days of guided riding (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday).  Each of these days is guided by riders from Kingdom Velo Group, White Mountain Velo, Barebones Racers, and LIVESTRONG – Massachusetts Army. The Tour culminates in two days of supported Century Rides with a Gran Fondo style, timed event option.  Each of these days also offers optional routes of varying distances. It will grind your gears! 

June 16, 2012 – Son of a Swim IV -- www.kingdomswim.orgProuty Beach, Lake Memphremagog, Newport, Vermont.  An informal, qualifying swim for those who need to complete a 2, 4, or 6 mile open water swim before fully qualifying for Kingdom Swim. 

June 30, 2012 – Third Annual Harry Corrow Freedom Runwww.kingdomaquafest.com A 10 mile trail run along the bike path and into the Memphremagog Ski Touring Trails, plus a 5K and 1 mile run and walk through town.  This event is run in collaboration with Newport City Parks and Recreation Department and Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation. 

July 6, 2012 – The First Annual Great American NEK Flatwater Kayak Championship – The buoys are up for Saturday’s Kingdom Swim, we might as well let the kayakers have some fun.  Let them have their day in the sun, is what we say.  The event is run on the 10 mile course of Kingdom Swim.  It should offer some fun and a chance for those yacking the following day to get to know the course.  For more information contact info@orleansrecreation.org

July 7, 2012 – The Fourth Annual Kingdom Swim – www.kingdomswim.org  On Lake Memphremagog, the Swim now offers 10 mile, 6 mile, 3 mile, and 1 mile swims for adults and youth, along with ¼ mile and 100 yard swims exclusively for kids.  The swim is hosted in conjunction with Kingdom Aquafest, which includes a Pet and Swimmers Parade on Friday, July 6, 2012 followed by the Montgomery’s Café Swimmers and Yackers Pasta Dinner.    Our open water rallying cry:    No Lanes – No Lines – No Limits.

August 4, 2012 – Fifth Annual Kingdom Triathlon and Lake Seymour Swim – www.kingdomtriathlon.org  We now offer three triathlon events on the same day, a radically different Aquaman Even Up, an Ollie Even Up and a traditional Sprint.  Our Even Up Aquaman Triathlon is a challenging half iron type tri, but with a twist.  The run is a traditional 13.1 mile distance.  The bike route has been shortened to 30 miles.  And the swim consists of a 3.5 mile course in Lake Seymour.  Say what?  Yep.  It is designed so that strong triathletes spend an equal time on each leg.  Last year we added the Ollie Even Up, geared to the 10K running distance.  Some say they’ve been waiting most of their adult lives for this type of event.  Others say it’s the toughest triathlon they’ve ever done.  It’s not just the swim; watch out for the run!  Then again, we love The Sprint.

August 18, 2012 -- Third Annual Willoughby Swim – A no-nonsense, 4.75 mile magnificent swim on one of the cleanest, most spectacular lakes in North America.  No falderal with this one, just one of the best open water swimming experiences you’re ever going to have. www.kingdomswim.org/willoughby-swim.php

September 8, 2012 – In Search of Memphre IIwww.insearchofmemphre.com – An epic 25 mile, cold water swim the length of Lake Memphremagog between Newport, VT and Magog, QC.  This is an amateur, invitational only swim limited to no more than 10 swimmers.   The mission of this expedition is to support a more open border with Canada, to search for our beloved and mysterious lake creature, Memphre, and to raise funds for Indoor Recreation Orleans County.  Our rally cry may sound familiar:  No Lanes – No Lines – No Borders  Check out our website at  For more information, e-mail:  swim@orleansrecreation.org

October 27, 2012 – Halloween Hustle – A positively goulish, costume run with 5.5 mile, 3 mile, and 1 mile options run at the positively scariest time of the year.  We love to celebrate Halloween in The Kingdom.  Just seems to fit our spirit.  This event is done in conjunction with Daley Memorial Library in Derby Center.  For more info, e-mail: run@orleansrecreation.org

Some of comments by participants

“That race, btw, was INCREDIBLE! Beautiful route and VERY challenging. My legs were not even CLOSE to this sore after the marathon I did last fall:) I will def be doing it again next year.” –   A Dandelion Runner  - - -  “A ‘world class’ cycling event!  Over the last 30 years I’ve participated in many organized rides and cycling events, there’s no question in my mind that the Tour de Kingdom is one of the best I’ve ever attended.”    A Tour de Kingdom Rider  - - - “What an amazing weekend!  I can't thank you enough for everything; what a wonderful event. Just thinking about how smoothly everything went; it was so laid back, stress-free and enjoyable.  Thank you again....truly an unforgettable experience.” –  A Kingdom Swimmer  - - - “Thanks again for the Kingdom Triathlon. We loved the course. The food was a nice bonus. This race reminded us of why we took up triathlon back in '80s (!): spending the day with a bunch of fit, upbeat people with a shared goal, sense of community and need for adventure…. The Kingdom Triathlon was hands down my favorite venue of the 4 I raced in this year. As you grow I hope you don't lose the laid back, casual, "fitness over competition" vibe you have created. I loved it.”    Two Kingdom Triathletes