Phil White, Director, Kingdom Games
The Clubhous: 649 Sunset Acres, PO Box 310, Newport, VT 05855 – Phone: 802-249-9100; e-mail: email@example.com
Kristian Pearson, Operations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Brynn, Swimming, email@example.com;
The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is one of the very first Geotourism Areas in the world, specially designated by National Geographic. It has long been a mecca for a wide variety of outdoor recreation from hunting and fishing to skiing and hiking. But it also offers a world class venue for all types of endurance sports such as running, biking, swimming, kayaking, and skating.
Our legendary lake region consists of a 25 mile international lake between Newport, VT and Magog, QC and numerous pristine, glacially carved lakes with little to no boat traffic. Many of our paved roads are lightly traveled “traffic poor” and generally well-maintained. We have hundreds of miles of “vista riddled” dirt roads that beg for a run, just for the fun of it. We have a working agricultural landscape with beautiful vistas. In the winter our ice is thick and relatively consistent.
A series of running, biking and swimming events was started in 2007 in an effort to support IROC, our community’s indoor pool, multi-purpose sports arena, and recreation center. When that effort failed and the facility closed in 2013, Kingdom Games was formed to continue and expand these outdoor events.
Kingdom Games now offers over 30 days of running, biking, swimming, kayaking, speed skating, Nordic skating, and winter swimming events in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
During 2014, Kingdom Games drew over 1,382 athletes to participate in our events with a total of over 1,688 participant days.
Over the years, we have drawn participants, their friends and families from 38 different states, five Canadian provinces, Mexico, Great Britain, India, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Latvia, and Russia.
Our athletes range from 4 to 78. 15% to 20% are youth 18 and under. Well over half of are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, even 70s. Roughly 20% come from our local area. Another 25% come from other parts of Vermont. 55% come from New England, the US, and around the world.
The Great Return
Over 50% of our out-of-area participants return. And when they do, many bring their friends and families and stay for longer periods of time.
Youth on the Move
We offer numerous “youth-friendly” options on many of our events. Great for kids and terrific for families. The goal is to engage youth in the excitement of these events and the joy of running, biking and swimming. About 15% to 20%of our participants are youth under the age of 19.
Specific “youth-friendly” events include The Dandelion Run, The Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Kingdom Swim, Caspian Swim, Fly to Pie – Kingdom Marathon (Family Challenge 13 mile bike), Halloween Hustle, Santa Run, and the 1 and 5K courses at Memphremagog Speedskating.
Kingdom Games is a for profit company modeled on Newman’s Own. We are committed to donating profits to various local non profit organizations on both sides of the border. We also work with these organizations to help raise additional funds from our athletes for good causes.
The Community of Support
Our events are made possible only by the vigorous and enthusiastic support of some terrific, community minded volunteers who share our vision of the value of these games. Each year over 100 volunteers provide hundreds of days of service.
During recent years Kingdom Games has been underwritten by Community National Bank, North Country Hospital, Newport City Renaissance Corporation and The Foundation Christian Vachon and has been sponsored by Jay Peak Resort , The Town of Derby, Vermont Sports Magazine, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, Lyndon State College, The City of Newport, Community Financial Services Group, Derby Village Store, The Front Desk and Louis Garneau.
Partnerships are critical to the success of The Games. They include:
Kingdom Trails, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Northwoods Stewardship Center, The Old Stone House Museum, Barton Area Chamber of Commerce, North Country Hospital, Umbrella, Toys for Kids, Siskin-Coutts, and Fondation Christian Vachon have all partnered with Kingdom Games and many have been the recipients of our charitable giving.
In partnership with Marathon Skating International, we hosted the North American Marathon Speedskating Championships in 2015.
In partnership with the newly formed US Winter Swimming Association, we hosted the first ever, North American Winter Swimming Championships in two 25 meter swimming lanes, cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog.
World Open Water Swimming Association has selected Kingdom Swim to host the World Open Water 10 Mile Championships for the next 5 years.
United States Masters Swimmers (USMS) has selected Kingdom Swim to host the USMS 10 Mile National Championships in 2016.
Open Water Source listed Kingdom Swim among the top 100 open water swims in the world. Willoughby Swim and In Search of Memphre made the list of the top 100 open water swims in the United States.
Media and Peer Recognition
Local media’s coverage of The Games has been frequent and positive. Vermont Sports Magazine is both a sponsor of The Games and also has done numerous stories on various aspects of what we are doing. In the September/October edition, there were two articles, one about Bethany Bosch of Rutland and her English Channel swim, and one about In Search of Memphre, our 25 mile, international swim on Lake Memphremagog between Newport and Magog. Its reporter, Evan Johnson, is now working on a story about our inaugural Kingdom Marathon.
In December, 2013, the Newport Daily Express named Phil White, the NDE Person of the Year for his work in forming Kingdom Games and his commitment to continuing and expanding these offerings. He was also one of four finalists in the 2013 Service to Marathon Swimmers Award by Marathon Swimmers Forum for those persons who give back to support open water swimmers. He has just been nominated among 12 for consideration of the 2014 Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association. These nominations reflect the growing appreciation of the value of these games to the athletes and to our community.
Swimmer Magazine (circulation 60,000) now regularly covers our events and our athletes.
Open Water Source has selected Kingdom Swim as one of the top 100 open water swims in the world. It is one of only 12 US swims included on that list. Kingdom Swim, Willoughby Swim, and In Search of Memphre were included on Open Water Source’s list of top 100 swims in the US.
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming selected Lake Memphremagog and Lake Willoughby as two of the 50 great open water swimming venues in all of the Americas.
Readers of Vermont Sports 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 in 2011.
Steve Munatones, Publisher of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, had this to say about our development of open water swimming in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec:
Far, far away from the most renowned hotbeds of open water swimming, Phil White has created an unlikely mecca of marathon swimming in Vermont. White has enabled people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to realize some of their greatest athletic accomplishments. He is a dream maker with an endearing smile and a strategic, long-term vision that he has painstakingly executed day by day and mile by mile. His efforts have not only lifted up all the boats in the global open water swimming community, but will provide future generations of swimmers from around the world a unique challenge and enjoyment of swimming in the Northeast Kingdom.
Running, biking, swimming, and skating in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont are now gaining increasing recognition around North America and even around the world. Not only is the potential great, but it is clear that we are already well on our way to realizing this potential.
Join Us in 2017
Our events are laid back, fun, high level pick up games. Challenging for the very best of endurance athletes. Inclusive to young and old, beginner or veteran. Many are less of a race and more of an adventure, with some wonderful, even life shaping, experiences along the way. Great friendships are formed or deepened. And the thrill and joy of completion is evident whether it’s a 4 year old who ran 10K, a 60 year old who swam 25 miles, or a 78 year old from Quebec City who completed the last leg of our Ollie Even Up Triathlon using walking poles. “Most beautiful ride of my life!” said triathlete pro, Pam Aman, after our Fall Foliage guided ride around Lake Memphremagog. “Most joyful and beautiful swim of my life!” said Liz Fry after completing In Search of Memphre, our 25 mile international swim on Lake Memphremagog. “Spectacular!” said 72 year old ultra distance runner, Newton Baker after completing Kingdom Marathon, run on dirt roads at the height of fall foliage.
The venues themselves are beautiful and life affirming. No better showcase for the Northeast Kingdom and the Eastern Townships. Dandelion fields filled with music. Fall foliage and grand vistas. Pristine lakes you can drink from and see the bottom of as you swim. Not to mention the freshest, tastiest, picked-that-morning corn on the cob we offer up for lunch at our events n late July and August.
Best of all: the community of high spirited and good-willed participants, volunteers, and partners who make these games special and rally to the spirit “Just for the Fun of It.”
We hope you will join us as a participant, a sponsor, or a partner in 2017.
From: Phil, Charlotte, Kristian, Peter, Geneve, and the rest of The Clubhous Gang