Thursday, March 5, 2020

New race shirt fit & fabric

We understand that there's no one fit, fabric, color or design that will please everyone when it comes to athlete race shirt swag. We strive to provide the highest quality but also listen when we receive feedback, especially if there are common trends across various people's comments.

For 2020, we endeavored a more thorough review of athlete race shirt options and enlisted runners from the HMF community to drive the decision. We appreciate the time and honest assessments provided by our shirt testers, who represent a cross section of shapes, sizes and preferences. We asked them each to wear, wash and work-out in eight different shirts from 4 vendors and provide specifics on their likes, dislikes and experiences.

Based on that feedback, a new shirt vendor has been chosen for 2020 events. Greenlayer's 100% polyester knit microfiber shirts with wicking technology offer comfort and resilience (plus they are available in a ton of great colors!).

The quick-drying fabric moves moisture to the surface to evaporate to keep you dry and cool. The light weight performance fabric is highly breathable and helps regulate body temperature (for those extra-sweaty PR races).

In terms of fit, the Greenlayer shirts are less form-fitting than previous HMF race shirts. Women’s fit shirts have a V-neck and the short sleeves are still a bit cropped, men’s fit shirts have a crew neck. As always, we welcome participants to choose whatever fit they feel most comfortable in and will continue to offer shirt size exchanges IF there are extra shirts available after race start - we just hope you won't have to!

If getting a shirt size is important to you, please register early! Size requests are only guaranteed 21+ days before an event.

Please view the size chart to determine your ideal fit.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Olympic Trials - Local Runners to Watch

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the Marathon are happening this Saturday, February 29 in Atlanta - and we couldn’t be more excited to see some familiar faces at the start line! We encourage you to join us in closely following along - Josh and Matt from the HMF staff will head down south to cheer them on. Follow their Olympic Trials experience via our Facebook and Instagram on Friday and Saturday, and tune in live on NBC Saturday 12-3pm EST to watch the race.

These incredible local athletes represent different towns, track clubs, collegiate records and high school performances, but they all have one thing in common: they’ve taken on the same stretch of pavement that many of you have conquered in the past: the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. Read more about the connections these Olympic-level runners have to your community below. We think you might just find some great reasons to root for these athletes on Saturday:

Women's field:
Karen Bertasso, Albany, NY
Bertasso qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the 2018 Eversource Hartford Marathon where we she took second place in 2:43:46, beating the standard qualifying time of 2:45 for women.

Heidi Caldwell, Craftsbury, VT
Caldwell crossed the finish line in fourth place at last year’s Eversource Hartford Marathon. Her time of 2:42:15 earned her a spot in the top five female winners, who all qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Marci Klimek, Arlington, MA
Klimek, the defending female champion of the Eversource Hartford Marathon, crossed the finish line last year with a scorching time of 2:35:22, over a five-minute lead ahead of the second place female.

Ellie Pell, Ithaca, NY
Ellie Pell earned her Olympic qualifying time last year when she took third place at the Eversource Hartford Marathon.

Annemarie Tuxbury, New Hartford, CT
A Connecticut running sensation, Tuxbury is a member of the Woodbridge Running Company, Milford Road Runners and a graduate of Northwestern Regional High School. She claimed a victory at the 2018 Eversource Hartford Half Marathon and was named 2018 New England Runner Magazine New England Runner of the Year.

Elizabeth Ryan, San Diego, CA
This Farmington, CT, native took the win at the Eversource Hartford Marathon in 2016.

Men's field:
Everett Hacket, Hartford, CT
Local superstar Everett Hacket is no stranger to Hartford. He’s an active member of the local Hartbeat Track Club and holds several records at his hometown Hall High School, where he is now Cross Country and T&F Coach.

Jonas Hampton, Newtonville, MA
This University of Hartford graduate won the 2015 Eversource Hartford Marathon in his debut 26.2, where he got his OTQ for the 2016 Trials.

Brian Harvey, Cambridge, MA
Harvey triumphantly took first place in the 2016 Eversource Hartford Marathon in 2:17:56.

Sean O’Connor, West Hartford, CT
Sean O’Connor is the youngest male in the Trials field but far from an underdog. A member of the local Hartbeat Track Club, he placed second in the 2019 Eversource Hartford Half Marathon with a time of 1:05:27, less than a minute behind the winner. The Trials will be his debut marathon.

Jonathan Phillips, Boston, MA
Breaking the tape in 1:04:51 last year, Phillips is the defending champion of the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon.

Tim Ritchie, Northampton, MA
Ritchie is not only the 2017 winner of the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon, he’s also the course record holder with a time of 1:02:41. Plus, he’s the head cross country coach at UMass.

David Sinclair, Truckee, CA
Sinclair claimed his spot at the top of the podium in 2018, winning the Eversource Hartford Marathon in 2:18:23.

Ryan Smith, Auburn, ME
His ecstatic expression said it all, Smith crossed the finish line at last year’s Eversource Hartford Marathon in 2:18:25 to secure his Olympic qualifying time and take home the win.

Christopher Zablocki, Phoenix, AZ
Zablocki, an Essex, CT native and Xavier High School grad, holds a 2017 Eversource Hartford Marathon first-place title in addition to countless wins in races across the state.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

When the unexpected in life interrupts race plans...

You've now got more options!

While we hope to see everyone who registers for our events show up with smiling faces on race day, we understand that sometimes things just happen. We've provided a deferral option for years, but have heard customers asking for more options closer to race day. We listened!

NEW this year - with the help of our new technology partner, haku, - we’ve expanded services to offer bib transfers for registered participants unable to make it to an event a few days before.

Transfers are now available – that means you can give your registration to someone else through your haku account if you can’t make it to an event! 

There are some basic rules, so please keep the following nitty-gritty details in mind:
  • Transfer must be requested no later than the day before packet pick-up for the event.  Request must be handled online.
  • Access your “Participant Account” in haku or via the link in race registration confirmation emails to initiate a Transfer.
  • Click the Transfer button and follow the prompts. Remember - participants are not transferred until confirmation email is provided by haku!
  • A fee will be applied, based on event distance:
    • 10 Mile or less = $10
    • Half Marathon / Triathlon = $20
    • Full Marathon = $25
Please note, these policies are detailed and always easily accessible through the "About HMF" menu on our site:

If the swag for the event being transferred is a shirt, size requests cannot be accommodated for the new participant if made after the deadline (which is listed on each event's "Swag" page under the "Runners" menu). However, we will try our best to get you into that shirt! Size exchanges can be requested on site after the race whenever inventory allows.

If the new registrant wants to use a transferred race bib to run a different race distance, a request for race distance change can be made, assuming the distance is not sold out (Race Distance Change rules will apply).

AS ALWAYS - you can defer race entry if you’d rather save your registration credit and use it toward a future HMF event. Just make sure you request your deferral at least 14 days before the event; a nominal fee will be applied for this service.

As a non-profit organization, we direct registration dollars right back into the race experience, so please remember that registration for HMF events is still non-refundable.

We look forward to seeing you out there this year – visit to plan your 2020 race calendar!

Friday, February 14, 2020

O’Race 5K Series Insider’s Tip: Know the Course!

As part of our Lucky Friday 5K Training Tips, we’re sharing our best advice each week to get you prepped for our annual series of four back-to-back 5Ks in March.

This week, it’s all about the courses. Become familiar with the route ahead of time and you’ll get the boost in confidence and extra insights you need to guarantee a top o’ the line race experience.

O’Shenanigans 5K, March 14: Work the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail! You’ll hit the car-free, pedestrian zone around mile 1.5 on a gradual uphill. Then, pick up the pace and prepare for a fast downhill to the finish. MAP

Courthouse O’Putnam 5K, March 15: Start out slow to save energy for the second mile. You’ll face two challenging hills in this section of the route, with the steepest just after the 2 mile mark. Have no fear – the last mile is all flat straightaways and downhill. MAP

O’Niantic 5K, March 21: Here’s your competitive edge: get yourself in a good position by the 1.5 mile mark, when you’ll hit some quick turns and narrow roads as you wind through the Cove neighborhood. MAP

O’Hartford 5K, March 22: The good news: there’s only one significant hill during the second mile of the race. Conquer the peak at the 2 mile mark, then use the downhill in Colt Park to get back on pace. MAP

Follow us on Facebook to get a new Lucky Friday 5K Training Tip every week!

Not registered for the series yet? Our annual O’race 5Ks are all about fun, friendly competition, food and fantastic post-race parties to remember! For more information on each race or to register, head to

Friday, December 20, 2019

2020 Challenges to inspire you!

There’s nothing like a new year to get you motivated to move.  Reset the mileage and find a goal – race a longer distance, achieve a new PR, challenge yourself with something new.

We’ve put together a line-up of race packages in the HMF Sam Adams Challenge Series that will give you a little extra incentive to up your race game in 2020.  Registration will open for these challenges on January 1, grab the best possible prices for the packages through January 8.

Be rewarded with custom swag, medals or apparel for signing up for a challenge.

Lucky Challenge
The St. Paddy’s themed four-race 5K series across CT provides cold beer, yummy nosh, Irish music and great parties! Earn matching race accessories as swag at each event and then one large medal at the end of all four.
O’Shenanigans - March 14
Courthouse O’Putnam - March 15
O’Niantic - March 21
O’Hartford - March 22

Spring Medley
Dust off the winter training gear and get moving into spring running strong.  The NEW challenge earns participants a long sleeve custom training shirt.
HP Middletown 10 Mile - April 5
Burlington to Collinsville - May 3
UConn Health Half Marathon - June 6

Progressive Challenge

Gradually increase race mileage to slay our signature half marathon event in October. Whether the goal is finishing a first-ever half or racing for a PR, this series will motivate you to greatness. Get free training guides to help build mileage to achieve the goal and then earn a big, blingy medal upon series completion.
L&M Spring Stride 5K - May 2
UConn Health 10K - June 6
Eversource Hartford Half Marathon - October 10

10K Challenge

Earn an official Challenge quarter zip for completing these three 10Ks in 2020! Push further with 6.2 mile races that will help keep up your mileage.
Mystic 10K - May 17
Achilles 10K - July 19
Old Wethersfield 10K - August 23

Half It Your Way

Make a half marathon challenge work for your own 2020 schedule.  Register for any four HMF half marathons to earn an exclusive jacket (deadline to register to qualify for the jacket is September 1).  No special registration process required - just sign up for four 2020 halfs!  Note that individual race registrations will open on January 9.
Mystic Half - May 17
UConn Health Half Marathon - June 6
Surftown Half - September 13
Eversource Hartford Half - October 10
Amherst Half - November 8

CT Challenge
The ultimate in-state challenge! Earn bragging rights and an impressive and stately medal after a grand finish in Hartford.
L+M Spring Stride 10K – May 2
Mystic Half – May 17
Eversource Hartford Marathon – October 10

Love the holiday race challenge?  We’ll be bringing it back in 2020 also but with a few new twists.  Stand-by for more details coming this spring on the late season events and related challenge.

Now, all you have to do is choose a challenge and start logging those training miles!


Sunday, December 15, 2019

2020 race schedule preview

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time to plan your 2020 race schedule!

We’ve been plugging along behind the scenes to get race dates firmed up for the events you know and love.  While the schedule is still subject to change based on securing final permits, you can start planning!  

Speaking of events you know and love, we want to point out a new change on an old favorite. The UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K in Simsbury will now be held on a Saturday.  We asked, you shared your thoughts and we’re making the change - put it on your calendar for Saturday, June 6!  While we know we can’t make everyone happy with any change we make, the overwhelming positive response led the decision to having another Saturday half marathon in the schedule (and the enthusiasm for possible post-race beer service for 21+ was pretty evident in your feedback).

Registration will begin opening January 1stwith more details to come later this week on the 2020 HMF Challenge Series, presented by Samuel Adams.  

Expect some exciting new things from your 2020 HMF experience, including a technology partnership with haku that will deliver a brand new registration platform. Whether you’re registering yourself, your family, for one event, 3 events, or a challenge series - it’ll be much simpler and more seamless. And, mobile friendly!
Registering, checking results, managing your registrations - all of it will be simpler to do on your mobile device.  Plus, you can accesscustomer service with fast, friendly and thorough support via phone, email and even live chat from haku in addition to connecting with our HMF support team.  Side note - there’s nothing you have to do to bring your past registration history over, we’ll take care of that for you.

You’ll also notice some changes in registration opening times. Races in the second part of the year (with the exception of the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 26.2 Relay and Charity 5K) will open with early discounted pricing in the spring instead of in January.  So you can start planning for events like the RiMaConn Relay now, but won’t register until it opens a little later (but we expect that one to sell out quickly again – we’ll be sure to give you a head’s up before it’s open so you can get on it with your team!).

We’re getting 2020 race details firmed up on the Web site so please expect that to be shut down through the rest of the month. Resolution Run registration and volunteer sign-up, Run for a Claus results and the HMF Shop can all still be accessed through the homepage.  

Thanks for your patience as we work through this process in order to open January 1 with as much info as we can!  We can’t wait to come all together in 2020!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Meditations Designed by Runners, for Runners

Running is a form of stress-release for many of us.  The therapeutic rhythm of pounding the pavement and the deep focus on each breath has helped clear my mind through the years, and been a form of meditation.  We’ve been learning more recently about how focusing our minds and energy can also help improve our performance before a race or big run.

We want everyone to reap the benefits of this for race day next week and are excited about working with Cloud9 Online, the Official Meditation Partner of the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  This locally-based company developed Runner’s Corner, a feature on the app designed specifically for participants in next week's events.  They've worked with us to make it available to all participants free-of-charge. The Cloud9 app provides this program of meditations specially designed by runners, for runners.

Learn more from Delanea Davis, avid runner and co-founder of Solstice Strategy Partners, creators of Cloud9 Online.  Running is as integral part of her life as meditating and she’s helping to deliver this specialty experience for Eversource Hartford Marathon participants.

Genesis of “Runner’s Corner” – Before, Day-of and Post-Race Meditations 
As a career-focused on-the-go entrepreneur, I depend on running to keep my mind clear and my stress in check.  Just like my life in businesses, there are some days as a runner when you simply cannot predict how the run will go.  The weather, work and family demands, sleep patterns and even your emotional state can determine whether you have a great run, or you’re “dogging it” as we runners say.  These are variables outside of your control.  However, there is a key variable that you can control: your mind.
If you’re like me, you create a rigorous training plan in preparation for a race and do your best to hit your weekly mileage goal while balancing work life, home life, injury prevention, and if you are lucky, a social life. You may not think about how adopting an 8-week old puppy can throw a monkey wrench into your training plan (true story!). But alas, you’ve made the commitment and you are going to run no matter how your body feels that day.

So here we are, days away from the marathon. I’m excited and looking forward to the race. I’m also a bit anxious wondering how this race will go. How fast will I run? Will I feel as good as I did for the last one? Will I hit my stride easily? Will I be able to finish without injuring myself? All of these thoughts are cycling through my head - exciting, yet also potentially anxiety inducing as I think about my late start to training. It can be tough to sleep – especially on the night prior to the race, and doubly so if you’re traveling to the race.

This is exactly why we’ve designed a three-meditation series called “The Runner’s Corner” so you can better control your mind and get the best possible sleep in preparation for the race.

To begin, check out the Runner’s Corner Meditation #1: Pre-Race Meditation. It’s tailored specifically for runners who want to reach a calm state on the night (or nights) leading up to the race. Sleep is key, and we want to make sure you get it. It will ensure you maximize your rest potential, whether you listen the night prior, or multiple nights before the event. Next, the day-of the event, I start visualizing the race from the moment I open my eyes from sleep. Getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, eating breakfast, driving to race parking while playing something to soothe me in the car… I’m purposeful and serious about visualizing in a way that will give me light feet for the race, lungs that can go forever, and both the heart- and mind-space to make this race flow with ease. I trust that my body knows exactly what to do so I can zone out when the race begins.

This is the genesis of Runner’s Corner Meditation #2: Peak Performance. We’ve created a race-day meditation that focuses your awareness on a visualization that includes all the factors we’ve ever found important, impactful, and inspirational on the day we’re running our hearts out! Listen to it when you first wake up, or on your drive into Hartford.

Finally, after we’ve run your race, we know that the marathon isn’t over until we’ve taken adequate time to warm down and recover, which is how we’ve created the third installment of the Runner’s Corner Meditation #3: Race Recovery. You’ll be guided through a deep and healing recuperative meditation where you’ll focus awareness throughout your body to speed recovery and bring your brain’s ability to heal to bear on those parts of your body that need it most after a marathon. 

Meditation That Works 
We hope you avail yourself of Runner’s Corner on our Cloud9 Meditation app, available on iPhone and Android for your best race in Hartford ever!

We founded Cloud9 because research has proven that meditation provides deep and lasting benefit to the mind and body – and so we work with healthcare organizations like Hartford HealthCare to increase healing impact with self-directed health protocols for patients that effectively manage pain without drugs. In fact, on race-day, you’ll also see us at Hartford HealthCare’s booth because we’re partnering with doctors there to create science-powered, clinically designed meditations that simply make life better for patients. As a runner, you’ve been caring for yourself up to, during, and post-marathon for years. This year, let us help you run your best marathon ever!