Friday, February 8, 2019

3 Foam Roller Exercises Every Runner Should Do

Runners know that stretching and foam rolling are imperative to training, but don't always know the best techniques.

Andrew Judd from soundRUNNER provides some great tips on how to loosen up the entire rear leg chain using a grid ball - check out his step-by-step on releasing from the piriformis down to the hamstring and calf.  Note - he is using a Triggerpoint grid ball but any kind of foam roller works.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Protect yourself in winter temps!

These temperatures have been downright unbearable for outside exercise! Even though we’re expecting to rebound into “normal” winter temps soon, we wanted to share some great reminders from Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. Post your questions or experiences through the League of Injured Runners group on Facebook – request to join here.

Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. 

Hypothermia occurs when core body temperature dips below 95 F. Symptoms include: The "umbles": Grumbles (irritability), Mumbles (slurred speech), Stumbles (coordination problems), and Fumbles (dexterity problems). Also, uncontrollable shivering, lethargy, decreased heart rate, pale face and extremities, dizziness. 

Treatment includes removing wet clothing, warming with dry, insulating blankets, cover the head with hat or scarf, get to a warm environment.
  • Warm the core of the body first, then extremities
  • Have warm beverages, but not hot
  • Wear several layers of clothing 
    • 1st layer: wick moisture away from body (Dry Tech, Under Armour, etc.)
    • 2nd layer: trap heat and block wind - fleece
    • 3rd layer: wind and water resistant 
  • Cover legs with running pants designed to insulate, then top layer with wind pants or nylon shell 
  • Wear mittens or 2 layers of gloves and Hat 
  • Use face and ear protection (40% of heat loss is from head and neck)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks, not cotton
  • Also, hydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeine before run. 
  • Warm up before a run and run with a partner when possible 
  • Follow the weather closely 

In addition to hypothermia, we all need to be on the lookout for frostnip/frostbite - both are actual freezing of body tissues

Frostnip is when the top layer of the skin is frozen, but not permanently damaged. It's a precursor to frostbite. Symptoms include:
  • Dry, waxy skin
  • Burning/tingling of the skin
  • White/gray/blue patches
  • Swollen extremities
  • Aching, red, or painful extremities
  • Feels cold & firm to touch 

Frostbite is actual freezing of the skin and deep tissue that typically occurs on the extremities (fingers and toes) and face (especially the nose and ears). Symptoms include the same as frostnip and+:
  • Skin can turn black with purple blisters 
  • Intense aching, throbbing or shooting pain
  • Lack of feeling and movement in the area
  • Muscle and nerve injury is possible 
  • Get to a warm area, preferably inside 
  • Remove all wet clothing
  • Re-warm slowly in warm water (not hot) 
  • Avoid friction/rubbing tissue 
  • Seek medical treatment if symptoms do not resolve quickly in a warm environment 
  • Wear 3 layers of clothing (see hypothermia info above for details) 
  • Cover face and ears. Face masks work well 
  • Wear heavy mittens or glove liners under thick gloves - heat warmers can also help (follow their specific Instructions)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Light up the Night

We know you’re always up for a run - even when the sun isn’t! Our friend Amy Frey, coach and FleetFeet team member, put together some safety tips for running in dark conditions.
Whatever time of day we run, we are sharing the roads. The cardinal rule is that we want to see and be seen. This holds true both in broad daylight and dark evenings. 

Wear the right clothes
Wear bright colors (neon yellow, pink), white and/or apparel with integrated reflective elements (e.g., stripes on pants or shirt). Many pieces of apparel appear “flat” to the eye, but light up when a light bounces off the fabric. Most running pants tend to be dark, so make sure you’re wearing something bright for balance.

Light yourself up like a Christmas tree 
Small and often magnetic blinking lights can be affixed almost anywhere. They're versatile, relatively inexpensive and they will definitely increase your visibility. Attach them under the laces of your favorite running shoes and you won't even know they’re there. The movement of your feet as you’re running means drivers will notice you. Some brands to look for are Nathan and Amphipod.

Add a blinking ankle or arm band to further increase your ability to be noticed on the road.

Invest in a reflective vest (often with lights and other reflective elements).

Add a headlamp, a handheld light or a light to your running cap. Handheld lights offer the ability to guide your way and can be used to alert a vehicle that you're there by gesturing with it, and they often have a red blinking light, too. (Plus you won't blind your running buddy when you turn to talk to them!) Many of these lights are now rechargeable, which is a great feature. Headlamps by Petzl, Nathan, Amphipod offer great options; Nathan's Zephyr 300 is a lightweight and powerful handheld.

White lights allow you to see where you’re going (and often have blinking modes for low-light situations) and red lights allow you to be seen.

Lights and/or reflective gear should be put on the minute the daylight dims. This includes dusk, early morning, night, and cloudy days.

It's a foggy day
Fog is a particularly hazardous condition, but, if you must run, wear brightly colored clothing, have blinking lights on, possibly a headlamp or handheld for added safety and don’t run in the road! Drivers are unable to see far ahead of themselves, so they likely won’t see you ‘til they’re upon you. If you can’t see more than a few feet ahead of yourself, consider what could happen if a driver can’t see you. Fortunately, in this area dense fog is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Night Time is the Right Time
Well, almost anytime is the right time to run, but running at night does bring challenges.

If you're in the road, run single file or no more than two abreast. 

Don't just dart across the road - wait! You think you can be seen, but drivers aren't necessarily looking for a runner being out there in the dark. MAKE EYE CONTACT with the driver.

Take out one earbud or use a headphone like Aftershokz that lets you stay in tune with your surroundings. 

Let someone know where you're going if you're alone. Consider Road ID or WearSafe.

And, most important: Remember, you want to SEE what’s ahead of you, but you also want to BE SEEN. I always want to light up the night. Run Safe.

Thanks to our friends at FleetFeet for providing this guest post. We'll be bringing you tips on the blog every month from experts in the community - please tell us what you want to hear about,

Thursday, October 4, 2018

United Bank motivates employees to get moving with Challenge

People arrive at our start line in Hartford from many different paths.  Some have run for years, some are taking their first crack at racing, others may be taking their first steps toward a walking or running goal. 

Welcoming walkers to the Charity 5K at the Eversource Hartford Marathon has allowed more people who never thought it possible to experience finishing under the Arch. We’re grateful to partners like United Bank that motivate their employees to get moving and provide incentives and encouragement along the way.

Currently, 198 United Bank employees are involved in the company’s Walking Challenge. Participants track their steps and activity from spring through fall and there are regular check-ins on progress and goals, including the million step benchmark.

For Paula Jackson in the South Windsor branch, the Challenge truly motivated her to get walking. She started with a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day, then pushed herself to 15,000 steps and reached her million step goal in 211 days.  Paula will be at the start of the 5K in Hartford for the third straight year and looks to best her time from last year. This year, she’ll have a little extra motivation; her granddaughter, Miya Rowland, will be joining her!

Casey Pepin works at United Bank downtown, but has never run in Hartford before. She did a 5K a few years ago and is excited to run on October 13 with good friends and colleagues.  The Walking Challenge inspired her with friendly competition and was a great motivator for her to keep active despite her busy schedule.  
“I love being involved in any of our Bank sponsored events. It’s great to get out into the community and represent such a great place to work - Casey Pepin

Nicholas Harris, also in United Bank’s Hartford location, has done 5Ks before but this will be his first attempt at the half marathon.  Since the start of the Challenge, he’s averaged over 13,000 steps a day and 20,000 on days that he hikes, walks or runs.  He has been focusing on strength and endurance to optimize his training, working to make sure that his legs can endure the 13.1 miles and the hills and finishing sprint. 

Keith Evans started running in 2012 and ran his first half marathon in Hartford later that year.  After a break, he came back to the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon in 2016.  But it was 2018 that really catapulted his running, motivating him to the start line to achieve a 26.2 mile finish on October 13.

The United Bank Walking Challenge started shortly after Keith ran the O’race 4-event series in March.  With the excitement building among employees as they tracked their steps, he followed his own plan but felt the Challenge helped bring people together.  

He took on the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown 10 Mile in April and kept his momentum going, running the Mystic Half Marathon and Surftown Half Marathon among other races.  Having United Bank involved in the marathon is a great perk that Keith enjoys, combining his work life and passion for running to take on his biggest running challenge yet!

United Bank is a presenting sponsor of the 2018 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Eversource Commits to Title Sponsorship Through 2022

On the verge of the 25th running of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) is celebrating its extended partnership with Eversource. HMF and the energy company announced the continuation of the title sponsorship of the signature event through 2022 at last night’s kick-off reception for the 2018 event, which takes place on October 13. 

Since 2014, Eversource has been title sponsor of the annual event that draws more than 10,000 participants, tens of thousands of spectators and more than 2,100 volunteers.  Since the event began in 1994, more than $7.2 million has been raised for local charities and millions annually are provided in economic benefit - $14.5 million in local economic value was generated in the region in 2017 alone.

“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with Eversource since 2014 and are thrilled to further efforts together to support local communities, charities and the participants who run or walk with us each year,” said Beth Shluger, CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Race Director of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.  “As we celebrate our 25th running this month, we are grateful for the support and deep commitment Eversource has made, engaging employees across the region to participate with us and share our dedication and pride in producing such a quality community experience for so many.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased with our Hartford Marathon Foundation partnership and we’re thrilled to extend our sponsorship through 2022,” said Eversource Chairman, CEO and President Jim Judge. “Working side by side with the Hartford Marathon Foundation, we’re empowering New England with this premiere event which contributes substantially to the local economy and dozens of charitable organizations.  Along with more than 250 Eversource employees – runners and volunteers – I am excited to see the success of this signature road race continue well into the future.” 

According to a report by Witan Intelligence, Inc., the 2017 event generated an estimated $14.5 million of economic value - approximately 71,780 spectators, participants and volunteers visited the Hartford area for the race, spending an estimated $9.66 million on lodging, shopping and dining, which in turn, supported jobs and “indirect spending” on payroll, goods and services.

Thousands of runners are motivated to use the race to raise funds on behalf of variouscharities and causes. Through these efforts more than $288,000 was raised and reported by the 2017 event’s 20 official charities and other groups (note, charity fundraising is not required to be reported). The $7.2 million raised for charity through the event has benefited community and philanthropic initiatives across the region.

Registration is currently open and more information about the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 26.2 Relay, Charity 5K and HMF FitKids events can be found at, on Facebook, Instagram or via Twitter

About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to create and manage fitness events that inspire people to be healthy and fit.  Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Hartford Marathon Foundation organizes more than 30 annual athletic races, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, and training programs for youth runners.  For more information, visit and on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @RunHMF and Instagram at HMF_Events.

About Eversource
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, provides natural gas to 232,000 customers in 73 communities, and supplies water to approximately 197,000 customers in 51 communities across Connecticut. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of about 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website ( and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook ( more information on our water services, visit


Hartford Marathon Foundation                  Eversource
Elizabeth Cowles                                            Tricia Modifica                                
860-426-9991 ext 20                                       860-665-4605

Friday, August 24, 2018

Making your race mean more

We believe deeply in supporting local charities and causes.  Providing a platform to raise awareness and funds for other nonprofits has been a cornerstone to the annual Hartford Marathon since its inception in 1994 and within a few years, established a formalized Official Charity program to help to foster this activity.  Last year, we created the “David Polk Perpetual Award” (details below) to encourage all individuals who fundraise at the race for a cause to submit their info for an opportunity to earn an additional $500 toward their charity.

The 2018 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon has 22 Official Charities that welcome walkers and runners in the 5K, casual or competitive runners in all race distances as well as volunteers to participate on October 13.  These dedicated teams of participants pound the pavement leading up to race day to train and more importantly, to fundraise. The Crowdrise online fundraising platform allows Official Charities and other non-profit organizations involved in the race to solicit donations and start their own support team to follow their progress.

Please check out the variety of worthwhile causes and organizations to see if one motivates you to step up and help.  Consider joining their team as a runner, fundraiser or volunteer.

Official charities:

$500 more for your fundraising efforts
A founding board member of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, David Polk dedicated 23 years of leadership, stewardship and generosity. In his honor, the "Perpetual Award" will award the individual who raises the most pledges for charity with another $500 donation from HMF to their charity.  Note this is open to everyone participating on behalf of a certified non-profit charity organization, it is not limited to Official Charities.  The winner will be recognized publicly at the Finish Line ceremony of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and have their name inscribed on the perpetual trophy.

For consideration of this award, individuals MUST submit their information through THIS FORM by noon on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  The top fundraiser will be contacted by email on October 11th to coordinate the finish line presentation on race day.

Please contact with questions prior to October 10.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Congrats to the 2018 Aiello Inspiration Team!

Thank you all for submitting your incredible stories, we are excited to share them as we get ready for the 25th running of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon on October 13.  The Aiello Inspiration Team represents just a small sampling of the amazing individuals in the local running community; we want to encourage everyone to share what you've shared with us!

Post a photo of you running a past Hartford marathon event (include the year!) on Instagram with #runHartford25 or post on our HMF Facebook wall with #runHartford25 for a chance to win Eversource Hartford Marathon prize packs. Contests end next Friday, August 24.  Not on social?  Email a photo to and we'll share it and enter you into the random drawings.

The 2018 Aiello Inspiration Team highlights inspiring individuals who have some meaningful history with our signature annual event. They shared heartening stories on the varying reasons they first signed up for or have run multiple Hartford marathon events - for loved ones who have passed away, for weight loss and health, to overcome illness or difficult times. Their strength, courage and spirit show that there’s so much more to race day in Hartford than crossing the finish line.

2018 Aiello Inspiration Team:
     Matt Arcata, Rocky Hill, CT – Charity 5K
     Julie Filippone Aresco, Middletown, CT – Marathon
     Tom Buckley, Avon, CT– Collar Crew
     Cat Carter, South Windsor, CT– Half Marathon
     Tim Foley, Mystic, CT – Half Marathon
     Bonnie Lambiase, Marlborough, CT - Marathon
     Kiran Majmudar, Enfield, CT – Marathon
     Mark Mogensen, Trumbull, CT – Half Marathon
     Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, Glastonbury, CT – Half Marathon 
     Laura Roix, Manchester, CT – Charity 5K

Look for their stories within the Eversource Hartford Marathon Insider’s Guide in your race packets and at the Total Fitness Expo on October 11 and 12.  The Hartford Marathon Foundation is joined by Aiello Home Services, sponsor of the team, to recognize these awesome individuals.