Thursday, December 18, 2014

NU Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon sale pricing through Jan 1

Although race registration has been open for the 2015 NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon (October 10), we didn’t want to leave our signature shindig out of the season preview party this week!  Register here by January 1 to get special sale pricing.  We’re giving away one NU Hartford Half or Hartford 5K registration in comments below.

Enjoy photo slideshows from race day, One Mile Friday, the HMF FitKids in School Final Mile celebration and our special event with the legendary Kathrine Switzer, Girls on the Run founder Molly Barker and special HMF guest Colleen Alexander.

NU Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon

One Mile Friday, presented by Stanley Black & Decker

HMF FitKids in School Final Mile Event

Girls Night: Powerful Stories from Fearless Women

Comment below sharing your 2015 NU Hartford goal, one randomly selected person will win NU Hartford Marathon or Hartford 5K registration (please note marathon registration not included in promotion).  You can submit your comment anytime until 11:59 pm Friday, 12/19.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5Ks and Frequent Milers in 2015

The 5K - a great distance for beginners, casual runners looking to keep fit and competitive racers alike.   We’ve got 15 of these 3.1 milers on the calendar for next year (not including those that are associated with multi-distance events like Surftown and NU Hartford).  Learn more about changes and promotions to come and don’t forget to post in comments below to win free registration to any HMF 5K.

Because many of our 3.1 mile events are associated with great causes and community partners, many participants don’t even realize the event is HMF produced or that there’s bound to be another one just around the corner.  In 2015, look for the new "What’s Your Next Race?" promotion to learn more about upcoming events similar to those you’re already running.  We are also expanding our HMF Frequent Milers program, details to be announced early next year.  We've also got great training programs in store for beginners, so encourage a buddy to come along and share your love of running!

We have two popular 5K series coming back in 2015, kicking off the season with the three O’races.  These fun and festive 5Ks will provide another trinity medal opportunity to boost your bragging rights in March.   
Courthouse O’Putnam 5K, Sunday March 15
O’Niantic 5K, Saturday March 21
Max’s O’Hartford 5K, Sunday March 22


The Riverfront Scramble series will offer another big bling opportunity for those that participate in all three of these Hartford 5Ks:
Thursday June 25,  Thursday July 23 and Thursday August 20


A great environment for beginner and competitive women runners, Red Dress Run for Women, presented by UnitedHealthcareSaturday July 11, is set is beautiful Elizabeth Park in West Harford.  A great opportunity to run with a group or in mother-daughter teams, the photos from this year will speak for themselves!

The final race of our season is another family fun West Hartford tradition.

Other 5Ks we’re offering in 2015 include:
CT Race in the Park (New Britain), Saturday May 9
Corey's Catsup & Mustard 5K Run & Charity Walk (Manchester), Saturday June 20
The Rentschler Airfield 5K (East Hartford), Thursday July 16
Pumpkin Run/Walk (Higganum), Sunday October 25
Freedom Run 5K (Hartford), Sunday November 8
Norwich Winterfest 5K, Saturday, November 28

Comment below on which of these events you'd like to win free registration to and why! One randomly selected person will win just for commenting - you can submit your comment anytime until 11:59 pm Friday, 12/19.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Try a Triathlon or Duathlon in 2015

Today we are revisiting great moments in Triathlons and Duathlons to tempt you to add something new to your race goals for 2015. And, we are giving away a tri or du event registration this week in comments below!

Many in the HMF community are hesitant to expand outside running – until their first multi-sport race experience.  If you’re unsure about it, a great way to introduce yourself to triathlons and duathlons is to participant in one as part of a team.  Our multi-sport races also offer options to combine two parts of the event so you can start with what you're most comfortable, observe the transitions and talk to participants after the race before taking it on solo.   

The line-up for 2015 has a lot to offer for various experience levels.  Get a glimpse of the HMF duathlon and triathlon experience in these photos to learn more and comment below on why you already love multi-sport races or why you want to try one in 2015:

Ten Penny Ale Shamrock Duathlon & 3.3 Mile Run (Glastonbury), Sunday May 17

Litchfield Hills Olympic Triathlon (and Duathlon and AquabIke), Sunday, July 19

Niantic Bay Triathlon & Aquabike, Sunday, August 2

Women’s Triathlon (Farmington), Sunday August 30

Comment below on why you already love multi-sport races or why you want to try one in 2015.  One randomly selected person who comments this week will win a free registration to an HMF multi-sport race (you can submit your comment anytime until 11:59 pm Friday, 12/19):

Monday, December 15, 2014

2015 Race Season Countdown is ON!

We’re counting down to open registration for 2015 events this Friday!  Everyday this week, we will highlight a group of 2014 events in photo slideshows to help spark your race-day memories and show those looking for some new experiences and challenges what HMF has to offer. We will give away a FREE registration to someone who comments on the blog (below) this week. 

Today – we’re talking multi-distance events and our big announcement – the new CTfastrak 15K and Relay on Sunday, May 3!  This race will run along the smooth new bus route from New Britain to Hartford and offer 2 or 3 race legs for running with a team or the 15K for those going it solo.  Details will be posted soon – mark your calendars!  We're also working on a new half marathon in southeast CT for June 28, stay tuned in January for details.

The Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon and Legends 4-Mile is coming back for it’s second year in downtown Middletown on Sunday, April 12.  Check out highlights from last year’s inaugural run:

The typically sold-out Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K will run through the gorgeous town of Simsbury on Sunday, June 7. Don’t wait to register for this one!   Enjoy race photos from 2014:

The Old Wethersfield 5K and 10K is a great PR opportunity, flat and fast with serene surroundings.  This year’s race will be Sunday, August 23.  Check out last year's highlights:

And last but certainly not least, another runner favorite that typically sells out in advance, the Surftown Half Marathon and 5K in Westerly, RI, offers the best ocean views, quaint beach roads and a blast of a post-race party!  Sunday, September 13 - it’s on in 2015!

Comment below on which of these events you'd like to win free registration to and why, and please make sure you include your name in the comment! One randomly selected person will win just for commenting - you can submit your comment anytime until 11:59 pm Friday, 12/19.  Check back tomorrow for another day of race recap and giveaway.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Runners...take your mark, get set - SHOP!

T-minus three days until holiday shopping season pandemonium…fear not, runners are prepared!

Your race training will give you an edge in the sprint for the last Elf on the Shelf. Your endurance work will help you schlep across the lot in sub-zero temps hauling more bags than are in Santa’s own sleigh. And, those extra miles you ran just for fun will help keep holiday cookies and spirits from invading your waistline.

If your shopping pursuits lead you to, you can support the Hartford Marathon Foundation just by doing what you’re already doing! HMF is now an official AmazonSmile charitable organization, which means that for every purchase you make on Amazon through, 0.5% of the purchase price will be donated to the Hartford Marathon Foundation.

It’s the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate to HMF when you log in through, select us a your charity and make your normal purchases. Use the same account on and AmazonSmile; your shopping cart, wish lists and account settings are also the same.

Because we produce events, many people don’t realize how donations benefit a non-profit like HMF. Entry fees only cover about 75% of event costs. We depend on sponsorship and donations to provide the balance. Our youth programs, beginner training programs and charity partners as well as the communities our events take place in depend on this support.

Why support HMF?
Our youth programs are either totally free (like the HMF FitKids in School program which serves nearly 4,000 students and is completely supported by grants and donations) or just about free (the cost to participate is less per child than it costs us for the entry - any child under the age of 18 pays only $10 to run any FitKids event or HMF 5K).

Ever participate in our beginner 5K training programs? It costs participants $3 a week to get off the couch and start running. We don’t want price to be anybody’s excuse not to get fit with us, and donations help us fund these programs.

Of course, nothing we do could be accomplished without volunteers. From training coaches and race day volunteers to youth program supporters, volunteers are the reason HMF can produce all these events. These volunteers are dedicated to helping our non-profit organization succeed!

Thanks, as always, for your incredible support. Happy shopping!

Friday, October 17, 2014

In case you missed it….

Now that we’re all fully rested up from last weekend, we’ve been able to reflect on the many special moments of the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.  It’s an honor for us to hear about your PRs, goals attained and memories made.  We love seeing your pictures and hearing the appreciation for all of the volunteers, without them last week’s events wouldn’t be possible.

There were a few exceptionally special moments for us that we wanted to share here, just in case you missed it.

Directing thousands of cheering middle school students into waves to run the “Final Mile Event” of the HMF FitKids in School Program was really a lot like herding cats – take a moment on the visual there.  But truly, it was amazing to really see the faces of these kids as they took off at the start and the celebrations when they crossed the finish.  Whether we’re helping them to consider running as a lifelong passion or simply giving them a goal and the support to reach it, this was a good day.  Could not be better said than this:

All that hard work paid off,” said Kevin Cloutier, student runner from Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.

Last Thursday night, the first-ever Girls Night event was above and beyond what we hoped for! Truly powerful stories were shared from incredible women, but in casual, comfortable conversation that felt like being among friends.  The positive energy and feeling of camaraderie and inspiration filled the room.  We were able to take away powerful words to keep us motivated – a few snippets

"You always can do more than you ever imagined, but you have to take the first step" 
-Kathrine Switzer, marathon woman and author

Running is simply a metaphor for everything great that exists within us” 
-Molly Barker, Girls on the Run founder

"In every single exhale, let go of the negativity" 
–Colleen Alexander, athlete and survivor

So we came off this great night feeling moved by the power and strength of women.  But in an emotional mile I will never forget, crossing the finish line on Friday night may be the single moment that most impacted me from race weekend.  My friend and fellow runner Marj Sasiela is under hospice care.  Just two years ago, Marj finished 2nd in her 70-74 age group of the Hartford 5K.  On Friday night, she pushed through that mile, never submitting to the wheelchair that her son Rick pushed next to her - she walked and ran her way through downtown Hartford.  Her story was captured by the Hartford Courant’s longtime running reporter Lori Riley – see story here: She Refuses to Let Cancer Stop Her

All this happened before Saturday morning.

The whirlwind that is race day produces some pretty amazing moments.  A few that we caught Saturday are captured in photos below. Thank you all for making the 21st running of the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon another one to remember.  We’ll see you out there again soon.

Team HMF member Kimberly Markey talks with
NBC Connecticut before the race.
Kimberly raced all through the year while receiving
chemo treatments, the NU Hartford Marathon was her first
26.2 since finishing treatments.

Aiello Inspiration Team member Carlos Quiles wins the NU Hartford Half Marathon
disabled division with a time of 1:13:20.

Javiar Hernandez of Norwalk, CT, celebrates
after his marathon finish.

L-R US Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Sanders, Staff Sergeant John McNally, Staff Sergeant Derick Peirce and
Staff Sergeant Brandon Howland were provided 5K registrations by Bank of America, sponsors of the new
Freedom Point hospitality venue.

Little runners stretching out before their 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile or mile races
as part of the HMF FitKids program on race day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running through walls

GUEST POST: Marathon Junkie Chuck Engle has run more than 350 marathons - just passing his 300th sub-3 hour marathon this past spring.  Chuck was a special guest of the Hartford Marathon Foundation on Saturday running to raise $1 for every marathoner he passed on race day.  Chuck came in 38th, passing well over 2,000 marathoners from his start position of dead last to raise money for Camp Rising Sun. Hear his race day story in his own words:

Running for Camp Rising Sun this past weekend in the NU Hartford Marathon was absolutely one of the best feelings I have ever had while taking part in a marathon. To start last with about 15,000 half-marathon and marathon runners in front of me was a new challenge. I have been very fortunate to start at the front, if not on the line, of nearly every marathon I have ever raced. I was ill-prepared for the difference in speed that I had with the majority of the half-marathon runners. 

With about a 9 minute delay from the official starting time I embarked on a race that would let me face a different kind of wall. The bell curve of runners created a unique situation as I quickly romped past the thin line of walkers only to slam into the hoard of joggers and walkers that most would call mid-packers. Miles of runners stretched across the rain-soaked city streets. 

I watched my mile splits rise to 8 and 9 minutes during the first several miles as I weaved to the left and right through a kaleidoscope of runners. The drenching rain coupled with meandering runners made quick stops and fast turns a treacherous decision. The challenge of navigating up through the field should have been frustrating for this usual front runner. However the cheers from fans and friends for the charity propelled me to continue with my oft-times peregrinating jaunt. 

With each mile the crowd thinned. Despite my new tangential approach to the course, it became more difficult in the later miles to catch and pass increasingly faster runners. The early weaving had begun to take its toll on my legs. The weather seemed unrelenting and the crowds thinned during the most critical miles. 

I was now mostly alone to battle the storm inside and out. The wall of runners and now the wall of pain began to envelope my fog-filled skull. It was at this very moment near mile 22 that I could only think that the exact opposite should happen for children with cancer. They should be surrounded with love through their storms. That thought alone gave so much more purpose to pushing past every runner that I could. My wall was easily conquered as each runner was one more donation to the camp. 

Camp Rising Sun is a place where children in active treatment for cancer or those in remission are surrounded by love and fun in a judgement free environment. The only cost to them is that they were stricken with disease and are in a race that they did not voluntarily choose to enter. As that thought pounded through my head with each of the passing miles I found myself closing in on the finish line. The crowds grew and thunderous cheers erupted as the announcer spoke to the crowd about the purpose of my 26.2 mile journey. I vaulted down the final mile passing 6 or 7 more runners. My journey was over but the journey for so many of the children at Camp Rising Sun is only beginning. 

It is my hope that each of the children of Camp Rising Sun will have the opportunity to feel the support and love that I felt as I successfully completed my race.  If you have ever run a race you've seen volunteers and throngs of people along your journey. Most of them are there supporting you even though you've never met. If you have a moment, join the crowd that helps surround and support these children. Help them run their race with a ton of cheering fans and well deserved support.