Friday, August 16, 2019

Help us choose the post-race marathon menu

Let’s pretend you’ve invited 10,000 people over for lunch. You have no running water, no stovetop or grill, a tight budget and you can’t order delivery because of some significant local road closures.

What would you make that has nutritional value (assume all of your guests just ran between 3.1 and 26.2 miles) and can satisfy varying tastes? Also, please be sure to accommodate gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free guests. Oh, and don’t forget to follow specific guidelines from your city’s health department and make sure to keep hot food hot and cold food cold for the duration of 4-6 hours. Did we mention your lunch party is outside too? It could rain, or be pretty warm, or kind of chilly – you won’t know for sure though when you plan your menu or grocery shop. 

So - what’s on your menu? 

Every year, we collect feedback from Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon event participants about what we cooked up on race day. Opinions vary, of course, but our number one goal is to provide the best overall race experience possible for each and every one of you. And we've got great insights and advice to share with you from an expert - Nancy Clark is a registered dietitian (RD) and board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD), and author of multiple books, including "Food Guide for Marathoners".

So this year, we want your help to make some choices within the confines of what’s possible when it comes to post-race nosh. Generally, we make sure to provide a warm option, cold option, salty item and sweet item. 

Keeping all of the limitations in mind, please take a minute to respond to THIS SURVEY

We’ve had great success serving chili and soups, met with some enthusiasm and some criticism. We used to have access to oven space to cook 10,000 baked potatoes – that was a big hit but no longer an option to access, unfortunately. Likewise with mac and cheese – a local culinary school had the resources to cook, hold and help serve but without their resources, it’s impossible for us to provide. Apple Crisp, homemade donuts, bagels, bananas, Dole fruit cups and yogurt have all been met with pretty positive response. 

With successes have come some challenges too. The master plan to serve grilled cheese was unsuccessful because of the difficulty in ensuring consistent quality for the duration of the event. Pasta needs adequate commercial equipment and doesn’t hold well for a long time. The amount of people needed to cook, transport, hold and serve is a huge factor in feasibility. 

We’re always willing to go back to the drawing board though. We know you’re going to work hard to cross that finish line, we assure you we will work hard to provide a post-race spread worth running for! 

Keep in mind tips from Nancy Clark, RD, on the goals of the post-marathon menu:
  • Provide easy-to-digest foods that will settle well such as rice, pasta, sweet potato, etc
  • Refuel muscles with carbohydrate, either sugar or starch from grains, fruits and/or vegetables 
  • Rehydrate with fluids 
  • Replenish sodium as well as other electrolytes lost in sweat 
  • Start the healing process with protein to repair muscles
  • Offer flavor changes from the sugary-sweet sport drinks and gels consumed during the marathon
  • Provide sweets that will help boost blood glucose to feed the brain and promote mental clarity  
  • Offer gluten-free carbohydrates that suit the dietary needs of the majority of runners
  • Introduce runners to anti-inflammatory foods that, when eaten on a daily basis, can help fight inflammation and enhance recovery 


We appreciate your feedback and will announce the final menu next month!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Do Good, Feel Good

This summer, we have made it our mission to leave our local running, walking and hiking trails cleaner than we found them. Plogging is a fun, interactive and healthy way to do just that – and we’re at it again this week. The word “plogging” comes from the Swedish word “plocka,” which refers to picking up, combined with the word jogging. It’s a great way to work out while helping out and keeping our communities litter-free.

On Wednesday, August 14th, we’re joining RiMaConn Relay partner Webster Bank for a plogging event in East Hartford. Get details and sign-up below. More information on how the support of Webster Bank is enhancing our sustainability efforts at RiMaConn are also included below.

Webster Bank Plogging Event – Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Start Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Meet up/Parking at Webster Bank, 1491 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118

Distance: 1.5 mile or 2.5 mile jog out, plogging on the way back


Webster Bank Named Presenting Sponsor 
of Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Inaugural RiMaConn Relay 
Webster to make additional donation to East Coast Greenway 

GLASTONBURY, Conn., August 12, 2019 – The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) is proud to announce Webster Bank as the Presenting Sponsor of the RiMaConn Relay, its first-ever team relay on the East Coast Greenway. The sold-out event will engage over 700 participants in a day-long race spanning 21 communities in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

HMF will employ wide-ranging sustainability measures—one of the most proactive efforts among the HMF calendar of events—including:

  • Race shirts made of recycled plastic water bottles (more than 5,700 water bottles will be recycled in the process) 
  • Reusable water bottles—replacing 10,000 disposable plastic bottles and cups 
  • Compost-friendly food, plates and napkins at the post-race party 
  • Locally sourced food and drinks
“Webster’s deep ties to the community throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island make them a natural partner in the RiMaConn Relay, a new endeavor that utilizes our region’s trail system in an exciting way,” said Beth Shluger, HMF CEO and founder. “Their generous support helps us deliver the top-notch race experience participants have come to expect at our events while positively impacting the communities involved.”

Eighty-five percent of the RiMaConn course utilizes the scenic trails of the East Coast Greenway. In addition to being the Presenting Sponsor, Webster Bank will donate $5,000 to help protect and preserve the race trails.

“Webster has a long-standing commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work,” said Brian Runkle, executive vice president, Operations, Webster Bank. “This regional race is another example of our leadership on sustainability and being a good corporate citizen.”

Runkle is the captain for Webster’s relay team and has participated in multiple long-distance relay races across the country for almost ten years.

The RiMaConn sponsorship is the latest example of Webster’s commitment to sustainability. In 2018 alone, Webster entered into approximately $47 million in loans for renewable energy and energy-efficient components. Webster also invests in energy-efficient solutions at its facilities, including curbing paper and fossil fuel usage, and remains active in financing commercial loans for renewable and clean energy and LEED construction.

In addition to its sponsorship, Webster Bank will engage its RiMaConn relay team and employee volunteers in HMF’s "plogging" event on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, in East Hartford, Conn. “Plogging” is a Swedish term referring to picking up litter while jogging. The group run and cleanup is free and open to the community.

For more information about the RiMaConn Relay, visit

For partnership opportunities, contact

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 32 annual athletic events, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon. For more information, visit and on Facebook at HMF Events.

About Webster BankWebster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association and its HSA Bank division. With $28.9 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust, and investment services through 157 banking centers and 308 ATMs. Webster also provides mobile and online banking. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, which provides health savings account trustee and administrative services. Webster Bank is a member of the FDIC and an equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at

About The East Coast Greenway The East Coast Greenway is a walking and biking route stretching 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida, connecting the nation’s most populated corridor. The East Coast Greenway is designed to transform the 15 states and 450 communities it connects through active and healthy lifestyles, sustainable transportation, community engagement, climate resilience, tourism, and more. The Greenway offers a safe place for bicyclists, walkers, runners, and more — of all ages and abilities — to commute, exercise, and visit new destinations. Learn more:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Meet the 2019 Aiello Inspiration Team!

Thanks to everyone who submitted incredible stories about their capability and drive to make it to the finish line at the 2019 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon on October 12. Just a small sampling of the amazing individuals in our running community, the Aiello Inspiration Team represents the spirit of race day in Hartford.
This year’s team highlights inspiring individuals who have shared what they are capable of, what they've overcome to get there and why they are motivated to cross the finish line in Hartford.

Participants shared heartwarming stories on the reasons they run – to overcome illness or difficult times, for weight loss and health, to honor loved ones who have passed away. Their intrinsic motivation, strength and determination will inspire others on their journey to race day.

2019 Aiello Inspiration Team:
  • David Alejandro, Naugatuck, CT – Marathon
  • Marisa Boasa, Ellington, CT – Half Marathon
  • Kaitlyn Desrochers, Putnam, CT – Half Marathon
  • Amanda Evans, East Haven, CT – Half Marathon
  • Smith Kidkarndee, Hebron, CT – Marathon
  • Kim Lowman, East Granby, CT – Half Marathon
  • Ashley Russell, Avon, CT – Charity 5K
  • Jesse Sythe, Wethersfield, CT – Half Marathon
  • Mary Tesch, Middlebury, CT – Marathon
  • Megan Weeks, Princeton, Massachusetts – Marathon
Look for their stories within the Eversource Hartford Marathon Insider’s Guide in your race packets and at the HMF Fitness Expo on October 10 and 11. The Hartford Marathon Foundation is joined by Aiello Home Services, sponsor of the team, to recognize these awesome individuals.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Fuel for Endurance Training

Preparing to push your body further, faster in endurance events takes consideration and attention to nutrition in training, not just on race day.   As the inaugural RiMaConn Relay approaches and you start logging more miles to prepare, we’ve asked experts in the HMF League of Injured Runners community for insights. 

Dan Torres, Nutrition Consultant at Saint Francis Hospital, addresses 5 key areas of focus for runners and endurance athletes to stay healthy and the role nutrition can play to support training.

In addition, take your nutrition, injury prevention or related questions direct to the community for insights and share your experiences.  Join the conversation on the League of Injured Runners Facebook group.

Dan Torres, Nutrition Consultant at Saint Francis Hospital

Manage your energy intake
Consuming the proper amount of macronutrients each day helps to give you energy, prevent muscle soreness and allow your body to properly absorb vitamins. The following outlines the recommended daily intake of three essential nutrients:
  • Carbohydrates: 5-12 g per kilogram of body weight
  • Protein: 1.2-1.8g per kilogram of body weight
  • Fats: 0.8-2.0g per kilogram of body weight

TIP – To convert your body weight in pounds to kilograms, just divide pounds by 2.205.  Then, calculate carbohydrates, protein or fats based on the recommended ranges listed above.

Fluid & sodium intake
Keep fluids balanced to prevent dehydration and low blood sodium. Add salt or electrolytes to your water to help your body retain fluid.

TIP - Learn ideal hydration amounts and timing in advance of and through race day in this 2-minute hydration video with Dr. Jeff Brown of the Connecticut Sports Medicine Institute at Saint Francis Hospital.

Variety and Food intolerance
Don’t get into a rut- try a variety of foods that you like while training

But - There are certain foods that might not agree with you during a race. Test out different types of foods during your training cycle in case you are intolerant.

Weight management
Adjust your food intake depending training duration and intensity

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

“I Can, I Will” in Hartford this October

We are so inspired each year witnessing the dedication it takes to get to the finish line at the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 26.2 Relay and Charity 5K. We want to hear more – we want to know what motivates the members of this incredible community. And, we want to celebrate you for it!

The 2019 event theme “I Can, I Will” recognizes the incredible personal strength demonstrated by thousands of participants each year. This type of event challenges not only your capability as athletes but the willingness and drive to achieve those ambitious goals.

Through June 30, submit your stories about what motivates you to participate in the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. Nominations of other deserving participants will also be accepted under the "You Can, You Will" theme. A select group of applicants with particularly moving stories will be honored as part of the Aiello Inspiration Team at this year’s event.

Members of the Team receive special VIP treatment including custom event apparel and complimentary PRE Perks package with limited access parking adjacent to the start/finish line, Mail My Packet service to receive bib and shirt in late September, personalized bib, access to pre-race VIP area and personal baggage check. Additionally, they will be profiled within the Eversource Hartford Marathon Insider’s Guide and highlighted within team promotions at the marathon expo on October 10 and 11.

How to enter:
Fill out the survey form HERE
You may submit your story or nominate another inspiring runner by June 30

The Aiello Inspiration Team is supported by Aiello Home Services.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Fun run & tutu making - June 19

Meet at Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford on Wednesday, June 19, for a fun run, then stay to make a colorful tutu to wear at the Red Dress Run (or wherever you want to kick up a festive outfit!!).  Details below, sign up HERE

The run is for all abilities and paces, so don’t worry about running alone. Routes will vary between 3-5 miles and can be shortened for those who want to run less. The run is free.

Donate $10 to HMF FitKids in School and get all of the supplies to make a tutu with the group after the run. Your donation will support HMF FitKids in School, a program that helps elementary and middle school students develop a healthy, active lifestyle through a 6 week, goal oriented running program. Through your generous donations, the program is provided at NO cost to the students or their participating schools.

What: Fun Run & Tutu Making 

When: Wednesday, June 19

Where: Fleet Feet, 1003 Farmington Ave., West Hartford

Time: 6:30 PM 

More Information on Fleet Feet Fun Run:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Run Wild

Run Wild this summer! We're loving the great weather we’re (finally) experiencing in Connecticut.  All that spring mud is giving way – it’s time to hit the trails for peaceful runs and explore some new territory.  

If you don’t know about the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Seriesyou should!  Our Summer Solstice Trail Run on June 16 in Hebron is part of this year's series. Emma Palmacci organizes the series and is sharing the inside scoop on the 90 year history of local trails (don’t forget about our free fun run on June 5 – hit the trails with HMF!).

Emma Palmacci- Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series 
The Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System turns 90 this year.  Spanning 96 towns and 825 miles, this expansive network of trails is maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), the state’s oldest non-profit conservation organization.  The Blue Trails are some of the best outdoor options the state has to offer - steep, ragged ledges, smooth river walks, vistas at Soapstone Mountain and Talcott Mountain, lush pine forests, and gorgeous waterfalls. 

The Shenipsit Striders have been using, and racing on, the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails for the last four decades.  The Striders have forged a strong relationship with CFPA, donating a significant percentage of their race proceeds to the non-profit.  We appreciate that there is a natural, symbiotic relationship between trail running and trail stewardship organizations.  Runners are a passionate bunch!  When we learn what goes into building and maintaining the trail systems, we become fervent supporters of those who work to protect our shared outdoor spaces.

We saw the opportunity to strengthen this relationship and to bring greater awareness to the running community about how important groups like the CFPA are to our sport.   And so the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series was born.

The original idea was simple - bring together trail races that utilize the Blue Trails to reach a greater audience across the state.  The power in numbers would increase awareness for CFPA’s efforts and bring more people out to Blue Trail races to compete for the running series trophy.  The races in the series would donate some percentage of the proceeds to trail maintenance groups.  Win-win-win.

This year the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series is celebrating its fifth anniversary.  Last year was one of the biggest series yet, with 838 individuals competing in at least one race – making for ~18,000 miles raced on Blue Trails over the course of the series.  While the Shenipsit Striders and CFPA still take on much of the grass roots effort, it’s become a group effort across volunteers and race directors - with CT Trailmixers, Bimbler’s Bluff, and Steep Endurance all helping spread the word and promoting the series.  Three new races were added to the series for 2019, the Macedonia Trail Race in Kent and the HMF Summer Solstice in Hebron and the Tunxis Ultramarathon added an 8K option.