Monday, July 21, 2014

Team HMF members in Runner's World Cover Contest

We’re not surprised one bit to be seeing our amazing Team HMF runners Kimberly Markey and Katie Edwards among the leaders of the Runner’s World Cover Contest.   They each embody the best of what rock star runners can be – inspiring others by running with passion, living to the fullest and encouraging those around them. Learn a little more about them below and support them in this journey by casting a vote daily.  The contest ends 8/26/14.

Kimberly Markey – vote HERE
Describe Yourself in One Word: STRONG

Why Is Running Important To You?
Running has become my release and therapy. I pass on my love of running by volunteering for the Hartford Marathon Foundation coaching run/walk/run first-time marathoners. I now know running is NOT only about the bling it’s much, much more. Running has taken a 36-year old woman who was trying to survive not having a nervous breakdown to a 42-year-old SURVIVOR. Running got me through business lawsuits, personal bankruptcy and most recently breast cancer. I now know I can survive anything and I can do whatever the heck I want to do because I run. It’s that simple.


Katie Edwards - vote HERE
Describe Yourself in One Word: PERSEVERANCE

Why Is Running Important To You?
I was 25, 8 months pregnant, a 13 month old at home and a melanoma diagnoses. After an induced premature delivery and surgery one week later, I learned life waits for no one. Now I have big goals and am determined to make them happen. I know that the seemingly impossible IS possible. My life flows when I am running and working hard. Running gives back what I put in - strength, determination, belief in myself - and allows me to share that with those around me. I LOVE seeing people discover themselves in running.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How far we've come

We have been celebrating the joy that running brings to women as we approach this Saturday’s Red Dress Run.  Women of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities who run for their health, for their enjoyment, or simply for themselves. 

While nobody can take away a woman’s right to run, it’s shocking how relatively recently women runners have been restricted from racing.   

After a 32-year ban due to medical concerns that the event was too taxing for the "frail" female gender, the women's 800 meters was reintroduced in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

But it was far from smooth-sailing for women's racing from there.

Julia Chase at the
1961 Manchester Road Race
In 1961, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) bans women from competing officially in all U.S. road races. Nineteen-year-old Julia Chase enters a 6.5-mile road race in Chicopee, Massachusetts, in an attempt to challenge the ban. While her run garners media attention, her plight is largely regarded by critics as a spectacle.  In advance of her historic renegade Manchester Road Race later that year, the New York Journal American writes: "Miss Chase said she is 5’4” ½ , weighs 118 pounds and does not know her other dimensions. (Eyewitnesses report her other dimensions are very good.)"

1967 - Kathrine Switzer runs the Boston Marathon with an official bib by registering under the name K.V. Switzer. Race official Jock Semple attempts to pull Switzer off the course mid-race, but is body blocked by Switzer's boyfriend. Switzer finished the race in 4:20 and is subsequently banned from the AAU.*

Kathrine Switzer at the 1967 Boston Marathon,
Photo credit AP Images/Harry Trask
In 1977, fed up with feeling uncomfortable while exercising, runners Lisa Lindahl, Polly Smith and Hinda Schreiber fashion a top out of two jockstraps sewn together, nicknamed the “jockbra”. The sports bra—later renamed Jogbra--is born. Moving Comfort is founded the same year, and releases the first women-specific running short.

1979 - Grete Waitz takes her second first-place finish in the New York City Marathon in 2:27:33, shattering her own world record, and becoming the first woman in history to finish 26.2 miles in under 2.5 hours.

After years of hard work and lobbying by passionate female and male athletes alike, the women's Olympic Marathon makes its debut in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. American runner Joan Benoit becomes the first female gold medalist in the event. She later says of running the final leg into the Olympic stadium: "Once I passed through that tunnel, I knew things would never be the same."

1986 - The first jogging stroller is made, allowing mom runners everywhere the freedom to run whenever and wherever.

In 25 years, a rich history of women runners in the US gives us much to celebrate.  And it only gets better from there!

2013 - For the first time in history, 61% of U.S. half-marathon finishers were females (approximately 1,196,000 - a record), the highest proportion of any race distance.

Females currently account for 8.6 million finishers nationwide (a record number) and represent the highest percentage ever recorded of 56% of event fields.  SOURCE: Running USA

*Come see Kathrine Switzer, a special guest of the 2014 NU Hartford Marathon.  Details to come.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HMF Staff Spotlight: John Bornhorst

Remember that water stop you so desperately needed to make it through the last mile?  Or the turn arrow that kept you on course?  More than likely, you have John Bornhorst to thank for that. As part of the HMF race operations team, John is one of the valuable staffers that help make it all work on race day.  Learn a little more about him, and say hi next time you catch him on race day!

John Bornhorst – HMF race operations team

Role on race day: 
Operations support, setting up every tent, sign, piece of fencing, water stops, mile markers, turn arrows, all the pieces that go together to make a race great.
How long you've been with HMF: 
Started volunteering in the fall of 2007 and became part of the staff in the spring of 2010.

What’s your running style: 
This year, I’m finally getting back on the road after a few years off thanks to the HMF 5K training group getting me up and running on Saturday mornings!  Slow and steady is my style, not a fast runner but love the feeling of getting in a good 5-6 miles to sweat the world away.

Favorite HMF race you've worked and why: 
Besides the Hartford Marathon, I love the different scramble races we run during the summer. It’s great to see everyone come out after work, have fun with a theme, and get to enjoy good music, food and a cold beer along the Riverfront.

All-time best race experience: 
Working the race for Sandy Hook was a memorable day. It was great to see 15,000 runners together for such a good cause.
Night before or race day prep ritual: 
For the really early set up times, making sure multiple alarms are set and coffee pot is programmed to start up early. I pride myself on never being late…

Most challenging race day moments: 
The weather, if it’s not the cold or too there is always the wind. But we always seem to make it work and overall we’ve been really lucky the last few years.

Most inspiring race day moments: 
Listening to Lt. Kevin McCarthy sing the national anthem at many of our events. He has an amazing voice.

What most people don’t know about to make an event successful: 
There is a lot of organized chaos.

Cooking, and baking during the holidays. I'm also a fan of birthdays and continuous surprises to make people’s days...

All time favorite food indulgence:
ANYTHING w/ dark chocolate, Wellfleet oysters, Maid-Rite hamburgers made in Greenville, OH

What makes you get up in the morning: 
The MORNING, I am truly a morning person and love to start the I like to say to many “sleeping in is so over rated”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Twitter Q&A, Friday - Injury Prevention and Recovery

Like most runners, I have been sidelined by injury and frustrated while waiting it out to heal.  Over the years, I’ve learned from many credible and talented partners of ours that healthy training and post-injury care are critical to staying on my feet.  We want to give you direct access to ask your injury-prevention and recovery questions to one such valued partner, Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers (PTSMC). 

We’re excited to be joined in our #askHMF Twitter Q&A series this Friday by Kathryn Flodquist, PT, DPT, cert. MDT, CSCS.  Kathryn is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with PTSMC and also a USA Triathlon Level 1 coach.

As a physical therapist and triathlete herself, Kathryn is well equipped to answer your questions on common injuries like Plantar Fasciatis, Achilles tendonitis and ITB syndrome/knee pain and can offer healthy training tips.
“In over 15 years as a physical therapist and a triathlete I’ve learned a massive amount about how the body moves, how to make it move better, how to train and race, how to recover, how to eat and how to make it all fit in my life.  I welcome the opportunity to pass this knowledge on!” -Kathryn

Kathryn will join us from 1-2:00 pm on Friday, June 20, via @RunHMF, just send your questions to us using #askHMF.  Learn more about Kathryn and PTSMC below, we look forward to hearing from you Friday!

Kathryn Flodquist graduated from the University of Hartford in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy.  In 2011 she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Des Moines University.  Kathryn joined PTSMC in February 2007.  For more on Kathryn, please visit
PTSMC is an outpatient physical therapy company with 12 clinics throughout the state of Connecticut.  They worked hard to achieve a reputation as a leader in healthcare.  The practice offers physical therapy services specializing in musculoskeletal, orthopedic, and sports related injuries.  Therapists at PTSMC improve the quality of people's lives by providing unmatched patient experiences, clinical excellence and lifelong relationships.  PTSMC helps return patients to work, their athletics and the lifestyle they enjoyed prior to injury or surgery.  The physical therapists of the practice focus on individual needs of each patient and develop treatment programs that are the safest, most efficient routes to fast recovery.  More information can be found on

Monday, June 2, 2014

Apply for the 2014 Aiello Inspiration Team!

Calling on inspirational and motivational athletes to submit an application to be part of this year’s Aiello Inspiration Team at the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.  We love this tradition of giving well-deserved attention and great perks to athletes that make positive contributions to their communities or humbly serve as inspirations to others.

The group of athletes will represent the best examples from efforts across the running community to support health, charity, children and community initiatives. Candidate submissions must reflect the ways in which the runner has been positively linked to these initiatives or been an en
couraging role model.

Applications will be accepted from runners of any age or skill level participating in the October 11th  NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.  Runners can nominate themselves or others who they feel represent inspiring qualities. 

We will provide Aiello Inspiration Team members with elite level benefits during race weekend including complimentary hotel stay, Pasta Supper tickets and marathon apparel.  Additionally, they will receive an Elite Runner Package (value $80) including limited access parking adjacent to the start/finish line, Mail My Packet service to receive bib and shirt in late September, pre-race massage service and exclusive access to private portalets (a most coveted perk!) and secure private lockers to store personal items.

Application forms are available on the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon Registration Tab under Aiello Inspiration Team. Nominations will be accepted through June 30 and then a panel committee will review applications and winners will be notified in July.

The first inspiration team was introduced in 2011.  Aiello Home Services signed on to support the Aiello Inspiration Team last year to help recognize the many amazing personal journeys and experiences that compel runners to take part in Hartford Marathon Foundation events.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bandits and Bib Transfers - Please Don't!!

It’s great that so many runners enjoy the course, this Sunday’s Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K reached capacity because of its popularity.  However, questions we’ve received from those shut out by course limits prompt us to assess hotly debated topics in the running community.  Bandits and bib transfers.
We’ll start with the simpler of the two scenarios.  Bib transfers are not allowed first and foremost for safety purposes – we don’t know who you are if you get hurt or an emergency situation occurs.  Period. Not knowing who you are is a scary situation.  I have had too many conversations (any one is too many) with family members of runners transported by medical.  Making that family contact immediately is necessary on many levels to ensure the best possible physical and emotional care for the runner.  At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than keeping everyone safe.

People ask us why we can’t do bib transfers in person on race day, a logistic impossibility on many levels.  It’s nowhere near as simple as saying “I’ll just give my bib to a friend and they can give you their name”.  Really, it doesn’t work that way with hundreds or thousands of runners on race day. 

And, bandits… Bandits make a race dangerous – we don’t know who they are so if injury occurs, we’re back at square one with major safety concerns (re-read above if you don’t think that’s a valid dissuasion to bandit).  We’re also not planning on extra bodies on the course so increased traffic causes safety concern that can negatively affect others, you know, the people who paid to participate. 

Everything a bandit uses is a stolen service from those who entered honestly  – water, portalets, medical services, food etc.  They are stealing.  Everyone else registered and paid the entry fee, which also provides for police, medical, road closures and all the other expenses of the race.  And, our permits allow only the number of people set by course limits to run, so bandits are also jeopardizing the continuation of the race by breaking our permit.

If you don’t believe me on this, please take a look at what my dear colleague Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director, thinks about bandits in a recent “Ask the Director” Runners World column.

Please don’t do it.  Please discourage others from doing it.  You wouldn’t dress up for a wedding, hit the dance floor and eat the cake because it was a public venue, and there isn’t even a major safety risk there!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's On. Are You In?

Thanks so much to everyone who came out yesterday and to those who liked, shared or commented on our NU Hartford Marathon announcement updates and showed us support.  We are excited to harness all of this positive momentum to create new programs, grow in areas we've heard positive feedback on and tweak what we can to continue to do better for the runners, charities, communities and kids we work to support.

We wanted to share a few photo highlights of our announcement event.  And as a show of thanks to everyone who registers by May 31, we'll be sending you a car cling (for bragging rights, of course!).

Thanks again and please check back for some fun new promotions and contests we'll be running on Facebook and Twitter to recognize "What powers your run".  

Beth Shluger, Executive Director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, welcomes guests and
talks about the history of the Hartford Marathon before introducing the new sponsor.

Tom May, CEO of Northeast Utilities, shares more on why the
New England-based company chose to support the marathon, half marathon and 5K event.
Matt Anderson, Operations Manager of the Hartford Marathon Foundation,
helps decorate the Marriott Downtown with event logos while the announcement is being made.

Spectators and participants at the announcement event.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra speaking about why the city and surrounding
communities support the annual event and benefits for the area.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy shares insight on the NU Hartford Marathon
and how the event motivates people to healthier lifestyles.
Students from local schools are representing the 4,000 children who participate in
HMF FitKids Fun Run and Final Mile events.
Team HMF runners, a 25-member group of athletes that
serve as inspirational ambassadors for HMF events.
NoRa Cupcakes at the post-event luncheon.