Our race season may have ended last week but the HMF office is buzzing with activity! 2018 planning means scheduling details, securing permits, engaging sponsors (have any ideas for us?), reviewing swag, assessing courses and working on new ways to keep you inspired in the new year.
Check out the start of the 2018 schedule, including updated challenges, which we'll be highlighting in coming weeks - look for new race combos, fresh swag and great big bling. Plus, the introduction of the HMF "30K under 30" to rally young professionals to get running together for fun, health and happiness!
Also new in 2018, every HMF Half Marathon will offer prize money and we're launching a competitive series. We want to motivate those fast runners with the HMF Money Medley, providing prize money in a points series of four races of varying distances (O'Hartford 5K, Harvard Pilgrim Middletown 10 Miler, Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, Old Wethersfield 10K).
We've got more in the works but want to share the scoop on what's what with changes in store. Updates to some perennial favorites include:
- Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Ten Miler will replace the half marathon. Making this race just a little shorter helps lessen the impact on the residents (and takes out one more of those hills!). Plus, 10 miles is a really cool distance that just isn’t often available and we wanted to add the offering.
- Legends Run will now be a 3.5 mile distance, looping around Wesleyan University with the Ten Miler. We're keeping the most beloved elements -- running in beautiful Middletown with a grand finish on Main Street, the hot Mondo Pizza (yum!) and the comforting hands of the wonderful massage therapists.
- After 20 years, we’re opening up the Red Dress Run for Women to allow men to join the fun. Not to worry, the 5K is still exclusive to women, but the new One Mile Family Walk is designed for the whole family to walk together for women’s health and fitness.
- Want more than the 5K but less than 13.1 on the beautiful Surftown course? Grab a buddy, we’ve added a 2-person relay to the Surftown Half! The September event kicks off HMF's fall relay series with the Team 26.2 Relay at the Eversource Hartford Marathon in October and the Amherst Half Relay in November. New perks to be announced for runners who join all three relays!
- A beloved tradition since 2007, the Women’s Triathlon has nurtured and encouraged women to take on the sport and celebrated thousands of successful finishes. Sadly, participation has decreased significantly the past couple years. That impact, coupled with the end of race title sponsorship, means we simply can’t afford to produce the event to the standard we all expect. The Women’s Triathlon is taking a final bow in 2018 - don’t miss it!
A Fond Farewell
Speaking of last dances, we’ve had to say good-bye to a few HMF races for 2018. We know some of you have loved these events, but dwindling registration has forced some tough choices.
- Shamrock Duathlon was part of the HMF family since 2000 and we are sad to let go. We’ve offered guidance to some local triathlon clubs to encourage them to consider taking over the event. We’ll keep you posted on that one.
- As much as we loved those mustaches, the Movember 5K seems to have lost its sparkle in your eye after 3 years. We're considering new events to utilize the great spaces between Portland and Middletown.
- Note - while it was a fan-tastical fest of running fun, the Mad Dash on MulberryStreet was a one-off planned to celebrate the opening of the Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield. Without overwhelming demand or event sponsorship, it cannot be supported in 2018
We’re still hard at work on a few new events that'll roll out as details are buttoned up. Have ideas for us? We’re always ready to be inspired! Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org