Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Course updates: Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon

We have been busy planning every detail to ensure a safe and memorable return to the most exciting day in Hartford - race day!

The Eversource Hartford Marathon showcases the revitalized riverfront of Hartford and East Hartford with breathtaking views of the Connecticut River and classic New England charm of Old Main Street, South Windsor.

This year, the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon will run with the marathon for the first 11.5 miles before heading back downtown and through the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.

Check out the marathon course fly-over video with highlights to look for along the route, including the Old State House, Dunkin' Donuts Park, Dillon Stadium, the historic Colt Building, the East Hartford Riverfront and the historic homes along Old Main Street, South Windsor:



Check the 13.1 mile half marathon fly-over video HERE and read up on the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for the details on all of the safety measures planned.  

Remember, some very important things haven't changed - like the excitement of lining up at the start with the palatial backdrop of the Connecticut State Capitol.  And, the jubilation of running through the grand finish, under the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch lined with an array of gorgeous autumn mums.  

New this year, the presence of the locally designed Black Lives Matter mural welcoming finishers on Trinity Street provides an important symbol of racial justice to unite around. We run together, as equals, and we're proud to celebrate everyone who reaches their goal on this glorious finish line on October 9.

We hope to see you there!  Register today at www.hartfordmarathon.com




Thursday, April 29, 2021

Triathlon registration is open!

After a year away from producing the Niantic Bay Triathlon and the Women's Triathlon, we are so ready to get back to it this summer!  As with all of our 2021 race planning efforts, a ton of attention to detail is being paid to public safety.  Triathlons are innately complex events with a balance of timing, traffic flows and lots of measures to make them smooth and safe for participants, volunteers and spectators in a typical year.  This year, expect the return of those efforts with the added level of COVID-19 mitigation strategies to spread out participants and reduce contact points.


Those necessary efforts will force us to reduce capacity, which directly impacts the budget to produce both of the triathlon events.  This doesn't mean services will be skimped on or swag will disappear, we remain committed to provide the high quality experience you have come to expect from HMF.  It will, however, prevent us from providing any group or specialty discounts or extending deep discounted registration-opening prices. Late registration will come at a premium so register early to secure your spot in the limited field. 

 

We are hopeful as the weeks and months move on, a sense of normalcy will settle back in and that race planning can again inspire big goals to achieve. Quiet weekends at home give way to squeezing in days of double training time around work travel obligations or the packed schedules of busy families once again.  The way it should be.

 

Register now or learn more about the Niantic Bay Triathlon (August 8), Women's Triathlon in Farmington (September 11) and the calendar of HMF Events at www.hartfordmarathon.com/hmf-events/

 



 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Kicking off 2021 with 58,812 miles in January!

What compels you to get out of a warm bed or bypass your favorite Netflix binge to put on layers of workout clothes and be active every single day in January for three weeks straight? We learned some really interesting tidbits about participants in the Jack Frost Challenge last month that keep us inspired!

For TJ McKenna, a Boston University professor who logged the highest activity in the Challenge (481 miles!), a goal to do at least 10 miles for every hour spent in a Zoom meeting was just the beginning.  He and his wife both participated in the Jack Frost Challenge and they run in honor of Lindsay, his sister-in-law, as part of Team Be Happy and the Lindsay's Legacy Foundation.  Last year, they donated and shipped more than 600 face shields to those most in need and raised $10,000 for the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Health.  The Challenge gave him a reason to tackle multiple long sets everyday and keep up training for triathlons.

Celeste Fong, who followed closely with an impressive 477 miles, wanted to start the year by pushing herself far outside her comfort zone.  She appreciated a January challenge like this to motivate people to turn a goal into a habit.
"I’ve seen the sunrise almost every single day. I’ve spent tons of miles walking and hiking with my mom. I’ve also explored a bunch of new trails. It’s been a fabulous month in so many ways."
While TJ and Celeste racked up impressive mileage, the volume of people committed to their goal was remarkably inspiring:

  • Of 1,012 in the challenge, an average of 820 participants submitted each of the 21 days
  • 17,230 total activities were submitted
  • 58,812 miles of activity were logged by the community
  • 3.41 miles per submission was the average

Jose Lugo committed to a 10K a day and early on had to strategize his time to run or walk 6.2 miles with warm-ups and cool downs around his full-time work schedule. He also paid more attention to the daily weather forecast than ever before!  A frequent HMF race participant, Jose misses the competition and appreciated being able to follow the leaderboard to get in the spirit of it more, compelling him to log more January miles than he ever has.

"The pandemic made me realize that I'm not meant to be indoors for a long period of time. The Challenge gave me goals and the fact that I surpassed my goals this early in the year gives me a great sense of satisfaction."
For John Bornhorst, a friendly face at HMF finish lines in a normal year, the Challenge forced him to get out and complete a 5K a day.  The option for indoor or outdoor activities was an initial draw, but the added challenge of managing the winter weather kept him outside to log his  miles.  He also encouraged a colleague and newer runner to use running and aerobics to successfully keep moving in January.

Congratulations to all Jack Frost Challenge participants and to the 21 winners of Daily Prizes from Fleet Feet West Hartford!  All winners were contacted by email directly about claiming their prizes.

Monday, January 25, 2021

$513,000 raised for charity in 2020

2020 was a tough year, no doubt.  Thankfully, there was also quite a bit of good stuff to be proud of - thank you for making it all happen...


Hartford Marathon Foundation Inspires Community Giving,
Fosters $513,000 in Participant Donations in 2020

With road races halted for the pandemic, non-profit creates new ways to encourage runners

The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) pivoted its 2020 calendar of road race events to create virtual races, challenges and engagement programs for runners and walkers to keep active for physical and mental health benefits.  In the process, the non-profit race management company fostered $513,122 in donations from participants to support local causes.  Additionally, HMF collected almost 2,000 pounds of non-perishable food donations to benefit community partners, including FoodShare, Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown and the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank.

As the Foundation releases its 2021 race calendar and opens registration for its signature annual event, the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, operations staff is assessing all aspects and scenarios to address event safety.  Currently, a short-term refund policy is in effect to provide customers assurance of their registration investment while the logistics and safety procedures for the October 2021 event are thoroughly detailed.  Attention continues to be paid to community support initiatives that can be tied to 2021 virtual events, challenges, hybrid races and in-person events.

"The generosity, strength and resilience of the local running community inspires us to continue pushing through the arduous tasks of event planning through the pandemic.  We're working hard to provide events and programs that encourage people to set and reach different types of goals as we all wait with anticipation for a return to the grand finish line experiences we have proudly delivered for the past 27 years," said Beth Shluger, founder and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. "We are so appreciative of the participants and the generous sponsor partners that enable us to maintain our dedicated, professional staff and keep our non-profit operations solvent so the community can count on us when we all get to the other side of this."

The single largest HMF charity fundraising initiative in 2020 was the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. The virtual "Movement with Purpose" brought the community together to raise $420,712 for local charities with the support of Eversource and event sponsors.  In addition, targeted community driven efforts included:

•    $33,200 raised through the June 2020 UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K and 5K to benefit the UConn Health COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

•    $18,197 generated through the virtual Johnson Brunetti 5K & OneDigital UnitedHealthcare Kids Fun Run for Hartford's Camp Courant

•    $7,000 provided to FoodShare in partnership with Stop & Shop for the March 2020 Lucky Run and $5,768 provided to FoodShare through the 12Ks of Christmas challeng

•    $4,283 raised for the Westerly Hospital Foundation through the Surftown 100 Challenge in September 2020

•    $2,960 and food donations for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank through the Hartford HealthCare Mystic Half Marathon and 10K

Learn more about upcoming events at www.HartfordMarathon.com and follow the conversations on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @RunHMF or Instagram at HMF_Events.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

2021 Schedule Update: planning ahead

We are very excited to share the 2021 schedule of events with you and open registration for the 2021 Eversource Hartford Marathon, Surftown Half Marathon & 5K presented by Westerly Hospital, Harvard Pilgrim Middletown 10 Mile & Legends Walk/Run and Hartford HealthCare Mystic Half Marathon & 10K.  Look for registration opening for the 2021 Lucky Challenge in mid-February!
 
While we can’t predict exactly what is to come this year, we’ve been working on these race plans with multiple scenarios, all guided in our commitment to public safety and a hope to get you back to start lines when reasonably possible.

This schedule remains in the works, expect to see updates over the coming months.  The events included are those that have plans in place, discussions with partners underway and community connections made, however, they are still subject to change.  Understandably, towns aren’t issuing permits to us for any type of event at this point, so we’re doing everything we can to get ready for when they are in the position to do so.  

If you don’t see an event you know and love on this calendar, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not going to happen.  We just don’t have enough to work with yet to put a date out there for you.  Conversely, we can’t commit that every HMF event you’ve participated in will continue in perpetuity.  We have to make adjustments that will preserve the fiscal viability of our non-profit operations – limited fields and increased safety expenses will have an impact on how we keep our professional staff employed and our office lights on in the future.  Please know that even through this, we’re fully committed to bringing back the high quality HMF race experience you’ve come to expect.

While we continue to provide challenges and virtual events to participate in now, our planning efforts are focused on longer distance races first. 
Registration is now open for a number of fall events, we are building out details on them as quickly as we can. We’re also working hard on the UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K (scheduled for June 5) to provide detailed hybrid race options – again, movement on these community approvals will still take time.

So – why register early?  We’re going to protect your investment so you can guarantee yourself a spot in the limited field.  

A temporary refund policy is in effect for the following events.  Register by February 28 and know that you can receive 100% of your registration dollars back (less processing fees).  You’ll have until June 15 to make that request for any reason, ensuring the race details are available for your consideration before the refund deadline.  Register between March 1 and May 31 for these events, you can request refund for any reason and will receive 75% back (less processing fees).
 
A timetable for the UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K and 5K events will be laid out once details are secured and registration opens.

Additionally, if you have deferral credits from 2020 cancelled events, be assured that you have time to use them.  All codes issued in 2020 are extended for use until December 31, 2021.  Please review details on how-to check status and/or use deferral codes in our updated POLICIES.

Thank you and for your continued support!  While we can’t answer all questions, we do want to keep looking forward with hope and give you reasons to set goals in 2021!  



Monday, December 21, 2020

Planning for the new year, full of possibilities!

In a normal December, we would be buttoning up permits and brainstorming new challenges and changes to events to keep you excited about running in the new year.  We'd be releasing the race calendar and updating as many details as possible to open registration.  In a normal year, we celebrate the holidays with a clear path of what the next year will look like.

But this is 2020. Far from normal, and we still want to make sure we give you lots to look forward to.  What we're working on and how we're approaching 2021 will continue to adjust. We want to give you the best possible picture of what we're thinking.

2021 schedule
You can expect to see a race schedule released in January with planned dates for signature HMF events like the UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K; the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown 10 Mile; and the Hartford HealthCare Mystic Half Marathon and 10K.  The Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon always takes place the second Saturday of October, and we're assessing various scenarios to deliver as best we can on our flagship fall event.  Registration won't open all at once for events, as it has in the past, and we will be providing an updated refund policy for early registrations to in-person events.  Look for those details to be released by event when registration opens.  

There will be some annual events or charity partner races that will not be on that calendar just yet.  It could be that the partners need more time to determine the best-case scenarios to support their goals; or we don't have enough confidence that we can get a permit for a certain date approved early; or the event just might not be feasible.  We're providing dates for events to pencil in to your calendar based on info we know, industry predictions and a good deal of hopeful forecasting.  The goal is to proceed with optimism while not creating more questions than we answer.  It will all still require patience and understanding (please!).

We are hopeful that in-person events will return in the summer and fall, but anticipate adjustments will need to be made to ensure as safe an experience as possible for all - that could mean post-race parties look different, race capacities reduced, course changes, etc. There are a variety of possibilities we're exploring to bring races back, all with your safety as the top priority.

Before we make it back full circle to traditional in-person events though, we are looking at springtime options for hybrid events.  We're developing plans based on locations and resources available to provide timed race experiences with adjustments like start wave windows or rolling starts and open weekend events with some on-site experiences for limited groups of participants.

For the immediate future, we're going to keep you motivated with new challenges through the winter.  The Jack Frost Challenge in January is just the beginning of a variety of programs intended to give you a little something extra for lacing up your running shoes each day.   We're trying as best we can to encourage the community to tap in to the mental health benefits of exercise, reduce a little stress and set some positive goals to accomplish.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support!  We are committed to being here for you on the other side of this pandemic and we are depending on your participation in the meantime to keep the lights on at HMF and our staff employed in a limited capacity.

We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season, cheers to 2021!

 


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Nominate or share your story for 2020 Inspiration Team!

The 2020 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon events compel a community-wide Movement With Purpose.  Help us highlight people that make a positive difference through service to their community.

We're accepting nominations for the 2020 Inspiration Team, presented by Bank of America.  Please share your story or nominate someone else participating in the event who deserves to be recognized for their efforts to support local charity, advance social justice efforts or serve their community during these difficult times as a first responder, military or healthcare professional.


This year, stories of the team will be shared via our social, print and video communications and may also be told through local media stories.  In addition to getting recognized for their service, team members will receive a special piece of team apparel and their $25 registration fee donation to charity will be matched by Bank of America to support an Official Charity of their choice.  Please note, because 100% of the $25 registration fee is a charity donation, there are no complimentary entries in 2020.

Submissions will be accepted through August 10

Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon 2020 Inspiration Team, presented by