Friday, June 7, 2013

Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K & 5K Race Recap

Amica Iron Horse Start Line
In the days following a race – before we get too enthralled in our next event – we like to reflect on what worked and what we can keep working on. Everybody at HMF completes a “lessons learned” document the day after every race. Last Sunday’s Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K gave us a lot of great moments, and a couple we’d prefer not to repeat as well.

HMF Fit Kids
 Everybody who joins us appreciates the beautiful course out in Simsbury farmland, we are grateful to the town for welcoming us back year after year. The figure-eight shaped race route is extremely popular for the bucolic scenery. With convenient parking, a great playground, a huge climbing rock wall, an HMF Fit Kids Fun Run and the band shell buzzing with festive summer tunes, the sold out race was well attended by families too. This is the first race we’ve awarded all participants with finisher medals, something we heard positive feedback on. We also heard a lot from you about the delicious grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by Boy Scout Troop 175 with cheddar courtesy of our generous sponsor, Cabot Cheese we have a winner there for sure!

Volunteers handing out water
With a heat wave setting in mid-week before the race, we also knew conditions could be challenging and we wanted to prepare our runners in advance and on the course. Extra water stations were manned by our incredible volunteers and we were joined by some thoughtful neighbors lining the course with squirt guns and hoses to help cool off runners. With our new Event Alert System in place, we monitored the temperature as it began to rise and decided to post Red Alert status around 10:15 am. This was done, not because of the temperature, but because quite a few runners were struggling out there. We encouraged runners to slow down or walk, and to listen to their bodies – water intake and shade can only help so much if your body is pushed beyond its limits. Runners’ safety is our number one concern and medical response is always in place – as always, Simsbury Police and first responders were top notch. We prefer our EMTs to be bored, and although we did require their assistance to help some struggling athletes, we commend everyone who remained vigilant about their own well being by preparing, heeding warnings, seeking help or slowing down when necessary.

Amica Iron Horse Finish Line
The Amica Iron Horse events will continue to be one of our favorites. We’d like to hear more from you on what makes this event special and any notable experiences you’ve had with us in Simsbury too.



  1. This was my fourth time running the Amica Ironhorse 5K, and I have enjoyed all of them. I love the course, and the close-by ample parking. I enjoy being able to stand at the finish and see my friends come through for the half, finish the 10K and then the half finishers. I like the party vibe of the race, and I get a kick out of seeing the boy scouts out on the course as volunteers. I have to get up pretty early to get there from Bolton, so I must enjoy it to keep coming back!

  2. Great race once again as this was my 3rd year running the Iron Horse Half. I consider it one of my favorite races because of the organization, the course, amenities. and the residents of Simsbury. Last week as I ran the course I was impressed with how quickly staff responded to struggling runners. Whether on the course or at the finish any emergency was addressed immediately. Thanks to the HMF staff and local first responders. BTW...those Cabot grilled cheese sandwiches were wonderful.

  3. The grilled cheese sandwiches were unique and a great idea for post-race food. They're more substantial than bagels, but not hard to stomach after a tough physical effort...they really hit the spot!