Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thank you for a great 2015!

We were proud to hit many great milestones in 2015, including hosting more than 43,000 of you at 30 race events!!  As we reflect on the year and prepare for a busy 2016 race season, we have much to thank you for.

Your commitment to step up for charity and community was once again much appreciated. For the inaugural HMF Can initiative, runners helped raise more than 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food to donate to local communities we race in.  Of note, more than 900 pounds was donated to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry through the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon in April - reportedly their biggest ever one-time donation.  A 2016 goal has been set to collect 12,000 pounds, with your continued support.

By the numbers, Hartford Marathon Foundation highlights include
  • 43,097 motivated participants in 5K, 3.3 mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon, marathon and relay distances, as well as duathlon and triathlon events
  • 4,894 dedicated volunteers including groups 
  • 10,000 pounds of food donated through HMF Can
  • 42 charities supported by events (not including runners’ individual affiliations to charity)
  • 4,177 children participating in HMF FitKids program

But you’ve said it best through the year! In your words, hear a little more about what it meant to race HMF Events.  It’ll give you great motivation and us many reasons to keep trying to do more and better in 2016!

For more information on 2016 events or to register, please visit www.hartfordmarathon.com and be sure to follow on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @runHMF and Instagram at HMF_Events

Happy New Year to all!!

This (O’Niantic 5K) was the best 5K I have run, despite the snow. Very well run and so much fun. I plan to run it next year as well!    -Crystal Huntoon

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Mystic Half Marathon. Just wanted you to know that everyone I came in contact with was friendly, helpful. The packet pickup was easy with no hassles. You have it all together with respect to organization, people moving, activities, etc.     -Kathy Mason, Salem, CT

This (CTfastrak 15K) race was phenomenal! The route was great, the event was well organized, the concept was creative. All in all, a great day. Thank you for consistently delivering events that are well-executed and entertaining...You certainly have a well-oiled machine.     -Michelle Kurnik

This was my first time running in the Red Dress Run in Elizabeth Park! Everything was perfect, the weather, the course, the volunteers and staff, and the signage...Special thanks for the tee shirt, and I especially love the necklace; I think it is a great giveaway idea!  Thank you for all.     -Barbara Kreitner

Can't say enough about what a great job everyone did in organizing this event (Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon). From registration to parking, bag drop and recovery, course management and security --- it was first rate.     -Ted Ruddock

My first 5K (Norwich WinterFest), loved the course, volunteers were great, fantastic organization, great atmosphere, totally loved everything, God willing I will be back next year.     -Barbara Batwala-Dune

Friday, December 18, 2015

Enhanced training programs with Fleet Feet

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Fleet Feet West Hartford as the exclusive run training partner for HMF Events in central Connecticut.  With new and expanded group training programs leading up to key events and series, we’ll support you to achieve your goal – and celebrate you at the finish line!
Custom Training for Halfs
Keep motivated through the winter with the 12-14 week half marathon training program that starts January 2 or January 16 and gets you to the finish line of the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half on April 3. 

Based on the principles of the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, this coaching program is customized to your personal fitness level factoring your training goals.  The program incorporates the VDOT Running Calculator and interactive online calendar and running logs that you and your coaches track to keep you accountable and motivated.

5K Training 
With 5K group training programs starting January 9th and 10th to prepare for the March O’race Trinity Series events, Fleet Feet will be offering three different levels of training to suit every age and ability level. The 11-week training programs provide experienced coaches, camaraderie in a supportive group setting and training guides for each participant.  

The No Boundaries 5K - Intermediate level is great for those who have competed in 5Ks and are looking to run longer intervals during training or challenge themselves with new race goals.  

Be sure to encourage your non-running friends to consider a Walkfit or beginner No Boundaries 5K group to join you at the Courthouse O’Putnam, O’Niantic or O’Hartford in March.

Check back for more programs, or please feel free to connect directly via the Training Program Inquiry link if you are seeking a specific training program that you don’t find available.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New England Double - #RunHartford and #RunVermont

***UPDATED 6/1/16***

We are excited to offer the Eversource Hartford Marathon as part of an enhanced "New England Double" 2016 marathon package, together with RunVermont, producers of the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon.  Please note, the registration process for the program has been updated.

Runners earn the “New England Double” distinction by completing the May 29th People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon and the October 8th Eversource Hartford Marathon.  Those who register for the program and finish all 52.4 miles will receive a special New England Double medal (in addition to earning event finisher medals) and a commemorative finisher jacket. 

Registration Requirements 
You must register for both events directly on our respective race Web sites and then simply choose the option to add the New England Double program within each event’s registration process.  Once you register for both events with the option, you’re in!

2015 New England Double finishers with their medals
If you already registered for the New England Double program but were cut off from finishing on 5/29 due to the extreme weather, you will still be included in the program as long as you passed the 13.1 split time.

If you ran in Vermont and want to add the New England Double but have not registered for the program yet, you may add the New England Double through the Eversource Hartford Marathon registration process.

There are no event or race distance substitutions allowed.  You must complete both the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon and the Eversource Hartford Marathon to receive the New England Double medal and jacket.

Participants must register for the Vermont City Marathon before it sells out or by May 29, whichever comes first - don't delay if you want to run the Double!

New England Double medals and jackets will be available for program participants to pick up in Bushnell Park after they finish the Eversource Hartford Marathon on October 8. 

PRO Series: 5K to Half

Whether your goal is a first half marathon or you’re looking to improve time, our 3-race “PRO Series: 5K to Half” will help you achieve it - with some extra incentive!  Earn a commemorative series medal and get a free training guide for support (optional coached group training is also available).

Choose either the Red Dress Run for Women on July 9 or Rentschler Airfield 5K on July 14 as your first race.  You will then run the Old Wethersfield 10K with us on August 28 – this double-loop course is flat and fast, a great way to increase race mileage in preparation for your final race.  Follow our weekly mileage guide to help get you to the finish of the October 8 Eversource Hartford Half Marathon.

Registration Requirements - register here
You must register for the PRO Series: 5K to Half program to participate (do NOT register for events in the program individually). Simply click the option for PRO Series: 5K to Half registration within any one of the participating events and you will be registered for the program and all three events simultaneously.   

  • You must register for the PRO Series: 5K to Half before the second 5K option on July 14 or before any of the participating events reach capacity, whichever occurs first. 
  • There are NO event substitutions allowed
  • 2015 PRO Series finisher with race medal
  • You may not combine promotional programs with overlap events – for example, you must choose between participating in the Pro Series: 5K to Half OR the Triple Half Challenge promotion.

There's also an an option to participate in a more robust group training program (fees apply), which provides experienced coaches, a supportive group environment and a training program shirt. Details on PRO Series group training will be provided shortly.

Collect your medal on October 8 – a festive finish line awaits you in Bushnell Park, with incredibly supportive crowds, great course amenities and a huge post-race bash!

New perks - O'race Trinity Series

2015 O'race Trinity Series
finisher medal!
The O’race Trinity Series, our first races of the 2016 season, offers some great new options for those who have earned the Trinity bling in the past or are looking to capture their first!  Register for the series here and complete the three O’races to earn event medals that link together forming the Irish flag - with a special Gaelic message! The festive St. Patrick’s Day themed race events are:

NEW perks!
Register for the Series by January 22 to receive personalized bibs for all three races!

Series participants will also be provided exclusive new race swag. Instead of receiving a beanie hat at each event, O’race Trinity Series participants earn a beanie hat at the Courthouse O’Putnam, socks at O’Niantic and gloves at O’Hartford.  We’ll deck you out in St Patrick’s Day-themed running gear (supplies limited, register early to secure your swag!).

O’Hartford VIP package option
And - new to the O’Hartford 5K, all race participants will have the option to purchase a convenient and comfy VIP race experience. For $30, participants will receive:
  • Secure baggage locker
  • VIP parking
  • Access to warm, indoor pre-race hospitality suite with refreshments

The VIP option can be purchased within the race or series registration process or added through the ShopHartford store if you choose to purchase after you have registered for the event (available until max capacity is reached).

Get your Irish on with us in 2016, and give yourself great motivation to keep up with winter training!  If you joined an O'race in 2015, see if you made the photo slideshow below! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Triple Half Challenge 2016

Back by popular demand - the HMF Triple Half Challenge of 2016! We heard great feedback from this year’s inaugural program and want to give you the opportunity to best your 2015 time or join your first challenge. 

Finish these three designated HMF half marathons to earn a newly designed Triple Half Challenge jacket and new commemorative finisher medal:  
Registration Requirements - register here
You must register for the Triple Half Challenge program to participate (do NOT register for events in the program individually).  Simply click the option for Triple Half Challenge registration within any one of the participating events and you will be registered for the program and all three events simultaneously.   
Please note, you must register for the Triple Half before the first event on April 3 or before any of the participating events reach capacity, whichever occurs first. 

The only event substitution allowed is the replacement of the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon with the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  If interested in this substitution, please select it from within registration options at the time of Triple Half Challenge program registration.

You may not combine promotional programs with overlap events – for example, you must choose between participating in the Pro Series: 5K to Half OR the Triple Half Challenge promotion.

Your Triple Half finisher medal and official jacket will be waiting for you at the post-race party of the Eversource Hartford Marathon on October 8th.

NEW Spring Ahead series features inaugural Collinsville Classic 10K

The new “Spring Ahead: 5K to 10K” 3-race series will jumpstart your spring race season with two popular events and culminate in a brand new point-to-point 10K running Farmington to Collinsville.  The progression from the 3.1 mile O’Hartford 5K on March 20, to the Legends 4-Mile in Middletown on April 3 and ending with the 6.2 mile Collinsville Classic 10K on May 1 provides an achievable and fun goal.  

Whether you’re a relative running newbie, you want to motivate yourself this winter with a new training goal or you're someone who has fallen off the race circuit for a while (as I like to lovingly call, a “USTA”),  this series will give you reason to run - great courses and new bling, a commemorative Spring Ahead medal.  And, our free training guide will motivate you to race beyond 5K or help ramp up your training for later spring, longer distance race events. 

Registration Requirements
You must register for the package to be eligible to receive the commemorative medal and free training guide – do NOT register for events individually.  Note, if you choose to participate in the O’race Trinity Series and the new Spring Ahead: 5K to 10K series, you may do so only by following these directions: Register for the Spring Ahead: 5K to 10K series, register for the Courthouse O’Putnam 5K and the O’Niantic 5K as individual events.

NEW Collinsville Classic 10K
This is going to be a real beauty, 6.2 miles along the scenic riverside from Farmington to Collinsville.  Course details are still being finalized but we will be limited to the first 800 runners and expect to sell it out.

The multiuse trail along the Farmington River will be utilized, providing a flat, shaded course filled with scenic views.  The finish in downtown Collinsville will feature a great post-race party hosted by the Collinsville Downtown Merchants. 

A custom water bottle will be included in your entry fee as race swag.  Short sleeve cotton or tech shirt is available for purchase as well.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2016 Race Series & Promos - the details

We're excited to share the schedule of 2016 race series and promotions!  Registration will open for these packages on Friday, December 11.  General registration for events will open on Friday, December 18.  In the meantime, the site will be down while registration details are loaded in order to open on those dates.

Thanks for running with us - cheers to a great 2016!

O’race Trinity Series - register here
Get your Irish on! Register and complete the three O’races to earn event medals that link together forming the Irish flag - with a special Gaelic message! The Courthouse O’Putnam 5K (March 13), O’Niantic 5K (March 19) and O’Hartford 5K (March 20) are festive St. Patrick’s Day themed races – costumes encouraged!

Spring Ahead: 5K to 10K (3 races) - register here
Motivate yourself to race more miles this spring! Run the O’Hartford 5K (March 20), Legends 4 Mile (April 3) and the NEW Collinsville Classic 10K (Farmington to Collinsville on May 1).  Register for the series to earn a commemorative finisher medal and get a free training guide. Optional group training is also available.

HMF Triple Half Challenge - register here
Are you up for the challenge? Run the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon (April 3), Mystic Half Marathon (May 15) and Eversource Hartford Half Marathon (October 8). Earn a newly designed finisher’s medal and exclusive HMF Triple Half Challenge jacket – note, you MUST register for the Challenge to qualify (do not register for each race individually).

2016 Grand Slam Scramble Series, presented by StanleyBlack&Decker - register here
Enjoy the festive, themed Thursday evening summer 5K series with a brand new design on the big bling!  You must register for the series (not individually for each race) to earn the bling.  June 23 is a sports teams theme, July 21 is Olympics and August 25 is Super Heroes - beer, burritos and a blast of a run!

Earn this impressive distinction by completing the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon on May 29 and the Eversource Hartford Marathon on October 8. Those who register for the Double and finish all 52.4 miles will receive a special medal (in addition to earning event finisher medals) and a commemorative NE Double jacket.

PRO Series: 5K to Half  (3 races) - register here
We will help you accomplish your half marathon goal – whether it’s your first or fifteenth!!  Run a July 5K (either the Red Dress Run for Women on July 9 or Rentschler Airfield 5K on July 14), and the Old Wethersfield 10K (August 28) and the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon (October 8).  Register for the series (NOT the races individually) to earn a commemorative finisher medal and get a free training guide. Optional group training also available.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Please help us reach the goal!

It’s the final race of the season this Sunday and we have one more big job to do – but we need your help!  Our goal for the HMF Can drive of 2015 is to donate 10,000 pounds of food to communities across the state.  We are 1,600 pounds short of reaching that goal (and we really don’t like falling short on goals!).
So – we did some simple math.  We have about 2,200 people running with us at the Blue Back Mitten Run, presented by UnitedHealthcare.  If half of the runners on Sunday bring just 2 cans each, we will meet the goal

Can you spare 3 cans of tuna?

How about a couple boxes of pasta and jar of sauce?

It doesn’t take much for us to make a difference if we all pitch in – pretty please!?!  Help us help the people living in communities that we run in.  Bring non-perishable foods to drop off at the HMF Can trailer.

As is our annual Mitten Run tradition, we will also be collecting new mittens, hats and scarves for the  Town That Cares Fund.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Athlete food and post-race party

We take lots of time and effort to plan post-race menus that appeal to our runners' various taste preferences and food sensitivities.  With food, there's no pleasing everyone all the time, but we have a lot to offer to help satisfy your refueling needs tomorrow.

Check out the menu in the athlete food tent here.  Bring the food ticket from the race bib to get into the food tent. Please note, spectators and guests are not allowed to purchase food from this location. 

Athletes will each also receive a reusable snack bag with their water bottles as they come out of the finish chute.  Snacks include:

Another post-race highlight is always the Harpoon Beer Garden.  Athletes 21+ with ID receive one free beer with the beer ticket from their bib.  Souvenir pint glasses and beer will also be sold in the Beer Garden.

And for your race night celebrations, many local restaurants are providing discounts and offers for runners.  Please visit The Extra Mile information linked here for promotional offers.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Spectator Tips - Finding Your Runner

We want your friends and family to enjoy your race experience too!  We’ve collected some tips to share with spectators who want to track runners and catch up with them on the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon courses. 

Don’t wait until race morning to sign up for athlete tracking, although it’s simple to do, best to plan ahead.  Get details to set up athlete tracking here.   

Depending on when you are coming into the downtown area will determine how best to arrive (Parking early to stay downtown?  Coming in later to just catch the finish?  Parking and trying to drive to other areas?).  There’s no one right way to direct spectators, so planning ahead is key. Road closures and parking info will help spectators plan their morning. 

Most spectators don’t want to miss the spectacular start on Capitol Ave. (follow runner directions for that but be mindful of road closures if you're going to try to leave the area by car). The energy and excitement is inspiring….the National Anthem with its short pauses hushing thousands of runners, and the celebration that ensues when the start horn sounds.  

If you are coming in to watch the marathon after the start, our suggestions for arrival/parking follow, based on road closures.
       Use the highway system to enter Hartford - either I-84 or I-91.
       Use highway exits north of Asylum Street or south of Capitol Ave.
Parking (if not filled):
       Coming from the west, east, north, use 58 Chapel Street or 1212 Main Street
       Coming from the south use Front Street Garage

Watching Marathon Runners
Tracking marathon runners (course map here), your first stop from the start is Mortensen Riverfront Plaza at the Founders Bridge.  Located just a half mile from Bushnell Park, you can quickly walk there before your runner gets to mile 4 on the riverfront path.   Stay put there to catch them again at mile 6 as they leave the city on the bridge.
Once your runner passes mile 6, you can catch them again at Great River Park in East Hartford at mile 8.  This is a beautiful waterfront park and great location to cheer on runners across the Founders Bridge pedestrian walkway.

Marathon runners will meet "The Wall", mile 20 on Old Main Street in South Windsor.  The phenomenon of “The Wall” evades easy definition, but runners know it when they hit it.   Their pace often slows - some runners say that it feels as though their legs had been filled with lead or they can’t feel their feet. Muscle coordination and thought processes get shaky, and self-doubt creeps in. Runners need cheering spectators at this point, but plan ahead to get their by car.  Your best access is from Route 5, which runs parallel to Old Main St. Park on the side roads that connect through to Main St to catch your runners in this stretch.

Then, back to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza at the Founders Bridge, runners will be encouraged to finish strong as they cross back into the city at mile 25. This location is the High Five Mile, where we’ve got extra enthusiastic supporters helping to push runners to the finish.  
Spectators quickly head back to Bushnell Park to watch their runner cross under the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch to the finish.  Runners will then be routed around the corner onto Elm Street to enter the Finish Line Expo in Bushnell Park.

Catching up with Half Marathoners
Course info and map for the half are available here.  A great stop by car to catch half marathon runners is by the Mercy Community Center water station on Steel Rd in West Hartford. Set up around mile 8, there is plenty of parking on the side streets off of Steele Road to park and join the cheering section there.

You can catch half marathoners again around mile 10 in Elizabeth Park off Asylum Avenue.  Then, head back to Bushnell Park to catch runners under the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch.

If you lose your loved one, you can catch up at the Family Reunion area in the Park, check the map here.  Grab a bite to eat from one of the food vendors on Elm Street or check with the Info tent for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee spots. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A little extra on race day

Each year, we try to improve or add a little something extra for our runners – this year we’re really working hard on the weather!!  Stay tuned on that...but we can guarantee that we’ve got a great race experience in store for you. 

Whether you’ve run Hartford before, or this is your first, we want you to enjoy everything the Eversource Hartford Marathon has to offer.  Here are some highlights:

Pace teams – Pace leaders are offered for the full from 3:00 to 5:30, and for the half from 1:30 to 3:00.   This is a great free service to help you achieve your goal time.  Pacer leaders will wear bright yellow pace shirts and hold their pace signs for the start.  See photos and learn a little more about their race day strategy and pacing style.

Mobile App – Download today to put all race day resources at your fingertips and on the go with you – course maps, start and Bushnell Park maps, parking info, events schedule, results and more.

Athlete Tracking services – Let friends and family follow your race from anywhere they are!  Sign up for tracking to have updates automatically sent to your designated social networks or via Text message when you cross tracking points on the course.
Freedom Point, presented by Bank of America – Special hospitality venue for active military, reservists, veterans and their families. Just show military ID to get in and enjoy some pampering.

Psyching Team – Let the Springfield College Running Psychology Team help with your mental readiness.  They will be wearing blue team hats at the Expo, on the course and post-race. The team is available to provide performance enhancement strategies for goal-setting, positive self-talk, energy management, relaxation techniques and positive affirmations to help you feel your best!

Chapter 126 Zone – Physically challenged athletes can utilize this gathering place in Bushnell Park for pre- and post-race needs.  It’s wheelchair accessible allowing athletes to store regular wheelchairs and stage their racing chairs. We will have handicapped accessible portalets and baggage service for athletes. 

HMF FitKids – Children aged 2-11 can get in on the race action! Distances are offered from 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and mile and each child gets a finisher medal and t-shirt.  Note, children can be registered in advance or on race day.

The Extra Mile – So many great restaurants and attractions are offering runners deals and discounts around town.  Please check the link and support local with your pre-race plans or post-race celebrations on Saturday night!

Monday, October 5, 2015

HMF Spotlight: Future Elites!

We’re committed to supporting young runners - our future elites! We recognize the importance of high school Track & Field programs in encouraging and training young runners. At last week’s Eversource Hartford Marathon kickoff reception, three local high schools were honored for their exceptional  programs - each school was provided a $1,000 donation to support their program's continued success.

Tolland High, Girls Track
This spring, the team from Tolland won the outdoor track State Open title by two points against Windsor to become the first girls team to win all three State Open titles in the same school year. The Eagles won the State Open title in cross-country over Glastonbury, the indoor title over Wilbur Cross and the outdoor title with 52 points against the Warriors. The State Open titles in both indoor and outdoor track were the program's first. It was the Eagles' second straight State Open title in cross-country. Tolland was a perfect 6-for-6 in state championships, which includes three class titles. Team standouts Caitlin Swanson, Julia Sprout, Kat DeLoreto, Karissa Laramie, Taylor Hall and Hayley Collins; and coaches Corey Bernier, Judi Lafontaine, and Brandon Elliott accepted the donation on behalf of their program.

Windsor High, Boys Track
The Windsor team spent the first two months of the season dealing with injuries, but it all came together at the end of the outdoor track season. The Warriors peaked at the right time, winning the Class L title over Wethersfield and the State Open championship over Danbury. It was Windsor's second State Open title since 2012 and fifth straight Class L title. Windsor had three of the best relay teams in the state (4x100, 4x400 and 4x800) and the best 400-meter runner, Courtney Rush. The Warriors won the New England title in the 4x100 and were second in the 4x400.  Windsor athletes Kyshawn Bonner, Timothy Epps, and Jakwan Simmons; and coaches Kelvin Kearse and Ronald Wilson accepted the donation on behalf of their programs.

Weaver High, Track & Field Program
The Weaver track program is one of the smallest in the state, but that hasn’t held them back. Last winter and spring, the team found its stride with help from sophomore Mark Doyley, who became the fastest runner in the state. After winning both the 100 and 200 at the State Open during the outdoor track season, he finished the year with a New England championship in the 200 with a time of 21.16. Doyley was also the best 55-meter runner during the winter season.  Coach Andre Shreeves, Doyley, and teammate Tianna Robinson attended the kickoff reception to accept their donation.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Course support - important info!

We’ve been talking up new energy gels offered on race day, but have been forced to make a last-minute change we want you to be aware of.  Due to an unexpected inventory issue, Boom Nutrition is unable to supply the required amount of Carb Boom!  We have purchased GU energy gels for the course, giving runners the option to choose.  Each location listed below will have Carb Boom and GU, and support bicyclists will try to carry both products for on-demand need.

Carb Boom! and GU will be located at:
Mile 8.5, 13.5, & 20.5 (Marathon)
Mile 7 (Half)

Tasty treats and motivation wait for you at The Candy Stand on Mile 22 of the Marathon and Mile 10 of the Half.  Candy Stand Volunteers will be cheering and handing out dark chocolate, Jolly Ranchers®, "fun-sized" Snickers® bars and a host of mini-sized sugary delights for race participants to munch on as they head toward the finish line. Flat cola and orange soda will also be on tap.

Mile 2.5, 3.5, 5, 6.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 12.5, 13.5, 14.5, 16.5, 18, 19.5, 20.5, 22, 23.5, 24.5, and 25
Half Marathon:
Mile 2, 3, 4.5, 6, 7, 8.5, 10, 11.5 

Please don’t litter along the course.  Residents and communities welcome us each year, please respect their roads and homes and dispose of cups in receptacles provided.  Do not throw your energy gel packs on the road.  They cannot be picked up by street sweepers and we have to pick each one of those gooey packs up by hand.  Be kind and discard them in the containers provided.


  • Visible mile markers at every mile
  • Chronotrack mats / clocks at several mile marks
  • Athlete tracking for automatic updates to cell phones 
  • Gatorade (lemon-lime endurance formula)
  • Non-stop entertainment along the entire route
  • Toilets at start and finish area and at various points along the route
  • Top notch medical and volunteer support along course

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Getting race ready!

We’re coming into the home stretch, with about two and half weeks until Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon race day.  We are hearing from runners in training groups, on the HMF Events Running Group page and at events about how they’re preparing in these final weeks – avoiding injury and staying healthy are key!

Check our Training Tips page for some words of advice from Select Physical Therapy on addressing tightness or pain before it leads to other issues.  We don’t want you side-lined by injury!  It's taper time, one of the most important aspects of the marathon training cycle but difficult for many to implement - check out some pointers here.

Getting ready for race day takes physical and mental preparation, finding the right balance to get you to the finish line is different for everyone.  We checked in with the team of runners from United Bank - a group that includes everyone from experienced marathon runners to first time 5K participants. They shared some of their strategies for getting race ready below, please share in comments any tips and strategies you have.

Samantha ParĂ© – 5K
I’ve never been much of a runner and haven’t been very physically active for a couple years, since becoming a mom.  Six weeks ago I started running 3 times a week using a couch to 5k app, it starts you off at an easy level and gradually increases in difficulty. It has been rewarding to see my distance grow after each run.

Diane Lipes – Eversource Half Marathon
I am following the training suggested by the Hartford Marathon Group. I also run with the group on most Saturday mornings from the Glastonbury Center. Believing in myself that I can do it is my mental preparation!

Dena Hall – Eversource Half Marathon
Fitting this training schedule into work, home, kids, volunteer commitments and fall sports is a mental exercise in creating my balance! I spend time each week planning out my schedule and various commitments and figuring out how and where to fit my runs.

Katie Mascolo – Eversource Half Marathon
Aside from running I have been staying active in other ways including hiking, walking my dog and light lifting. I have also found the importance of staying hydrated and stretching!

Please continue to follow us here and check your email for important race updates delivered in weekly Eversource Hartford e-News.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Course previews, mile-by-mile

While there aren’t significant changes to the courses of the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon or the 5K this year, we do have some great new resources to help you prepare for your race on October 10.

Whether you’ve run with us in Hartford before or this is your first, take a few minutes to watch the mile-by-mile video:

Half Marathon video

Marathon video (and relay course)

You can also find printable course maps with elevation chart, route description and mile markers through those links. While we don’t have video of the 5K, you can get all 5K course details here.

For water station locations and to see where Carb Boom! energy gels will be available on the half and full courses, check the amenities list here.  Did you know we have a Candy Stand on Mile 22?  Volunteers will be cheering and handing out a host of mini-sized sugary delights for race participants to munch on as they head toward the finish line. Flat cola and orange soda will also be on tap.  

The Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon are both qualifiers for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.  We are also a Boston qualifier, please see details on our FAQs page – you’ll learn some other really important stuff there too!

As always, the courses are all USA Track & Field Certified This is a very precise process, courses are measured by a standard bicycle fitted with a calibrated mechanical counter on the front wheel.  A legit certified certifier follows their 100-page manual of rules to ensure the precise, exact course measure is achieved.

Any questions about the race course, there’s sure to be an answer on our Web site, use the menu tabs on the left side to help direct you.  Put all of this information at your finger tips with our mobile app, download it for iPhone or Android today!

If you’re really stumped, contact us on Facebook.com/HMFevents or send us a Tweet at @runHMF

Friday, September 11, 2015

Meet Team HMF at Surftown

The Surftown Half Marathon & 5K has become a fan favorite amongst the HMF running community, including many members of Team HMF. Meet some of the team heading down to Surftown this weekend, and be sure to say hello!

Matthew Cieslowski

Hometown: Manchester CT
Occupation: High School social studies teacher
How long have you been running competitively? 3 years      
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why? I love the Surftown Half because it is held at the perfect time of year for a half, the course is breathtaking, and when it is over you can put your feet right into the ocean. It's the best. I've run it every year and hope to do so for the next 50 years. 
What was your single most memorable race day experience? Finishing my 5th marathon in Maine was the best because after many attempts and what seemed like endless training I finally was able to feel proud of not only finishing but also achieving a time that made me proud.   
Why do you run? I enjoy the sport because during the solo training runs and races I can feel totally alone and independent yet there is such a wonderfully supportive community of folks in the running world. The festive atmosphere before and after races is one of camaraderie that I enjoy immensely. Many races are held to support great causes and it feels good to do something for others while doing something for my fitness and myself.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? Remember to relax and enjoy the experience, even though it is a competition you are ultimately out there in competition with yourself.

John Coppola

Hometown: Middletown, CT
Occupation: Account Manager
How long have you been running competitively? 6 years      
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon          
What is your favorite HMF race and why? I really liked the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon. The course was challenging and fun. It was fun to race on the same roads I train on          
What was your single most memorable race day experience? My first 5k. A friend had suggested I try running a race with him. I mostly ran on a treadmill and had just transitioned to the road. I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group. I was hooked on racing after that day.             
Why do you run? There are almost too many reasons to list why I run. I find that it's a great stress reliever for me. I never feel anxiety during a run. It's really the only time I don't worry about anything. It frees my mind from all the burdens of everyday life. It gives me a great feeling of freedom.        
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? Just have fun. Don't worry if you're not fast or that anyone will make fun of you. Runners are very supportive of everyone who's out there on the course giving it their best. Don't forget to stretch after every run. 

Scott Hollister

Hometown: Glastonbury, CT
Occupation: Life Skills Teacher
How long have you been running competitively?   My first triathlon was at age 10 however, I did not enjoy the self-gratification in running until long after college. So 15 years, give or take.
What is your favorite distance to race?  Right now, I’m really enjoying half marathons. 5k’s and I have a love hate relationship.
What is your favorite HMF race and why? The Riverfront Scramble series are my fav. I love not knowing what each race will be in terms of the course and distance until just before the gun. It makes most competitive runners crazy and therefore you get a wonderful group of runners who are more focussed on having a good time rather than racing for time.
What was your single most memorable race day experience? This year was running half marathon shoulder to shoulder with my 68 year old father and both breaking our PR’s.
What's your "Go To" Post race meal?  I love nachos and pizza and if the race was long enough, I’d order both and consume together.
Why do you run?   I was once told “Health, Wealth and Happiness you can pick two” Running has given me two of the three and I’m extremely grateful for this decision.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year?  Enjoy the moment; take it all in. You’re going to PR no matter when you finish so leave some room for improvement and finish feeling strong.

Lanham Miller

Hometown: Glastonbury, CT
Occupation: Youth Program Manager at the Connecticut Forum
How long have you been running competitively? 6 years      
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why? The Hartford Half Marathon. I love how much hype and pride the marathon produces for the city of Hartford. The organization of the event and crowd support throughout the course is unbelievably awesome. This year will be the 9th year that I've run the half marathon and being a Team HMF athlete has given me a boost of confidence that I can train hard and shoot for a PR! That is what makes me love HMF events so much; the spirit of these races is contagious and thrilling.   
What was your single most memorable race day experience? I don't remember a whole lot from races. I love cheering other runners on, giving high-fives to cheering crowds. Of course, the moment I cross the finish line is always pure joy. My husband is usually waiting at the finish line--- so that definitely gives me something to look forward to.                 
Why do you run? Running is my therapy. I have yet to find something that is so freeing, exciting and instantly gratifying.       
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? You're going to be nervous. But know that being nervous before a race is GOLD! My experience has been that my heart races, my throat gets a little tight, and my body just can't wait to get moving (and moving fast). Once the race starts, just take it all in, embrace the jitters and enjoy the ride. A race is something you CHOSE to do, so have fun doing it.

Eric Pouliot

Hometown: Sturbridge, MA
Occupation: Outdoor Sports retailer
How long have you been running competitively?  4 years
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why? It's hard to choose since all the HMF events venues each have fantastic organization and unique venues, but favorite would be the Surftown Half Marathon. Although Mystic was a pretty close second, both have coastal locations and fast courses so it hard to chose but Surftown wins.
What's your "Go to" pre race meal? I wish this wasn't true but strawberry pop tarts with some additional raw honey on top are usually my good luck charms!
Why do you run? The main reason I run is the fulfillment I get by covering distances with my own two feet! Running has enabled me to enjoy meeting new friends and traveling to new places all while taking in the beautiful scenery. Running also enables me to escape the ability to just slap on some shoes and just go gives me a feeling of freedom that I don't get from any other sport!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? Have fun and don't get stressed out, you're out the to have fun and see what you capable of. Just go out there give it your all and know that you’re probably going to want to sign up for your next race by the time you get home!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bandits - one more reminder

We’ve discussed bandits here on the blog in the past and hear the conversation brewing right before or after races like Amica Iron Horse or Old Wethersfield.  With the sold-out Surftown Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday, we want to make sure the policy – and the reasoning behind the policy – is clear.

Bandits make a race dangerous – we don’t know who you are so if injury occurs, we’ve got major safety concerns.  Let me remind you, I’ve personally had too many conversations (any one conversation is too many) with family members of runners transported by medical.  Making family contact immediately is necessary on many levels to ensure the best possible physical and emotional care for the runner.  There’s nothing more important than keeping everyone safe. 

We’re also not planning on extra bodies on the course so increased traffic causes safety concern that can negatively affect other runners; you know, the people who paid to participate.  

There are areas of concern on virtually every course, this includes anything from potential bottleneck areas to traffic hazards or community impact points (say a church is letting out of mass or another event is happening nearby).  Our job is to lessen the impact of those areas on participants and on the community.  We can’t do our job well if an unanticipated crowd of extra bodies jumps in for even a few miles to help a friend along.  While the intentions may be great to help a buddy with their goal, there are other, safer and more practical ways to support that runner without breaking the rules.

Lots of people think if they’re not eating or drinking anything, they’re not stealing.  I don’t think we have to address again that bandits are absolutely stealing – water, portalets, medical services, police attention, road crew resources and all the other expenses of the race that they’re not contributing to. 

One more important point…Our permits allow only the number of people set by course limits to run.  Bandits are jeopardizing the continuation of the race by breaking our permit.  Please don’t do it.  Please discourage others from doing it. 

Questions?  Just ask us.