Thursday, January 18, 2018

O'Hartford on the run!

We love the O’races. Love. Them.  Festive St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that combine 5K races with drinking beer, eating food and partying with friends.  What could be better?   

With four race locations across the state and a great annual tradition in place, we’re always looking for new ways to create excitement and ante up the O’race game. We’ve listened to your feedback and in the past few years made changes to O’Hartford, the final race in the series (Sunday, March 18).

This year, we’re knocking it out of the park (literally) with a totally new location and course starting and finishing at the Thomas Hooker Brewery at Colt.  Just south of downtown, the Coltsville National Historical Park area is centered around the iconic Colt Building, recognizable as one of the major visual landmarks in Hartford.

Unlike the familiar streets around our beloved Bushnell Park, this race route will take you through many Hartford sites you may never have otherwise seen.  Run past historic buildings and through Colt Park where you can catch the amazing architecture of Armsmear (meaning “meadow of arms”), the family home of firearm manufacturer Samuel Colt, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1966.  Exit the park and on the last (fast) half of the race, look for the Church of the Good Shephard Parish House, built in 1896.

The race ends at the steps of the Hooker Brewery Tasting Room in the Colt Building, just opened in 2017 and a great new hot spot for Hartford.  Clearly a highlight of the St Paddy’s Day “day-after” race is capping it off with a delicious locally made craft beer (one free beer for 21+ only with ID). And, good eats, of course.

There’s plenty of free parking around the start/finish area.  We’ve got maps, details and all you need to know about the course on HERE!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tip of the Month: It's Always Sunny

Even when it feels like the warmth is gone for good, don't underestimate the power of the sun in the winter! Our friends at soundRUNNER put together some info on the importance of eye protection during these seemingly dark winter months.

Sun Protection in the Winter from soundRUNNER
You know that feeling when you come inside from shoveling snow and you suddenly can't see for a minute? That's because the sun is more damaging to your eyes in the winter than in the summer. Most people don't think about this because we only get a few hours of daylight in the winter in New England, but those rays are much more damaging to your eyes than summer sunlight. The snow reflects 80% of the sunlight directly back at you, which means your eyes are taking in almost twice as much light than during a snow-free day.

It's imperative to wear sunglasses in the winter, especially while running and cycling. If you stop inside somewhere to use a bathroom, or get water, you will notice how your eyes have a hard time adjusting to the difference in light. This effect shows the sensitivity of your eyes and the importance of sun protection. 

Another issue with winter sunlight is that it is very difficult to actually see the sidewalk under you. The contrast in brightness means the sidewalk just looks like a dark path you're running on. You often cannot see uneven sidewalk panels, curbs, steps, or patches of ice. This is a huge risk causing people to slip because they couldn't see where they were going due to the brightness difference. 

Polarized sunglasses are the best option because they reduce glare and improve vision on sunny winter days.

At the very least, wear sunglasses whenever you step outside this snow season. Pay attention to obstacles, protect your eyes, and you'll come out of this winter without any vision-related injuries.

Thanks to our friends at soundRUNNER for providing this guest post.  We'll be bringing you tips here on the blog every month from experts in the community - please tell us what you want to hear about, 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New competitive series: Race fast, win cash!

One thing about running we really love is that everyone can participate, doesn’t matter how fast or slow.  We all come together at the start and cross the same finish line in the end.  When we put together the new 2018 Challenges, we wanted to help people of all experiences set goals and strive to attain new achievements. We thought it was time to offer a boost for competitive runners, a new scored series where they can vie for the glory...and the cash.  

Enter the 2018 HMF Money Medley!

Giving competitive age group runners a little more motivation, the Money Medley consists for four races of varying distances to test runners’ ranging disciplines. Scoring is based on cumulative time of all events, you don’t need to win the race or even win your age group to come out in the money in the end.  As long as you complete all four events, you have a chance to win prizes (and bragging rights).

Race events of the HMF Money Medley (register here):

Scoring is based on total elapsed time for each individual (net time). Top three male and female in each of the following divisions will win payouts of $175, $125, $75:
            Open: Under 40
            Masters: 40+
            Grand Masters: 50+
            Seniors: 60+

Qualifying age for the Money Medley is based on your age on date of Old Wethersfield 10K, August 26, 2018.

After each event, the leaderboard will be updated and available to view on, so eligible participants know where they stand going into the next event

Register for the four race bundle here. If you have already registered for one or more race in the Medley and want to add the remaining, simply register individually (note - be sure to use the SAME last name and birthdate for each event so we can bundle them).

Participants must be registered for and complete all four designated events to be eligible, not substitutions allowed.