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!



  1. Thank you, Beth! The virtual challenges have been great. Ever since I started the 12Ks of Christmas, I've been running every day! I so agree about the mental health, stress relief and having goals. Looking forward to the Jack Frost Challenge!

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