Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Inspiration Team highlights community activists for positive change

Always a cherished tradition of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, the Inspiration Team helps us tell amazing stories of some of the incredible people that run or volunteer with us each year.  For 2021, we're highlighting activists in the community that are working to further diversity, equity and inclusion efforts here in Connecticut.  Their actions are helping to make a positive difference and we're proud to honor them!


Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon Celebrates
Run United Theme through 2021 Inspiration Team

Team highlights participants furthering diversity and inclusion efforts in the community

Glastonbury, CT - The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) has announced the honored participants chosen to represent the Run United theme of the 2021 Inspiration Team at the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.  The nine members of the team each serve the community in various ways to further diversity, equity and inclusion efforts or support underrepresented populations. Team members are participants in the 5K, half marathon or marathon, or volunteer for the event, taking place Saturday, October 9, 2021.

“Highlighting exceptional participants through an Inspiration Team is a decade-long tradition of this event. This year, we wanted to take the opportunity to delve deeper in our HMF community to highlight some participants making a significant difference to help the underrepresented here in Connecticut,” said Beth Shluger, CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Race Director of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. “We are so excited to be able to celebrate our participants in person again this year and honored to bring attention to this inspiring group of individuals who dedicate so much effort to helping others.”

2021 Inspiration Team:
    Meghan Freed, Hartford, CT - 5K
    Toni Johnson, Bristol, CT - Half Marathon
    Kristen Marcroft, Hartford, CT - Marathon
    John Motley, Hamden, CT - Half Marathon
    Garrett Murray, New Britain, CT - Volunteer
    Helen Newman, North Granby, CT - Half Marathon
    Noemi Rodriguez, Wethersfield, CT - 5K
    Quyên Truong, Hartford, CT - Half Marathon
    Ana Valentin, Manchester - 5K

In conjunction with the Run United theme for 2021, HMF launched the Lace Up for Social Justice campaign last month to celebrate the diverse backgrounds and unique experiences of those that participate in its race events. With support from Pratt & Whitney to cover costs, 100% from the sale of $10 commemorative shoelaces will directly benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs.  

Adorned in a rainbow of colors reading "I RUN FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE", the shoelaces are on sale now through the HMF Shop, at upcoming HMF and Boys and Girls Clubs events and through registration for the Eversource Hartford Marathon.

Members of the 2021 Inspiration Team will be profiled within the Eversource Hartford Marathon Insider’s Guide and receive complimentary race registration, PRE Perks experience and custom event apparel, including a personalized race bib and a pair of shoelaces.  The inspiration team concept was developed by HMF in 2011.

Purchase laces, learn more about the Eversource Hartford Marathon events or register now at www.hartfordmarathon.com. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

WilliHart Relay: Hartford Public & Manchester high schools join RiMaConn Relay

The weather is looking great this Saturday for teams to take on the 95-mile RiMaConn Relay, presented by Webster Bank.  The relay for teams of three or six members will start in Lincoln, Rhode Island, run through Massachusetts and then into Connecticut to finish in Hartford.  The whole relay has 18 legs, with a special WilliHart Relay consisting of the last 6 legs for two groups of youth runners.  The two teams made up of current and former high school students from Manchester and Hartford will be hitting the course from Willimantic to Hartford.  

Meet the runners from Hartford Public High School: Philip Mitchell is the cross country and track & field coach at Hartford Public High School (HPHS). When HMF race director Josh Miller reached out about a team, Mitchell knew it was an opportunity for his runners to compete together before the school year began. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic has discouraged new students from joining the HPHS team and his roster has thinned. Not to let this opportunity pass, Mitchell knew he had created a special bond with some of his recent graduates and thought the relay would be a great experience for them. 

“As a coach, one of my goals is to help foster a lifelong love of the sport and this is an indicator that I am reaching that goal,” said Philip Mitchell.

Current Hartford Public High School student Hawaye Adams  will be running the nearly 35-mile stretch from Willimantic to Hartford together with five recent graduates.              

The team of six will be each running a leg of the race.  Recent graduates Angel Alvarez (HPHS '18), Ta Mala Htoo ('20) and Aboubakar Adam, ('21) Joa Marquez Santana ('20) and Daniel Rojas ('21) will be joining Hawaye Adams for distances ranging from 3.1 miles to 8.5 miles. 

Coach Mitchell says not only is he excited for his current and former team members to compete together again and experience the WilliHart Relay as part of RiMaConn Relay, but for several of the runners this is their first road race experience.

Meet the team from Manchester High School:The team is coached by Steve O'Reilly. This will be his 14th year with the program and 12th as head coach. His Assistant Coach, Mike Bendzinski, is coaching his last Cross Country season this year and has been with the team as either head coach or assistant since 1992.  The WilliHart Relay team runners are:

Caleb Curits
Jack Larson
Abdullah Barlas
Jason Skoog
Sean Barkasy
Jamie Dykstra


“We are definitely excited to have this opportunity to do something fun and a little different to help the team bond and stay fit,” said Steve O’Reilly. They have six of their veteran runners taking part in the 36-mile relay. The boys have been training all summer long to work together for the relay. Coach O’Reilly hopes this event helps them to start their season off right by emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

Manchester competes Scholastically in the large school division for XC in the state of Connecticut.

This relay teams will end at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford, CT, with the rest of the RiMaConn Relay participants.  The post-race party runs until 9:00 p.m. and features live music, local craft beer from Hog River Brewing for participants 21+, delicious ice cream from Royal and gigantic burritos!

  

 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

RiMaConn Relay - Meet the "Real Housewives of Worcester County"

The "Real Housewives of Worcester County" just wanted a good reason to get away from their hectic lives and spend some time together.  A 95 mile relay seems like a great way to take a break, right?  Two members of the team participated in 2019 and rallied a group for their second time running RiMaConn Relay, presented by Webster Bank. The members of the team are Amanda St. George, Rachel Foskett, Michele Loughlin, Danielle Thornbrugh, Sadie Vivenzio and Amanda White, learn a little more about what motivates them:

What inspires your team to complete this epic adventure?  We just really want a fun day away. Running is the only time we get peace and quiet. What better excuse do you need to get away from the kids and husbands?  Between the 6 of us we have 12 kids - 7 boys and 5 girls - ranging in age from 12 to 4. All of our kids play soccer, and a few of us have kids in other sports basketball, baseball,  cheerleading, horseback riding, football, rock climbing, gymnastics.  And probably more, it doesn't end.

What do you want other teams to know about you?  We are A LOT of fun, but we are REALLY slow!

What are you most excited about for race day? Most nervous about?  We are super excited to explore the course, make new memories and create new inside jokes with the girls. We are most nervous about those hills!

How did the team come together?
Two moms on the team ran at the first RiMaConn and loved it. Then we just asked other moms around town at our kids’ sporting events. Eventually we found 6 people crazy enough to do it! 

What the inspiration for the team name "Real Housewives of Worcester County"?  Four of us live in the same neighborhood...and we live in a hood that is just like those shows! Amanda W and Rachel became friends with us when our kids started school/organized sports about 4 years ago.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

RiMaConn Relay - meet team "Beer Witch Project"

Members of the Beer Witch Project are back after running the 2019 RiMaConn Relay, presented by Webster Bank.  Team captain Ian Hockley and supporters of Dylan's Wings of Change have rallied four teams of ultra runners (3-person relay) and others to participate in honor of his son Dylan, who died in the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012.  Learn more in his words about what motivates their efforts:

What inspires your team to complete this epic adventure?  We are part of a group of 400+ people who are Running for Dylan - my son who was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook in December 2012. We raise money for Dylan's Wings of Change, his foundation that runs programs for kids and adults around CT and New England. We have at least 4 teams in the event this year. www.dylanswingsofchange.org 

What do you want teams to know about you?  While we are here to have a great time, we run with love in our hearts for our cause. If someone needs help or encouragement to complete a tough leg, we'll be there for you. 

What are you most excited about for race day?  Most nervous about?  I love the start, the sun is about to come up and your legs are fresh and can't wait to get the first 2-3 runs completed. Never nervous, but always waiting to see what hilarious things go wrong, because they always do!

How did the team come together?  We did the first RiMaConn and loved it. Our 6 person Ragnar team has split into 2 Ultra teams for this years race. We've run Ragnar in the US, Germany and the UK before this. We're all friends from Newtown, Connecticut, that run for a cause.



Monday, June 28, 2021

Run for Good at the Eversource Hartford Marathon

We're proud to continue the great tradition of the Official Charity program at the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday, October 9, 2021.  Check out the great partners who will be participating with us this year, sign up to support a local cause with your race! DETAILS

 

Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon
Official Charities Pledge to Raise Funds for Community in October

Beloved race tradition returns in-person to support community, youth and local economic boost

The much anticipated return of the premier Hartford Marathon Foundation annual fall event - the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 13.1 Relay and Charity 5K - will continue to benefit worthy causes in the community.  The Official Charity program for the October 9 race features 19 organizations committed to rallying participants, supporters and volunteers to raise funds and awareness.
 
Official Charities support community and philanthropic initiatives across the region, offering an opportunity for individuals as well as companies to make their event participation have deeper meaning and greater positive impact. The unique new HMF Community Partner Program provides companies with event visibility and employee engagement benefits while also directing a donation to an Official Charity of their choice.
 
2021 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon Official Charities:

Achilles International-Connecticut Chapter

American Red Cross

Chrysalis Center

Circle of Care

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Donate Life Connecticut

For All Ages

Gifts of Love

Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Girls on the Run Greater Hartford

Healing Meals Community Project

Hospital for Special Care

Jordan Porco Foundation

Operation Paws on the Ground

Ron Foley Foundation

Susan G. Komen New England

The Denise D’Ascenzo Foundation

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

 
More than $8.2 million has been raised for charity through the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon since its inception in 1994. Forced to be produced as a virtual race due to the pandemic, the 2020 event generated approximately $517,000 for charity as a "Movement With Purpose" supported by sponsor partners led by Eversource.
 
“We are so excited to get back together again this October and provide an opportunity for our local charity partners to engage with the community directly while crucial funds are raised to support their missions," said Beth Shluger, President and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.  "Safety remains our top priority and meticulous planning has been underway for months to accommodate thousands of participants to reach personal goals and cross the grand finish line under the Arch again this October.  We encourage participants to make their race even more meaningful by supporting one of these great charity partners."
 
The 2021 race calendar is available and registration is open at www.hartfordmarathon.com.  For more details on the HMF Community Partner Program, contact beth@hartfordmarathon.com.

About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
A nonprofit organization founded in 1994, the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) mission is to promote healthy living through fitness and physical activity for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, gender identities, orientations and experience levels, and to use HMF events to support charity, sustainability, tourism and economic growth in communities. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Foundation organizes more than 30 annual races, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon and youth training programs. For more information, visit www.HartfordMarathon.com and follow on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @runHMF and Instagram at HMF_Events. 

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!