Friday, December 29, 2023

Behind the curtain with HMF staff

HMF staff members, October 2023
A new year of events is just about upon us!  As much as we appreciate a little break from race season in the winter, the HMF staff is busy in behind-the-scenes mode. A great amount of detail goes into race planning for months in advance, and the range of variables to assess might surprise you!  

Here are some thoughts from a few of our staff that might bring you a little insight on what compels us, and hopefully provide a peek at how much care we put into your event experiences with us. *For the record, nobody on staff actually gets to run the Eversource Hartford Marathon on race day!

Matt Anderson, Vice President:
What people think I do: run the race. What I actually do: wish I could run the race.

The short answer is that I do anything and everything needed to make sure events are successful and safe. Pop tents, put out signs, assemble the start and finish, work the audio equipment, instruct volunteers, check in with police and medical personnel, answer athlete questions, hand out water, set the course, address traffic issues, park cars and most importantly, drink lots of coffee!

Favorite race: Most our participants are from Connecticut, so they may not have ventured up to Western Mass for a run or bike ride before, in which case they’ve never experienced the Norwottuck Rail Trail.  It’s an absolutely amazing stretch of trail, especially in the fall!  It’s paved, peaceful and offers panoramic views of the Seven Sisters Mountain Range and local farms before being capped off with a picturesque crossing of the Connecticut River on the iconic Northampton Lattice Truss Bridge. Personally, I look forward to “having to” course check the Western Mass 10 every year!

Genevieve Lattimer, Strategic Partnership Administrator:
People don’t realize that our team works all year long in planning for the calendar of events.  I often get asked, “So what do you do now that [event] is over?” To be honest, the day after any event is over, we start looking ahead to the next event date, while at the same time discussing what we can improve upon next year for the event that just happened.

On race day at the Eversource Hartford Marathon, the area I manage is adjacent to the finish line.  I’m always most inspired by the runners finishing their full marathon race during the later hours of the day.  To see these athletes crossing the finish line after a full day of running, knowing the effort that they have put in each step of the way, is always most rewarding, and I share the overwhelming emotion of their accomplishment

Andris Briga, Operations Manager:
What people think I do: pick things up and put them down
What I actually do: pick things up and put them down

I’m an active trail runner who was born and raised in Hebron, Connecticut. So this Operations Manager is highly stoked to present the Summer Solstice Trail Run on the trails of my hometown in Gay City State Park. It is an opportunity to share my passion for this trail network with my friends and fam. Hot take: this is a highly underrated trail event that has something for all skill levels of trail runner.

Nancy Loughlin, Volunteer Manager
It is so much fun to be surrounded by festive happy runners/walkers dressed up at our O’races and holiday events.  The fun and spirit of it all continues with the music and post-race party, we happily get carried away by it!

I am so proud of how the Middletown 10K & 5K is a major fundraiser for Gilead as well as am engaging participation event for Gilead supporters.  They do such wonderful work and to help them support themselves financially and to come together as a group is a great feeling. We all need more happy days! I also feel that our other events, albeit on a smaller scale, are similar forces for good for the local communities, partner charities and our participants.

Deb Morton, Manager of Strategic Partnerships:
As a runner, both my first half marathon (ING Hartford Half Marathon) and my first full (Eversource Hartford Marathon) were both with HMF and great experiences!
 In my first year working at HMF, I was surprised by the many facets of execution at the (very wet) Niantic Bay Triathlon, including managing so many boats and people in the water to keep everyone safe. Most people would probably be surprised to find me doing body marking or holding the winner’s tape at an event. 
Ellen Smith, Program Manager:
Directing people during the pre-race rush of getting race bibs, finding safety pins, locating the port-a-potties and answering questions - runners approach me because they think I look like I know the answers to their questions! (editor’s note – look for someone in a Race Staff shirt/jacket with a radio to get your questions answered, but know most questions are addressed on the event Web pages too).

Three events, all associated with Veteran’s Day, stand out for me. The Freedom Run ran through downtown Hartford and then moved to the Hartford Riverfront Boathouse. In 2023, the inaugural Husky Run and Ruck was held at UConn in Storrs to support scholarships for military and veteran students and honor Kyle Milliken, a Navy SEAL and UConn track and field athlete who was killed in action. Each of these races made me proud to be a part of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
Josh Miller, President:
Not sure what people think I do on race day, but I make sure all participants that started the race are accounted for at the end (editor’s note: among many, many other responsibilities to keep things running safely and smoothly!).

Through my many years of memories and race moments, last year’s Rocky Neck event really stands out to me – it turned into over 3” of rain falling throughout the morning. Puddles were a half a foot deep. Small streams became rivers. And hundreds of HARDY runners and incredibly supportive volunteers had an amazing and memorable day!

It’s hard not to also share some additional thoughts on the Eversource Hartford Marathon, which is a yearlong labor of love for our staff:

Working my first marathon, the 2023 Eversource Hartford Marathon, is no doubt my personal highlight. I feel so much energy going into Hartford area programming and specifically fitness programming. I take pride being part of the team that brings this event to Hartford and it was incredible to see the enthusiasm of all those that take part, participants and spectators alike. I am vibing with the local fitness community and how they contribute to this event and the local fitness culture at large. Special local community shoutouts: 86GO and Red Rock Tavern, Traprock Run Club, Fleet Feet WeHa and everyone else I run with. 2024, let’s go even bigger!

It’s hard not to recognize the Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon. Standing at the start line every year, you can’t help but feel the power of the day, the anticipation of the runners, and appreciate the size, scale and planning that went into making the event possible.  It is truly a proud day, not just for the participants who reach their goals at the finish line, but for the entire state of Connecticut.

I just love how this event is such a force for good for the Hartford region.  Volunteers from the full spectrum of community groups come out to support the event (Girl Scouts, high school groups, collegiate groups, corporations, civic organizations).  It is a major source of fundraising for so many charity groups and they too run the gamut from small local, seedling groups to national organizations.  A morning race in downtown Hartford delivers support to local businesses over the weekend.  The participants, who range from elite marathoners to casual 5K walkers, each experience a happy, memorable day.  In a world with constant sad, distressing news cycles, it is so meaningful to have a positive event for so many.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

2024 Race Schedule + NEW Challenges!

As we finish out another busy year, we look ahead to what new goals, favorite finish lines and unique new opportunities for races and event experiences we can bring to the community in 2024.  

While we understand not everyone is quite ready to commit to race plans for next year, we do want to encourage and motivate to set your sights early, with added peace of mind provided by our deferral policy (for any reason up to 14 days before an event), and optional Refundable Registration available for purchase. Reminder - early pricing available when we open registration on January 1 is the lowest available for any race we offer, and pricing scales as event dates near. 

You’ll see many repeat event favorites around the same weekends they have historically been, with the big exception of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon which is being bumped by a week to Saturday, October 19, to accommodate the Jewish high holiday the weekend before. 

We’re adding some new distances and race experience opportunities to entice newbies to join us or to try a different venue, and repeat participants to consider changing up their tradition. Of note: 

March 17 – celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a slightly earlier start time to accommodate other festivities and adding a 10K distance to the O’Hartford 5K, presented by Trinity Health Of New England Orthopedics 

April 21 – A beautiful venue opened up for options to pick your own adventure at the Rocky Neck Runfest, with a tactical trail 5K, a road 5K, the solo 30K challenge rotating trail and road courses and the signature 3-person relay 

Race series offer the opportunity to parlay one awesome race experience to other events to inspire longer-term goals rewarded with commemorative medals - especially great for those that enjoy the satisfaction of earning a beautiful, blingy medal to celebrate their efforts. 

The 4-race Lucky Challenge is a St. Paddy’s themed blast, but we hear you that sometimes life can get in the way of a good time running back-to-back 5Ks, on back-to-back weekends! Enter the new single weekend offering, a mini challenge that delivers one beautiful blingy part of the Lucky Challenge 2-part finisher medal. Choose either the first weekend (O’Shenanigans 5K and Courthouse O’Putnam 5K) or the second weekend (O’Niantic 5K and either the 5K or 10K at O’Hartford) and you’re in on the new Li’l Lucky, earning a sweet medal to show for it. 

Outside of the March series, we work to pair challenge events with those that compliment within a time-frame, a type of race or around locations. We are excited about a new effort this year to offer a challenge that welcomes back-of-pack runners and walkers. The Spring Hustle delivers 5K races with ample windows that ensure full-fledged finish line celebrations with post-race festivities in high gear for 60+ minute finishers. 

The CT Double is a classic repeat challenge for those with full marathon goals. Start out with the UConn Health Half Marathon in June and lead through training for the Eversource Hartford Marathon in October. Another repeat is the popular Shoreline Challenge, offering the best of scenic courses along the shore and at the beach in Mystic, New London and Westerly, RI. On a related theme, the new River Run Challenge mixes 10K and 5K options to hit three running destinations in April, June and August, along the Farmington River in Collinsville, at the Riverfront in Hartford and by the Cove in Old Wethersfield.

Before you ask about the epic RiMaConn Relay adventure, know that we won’t be bringing it back in 2024 as we work on developing another unique new concept to introduce. Don’t necessarily count it out forever, revival races are a serious consideration! 

We look forward to introducing a few new offerings as we get into the new year and will continue to provide great resources, information and training guides through the Support Hub to get you ready for whatever is next. In the meantime, check back on January 1, 2024, to get that race calendar going! 


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Meet Junior Team HMF 23/24

We want to mark this Giving Tuesday at HMF by sharing gratitude to the community for what you have already provided to help bring our non-profit mission to life.  A highlight for us is your support of the HMF Susie Beris, MD, Youth Running Program and being able to announce the new Junior Team HMF members for 23/24, please meet them below.

When it comes to giving, it’s the participants who give us inspiring reasons that bring purpose and meaning to what we strive to do every day. And, the partners that enable making the mission a reality with the support of volunteers who help see it all through.  Also, the many donors who further the positive impacts of our work, on behalf of charity organizations as well as our in-house youth programs.

Our ability to support free and low-cost opportunities for youth is powered by donations within the registration process or as one-time contributions and by grants.  A few highlights of what your giving has enabled so far in 2023 to help build a love of running among youth:

·       Over 1,000 students in grades 4-8 participated for free in the HMF FitKids in School program, training for 5 weeks and then supported with a Final Mile celebration

·       Uniforms are being provided through the High School Program to ensure local cross country and track athletes with limited means are able to feel pride and be recognized as a unified team among peers and competitors

·       Nearly 1,200 children aged 2-11 participated in low-cost HMF FitKids races at our events, providing opportunities to celebrate their efforts for achieving shorter distance goals

·       More than 1,500 youth participated in reduced price 5Ks and 10Ks on our schedule, a chance to run/walk and compete while enjoying an experience with friends or family

·       The second class of Junior Team HMF this week welcomes 25 members, many we will see on Sunday at the CLA Blue Back Mitten Run.  Please give them a high five!


Alyssa Behnke  //  Haddam Killingworth Middle School  //  7th

Hazel Cuomo  //  Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Middle School (Bloomfield)  //  6th

Emma Dean  //  Pearson School (Winsted)  //  6th

Siri Denni  //  Martin Kellogg Middle School (Newington)  //  8th

Ava DiBella-Mills  //  WAMOGO Middle School (Litchfield)  //  7th

Tucker Ferretti  //  John Winthrop Middle School (Deep River)  //  8th

Faye Fischer  //  Amity Middle School (Bethany)  //  7th

Julia Fletcher  //  St. John Paul The Great Academy (Torrington)  //  6th

Deacon Gascon  //  Tolland Middle School  //  8th

Nate Glidden  //  Tolland Middle School  //  8th

Natalie House  //  Sage Park Middle School (Windsor)  //  7th

Sydney LeBlanc  //  Smith Middle School (Glastonbury)  //  7th

Caitlin Leska  //  Dodd Middle School (Cheshire)  //  8th

Lyla Lopez  //  John Winthrop Middle School (Deep River)  //  7th

Emily Lund  //  William J. Johnston Middle School (Colchester)  //  6th

Brennan McAvoy  //  Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School (MA)  //  8th

Tatum Milanese  //  Torrington Middle School  //  7th

Cormac Neely  //  Suffield Middle School  //  7th

Payton Oler  //  Homeschool (North Granby)  //  6th

Stephen Quealy  //  East Hampton Middle School  //  6th

Nathan Settevendemie  //  Mabelle B. Avery Middle School (Somers)  //  7th

Ivan Shapiro  //  Tolland Middle School  //  6th

Mia Shea  //  Sage Park Middle School (Windsor)  //  7th

Violet Spooner  //  Tantasqua Regional Junior High School (Fiskdale, MA)  //  8th

Colton Strong  //  Horace W. Porter School (Columbia)  //  6th

Iain Verbickas  //  Torrington Middle School  //  8th



Thank you, thank you, thank you!  We appreciate your continued support and hope you have a blessed holiday season.


Donations can be made to support HMF youth running programs at any time through the year HERE

Members of Junior Team HMF 2022/2023

Thursday, August 24, 2023

2023 Inspiration Team at the Eversource Hartford Marathon


It's an honor each year to be able to share the amazing stories of the Inspiration Team at the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  This has become one of our favorite annual traditions, putting the spotlight on a small group of incredible people in hopes of encouraging others. We only wish we could highlight more of you, there's no end to your inspiring feats and we truly appreciate you sharing them with us.

Please look for stories to come and profiles of each member of the team in the race Insider's Guide published in September.

2023 Inspiration Team Selected for

Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon


East Hartford, CT – August 2023 - The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) announced the honored participants chosen to represent the 2023 Inspiration Team at the 30th running of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. The eleven members of the team represent the types of resilience, motivation and kindness found within the running community and those that have made the race tradition so special since its inception in 1994. Inspiration Team members will be participating in the 26.2 mile marathon, 13.1 mile half marathon or the 3.1 mile 5K on race day, October 14, 2023. 


“Each year, the Inspiration Team provides us the opportunity to highlight a sampling of some of the most incredible people that have overcome obstacles, risen to challenges or found ways to give back and honor those around them,” said Josh Miller, President of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “We are honored to be marking our 30th running milestone this year and look forward to celebrating the achievements of all the participants who will cross the glorious finish line under the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch on race day.”


2023 Inspiration Team members:

Rachel Berkowsky, Windham - Half Marathon

Rebecca Boncoddo, Mansfield - Half Marathon

Christina Carmon, Windsor - Marathon

John Garde, Westfield (MA) - Charity 5K/volunteer

Ron Gold, Saddle River (NJ) - Marathon

Debra Lombardo, Waterbury - Charity 5K

Jose Lugo, Hartford - Half Marathon

Erin McDonald, Waterford - Charity 5K

Steph McKenna, Ellington - Marathon

Anthony Rykowski, Naugatuck - Marathon

Jennifer Zarrilli, Wallingford - Half Marathon


Members of the 2023 Inspiration Team will be profiled within the Eversource Hartford Marathon Insider’s Guide and receive complimentary race registration, the PRE Perks hospitality experience, finish line hospitality access and custom event apparel.  The inspiration team concept was initially developed by the Hartford Marathon Foundation in 2011 and has been celebrated annually since.


Learn more about the Eversource Hartford Marathon events, register now or sign up to volunteer at  



Monday, May 22, 2023

Meet the Official Charities of the 2023 Eversource Hartford Marathon

Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon
Official Charities to Raise Funds and Awareness at 30th Running

More than $8.9 million has been raised for community causes through the event

The Hartford Marathon Foundation is proud to launch a robust Official Charity partner program for the 2023 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, Team 26.2 Relay and Charity 5K. The 30th running of the premier marathon event in Connecticut will take place on Saturday, October 14, 2023, providing 25 Official Charities an opportunity to rally participants, supporters and volunteers to raise funds and awareness.

Official Charities support community and philanthropic initiatives across the region, offering participants a built-in platform to bring deeper meaning and greater positive impact to their race. Companies and organizations also have a variety of opportunities to engage in the event and support charity. The unique HMF Community Partner Program provides event visibility and employee engagement benefits while also directing a donation to an Official Charity of choice.  

2023 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon Official Charities:

Achilles International-Connecticut Chapter

Alzheimer’s Association

American Cancer Society

American Red Cross

Arthritis Foundation

Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford

Chrysalis Center, Inc.

Connecticut Children’s Alliance
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Donate Life Connecticut

Elbowbumpkid Inc. & JDRF

For All Ages

Girls on the Run Greater Hartford

Healing Meals Community Project

Hospital for Special Care

Joe Andruzzi Foundation

Megan Schulman Memorial Foundation

Operation Paws on the Ground

Postpartum Support Intl, CT Chapter
Ron Foley Foundation
Salvation Army Greater Hartford Division

Susan G. Komen New England

Team M.A.D & Jordan Porco Foundation

The Riley Farm Rescue

Tighed Together

“We are excited to celebrate our 30th running with a strong line-up of Official Charity partners that support meaningful causes and initiatives to benefit our community,” said Josh Miller, President of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “We encourage event participants and local companies to get involved with charity partners on race day, their efforts amplify an incredibly positive day for the greater Hartford region, made possible through the support of Eversource and our generous sponsor partners.”
More than $8.9 million has been raised for charity through the event since its inception in 1994. Last year’s Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon generated an economic boost of $6.1 million for the community.

Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon registration is open and the 2023 HMF race calendar is available at  For more details on the HMF Community Partner Program, contact

Thursday, May 18, 2023

We’ve moved – what you need to know

Welcome to the Hartford Marathon Foundation in East Hartford – we’re excited to see you here!  Our new space is located right on the East Coast Greenway and just down the road from trail system access along the river, a perfect fit for us.

What it means for you:
Don’t show up in Glastonbury to pick up your race packet for Mystic this weekend or UConn Health in a couple weeks, we definitely won’t be there.  Our new office space in East Hartford is on Goodwin University property, giving us great access to their facilities to host pick-ups and other small events, here’s what’s coming up and where:
Mystic Half Marathon & 10K packet pick-up
Thursday, May 18, 4-6:00 pm: Goodwin University, Riverside Drive, East Hartford (near the corner of Ensign Street)
UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K packet pick-up
Thursday, June 1, 4-6:00 pm: Goodwin University, Riverside Drive, East Hartford (near the corner of Ensign Street)
Global Running Day – NEW!
Wednesday, June 7, 5:30 pm: Stop by for giveaways and say hello, then head out for a fun run along the river on your own time or with a group. Sign-up coming soon (free event).
Somewhere between the O’races in March and the Middletown event, we made this move and are still settling in. Our office address is copied below, so if you are headed to pick up an award in person or have some other reason to visit, put that in your GPS please.  Our phone numbers and emails are all unchanged.




Look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

HMF Can expands in the community

As we start out the race season, we're excited to share some updates to our HMF Can initiative, which always kicks off strong with the four-event series of O'race 5Ks in March.

Thanks to your generosity, HMF Can has thrived through the years, giving back in real ways to the communities we run in. With the premise that together, we can make a bigger impact, HMF Can has rallied race participants to donate non-perishable foods or other supplies to support community food pantries and local agencies since 2015.

For the past few years, those efforts have been amplified through our partnership with Stop & Shop, helping to bring awareness as well as recognize and thank race participants for their donations. Everyone who donates at the March races can pick up a free reusable shopping bag with thanks from Stop & Shop. Those that donate at the O'races will also be eligible for an extra token of thanks, one gift card will be raffled off from each of the following partners at their respective races: Sauced at Kinsmen, Courthouse Bar & Grille, Five Churches by the Bay, and Trinity Health Of New England Orthopedics (entry to Middletown 5K).

New this year, HMF race participants will have the opportunity to contribute to support the needs of students through school pantry programs in select communities, kicking off on Sunday, March 19, at the O'Hartford 5K. The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program has expanded to more than 165 schools across five states, with Hartford Public High School joining earlier this year.

Hartford Public High School "Grub Pub"
The Grub Pub aims to bridge the hunger gap during the evenings and weekends when students do not have access to school meals. Providing access to nutritious options and basic necessities to students and their families during off-school hours has improved student mental health and alleviated financial strain on families.

The food pantry will also be used to help students learn critical job roles. Students will help stock shelves, manage food inventory and run the pantry while serving the community.  

Stop & Shop associates will be on site at O'Hartford to support the drive and volunteer their time to show their thanks to you. Let's all step up in a big way to make this a great contribution for the students!

HMF Can initiatives in 2023
Please join us in donation drive efforts at all of the following HMF Events. Check Final Instructions emails (also posted on event Web sites) during race week for details on any specific needs indicated by the beneficiaries:

  • O'Shenanigans 5K: Bread for Life
  • Courthouse O'Putnam 5K: IHSP - Daily Bread
  • O'Niantic 5K: Gemma E. Moran United Way - Old Saybrook Schools
  • O'Hartford 5K, presented by Trinity Health Of New England Orthopedics: Hartford Public High School "Grub Pub"
  • Middletown 10K and 5K Run/Walk: Amazing Grace Food Pantry
  • Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K: Canton Food Bank- Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Mystic Half Marathon & 10K: Gemma E. Moran United Way of Southeastern CT
  • UCONN Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K: Hartford Public High School food pantry, summer food service
  • L+M Hospital Summer Stride: Three Rivers Community College food pantry
  • Thirsty Thursday 5K, presented by Stanley Black & Decker: Capitol Community College food pantry
  • Old Wethersfield 5K & 10K: TBD
  • Surftown Half Marathon, Relay & 5K, presented by Westerly Hospital: Jonnycake Center of Westerly, RI
  • Blue Back Mitten Run: Town That Cares Fund (hats, scarves mittens etc.)

Thanks to your continued efforts and generosity in joining us in the race against hunger!