Written By: Sarah Bourne Perillo, Hartford Half Marathon Finisher 2013 and 2014.
Contributor: Patty Girard, Hartford Half Marathon Finisher 2013, Full Marathon Finisher 2014.
Have you ever considered participating in an organized running event? If so, the Hartford Eversource Marathon is the race for you! Through July 31st if you register, you will receive awesome perks and have access to some fabulous swag. If you have ever been on the fence about lacing up your sneakers and fastening a paper bib to your shirt…now is your chance!
Last year the Runitlikeamom team came out in full force to represent at Hartford. We were fortunate enough to have a Runitlikeamom team member in all of the race events. Check out our “Race Rundown” from last year.
Why #RUNHARTFORD? Allow me to elaborate…
It’s our hometown race (the biggest race in CT!) I guarantee someone you know is already signed up to run. There are social media groups, running teams, and local running stores offering training programs to #RUNHARTFORD. Not only will you enjoy the experience of running one of the most well organized races in the state, you will make new friends and bond with old friends during the journey.
The diversity of running options. From a quick 5K, to the half, to the marathon relay, to the full marathon, there are options for runners of every caliber. Not interested in completing a 5K but not quite ready for a half…run a leg of the marathon relay and experience the frenzy of being fortunate enough to run on the full marathon course. This race literally has something for everyone, including a fun run for the kiddos.
Spectator support. It is no joke! Hartford and the surrounding communities are pumped to host this event, and come out strong to support runners of all levels. Live music, fire pits, tailgating, and free jello shots along the way, you cannot help but feel encouraged by the support of the community. Similarly, the layout of the course (both half and full) make it easy for family and friends to dress up in silly costumes, make whacky signs and cheer their butts off while you sweat yours off!
Pacers…legit pacers! Have you ever considered using a pacer to assist you in setting a new PR or meeting a goal? Well #RUNHARTFORD is your place. Team HMF (Hartford Marathon Foundation) has legit, butt-kicking, spirit-lifting pacers. They make themselves available to meet you before the race and will keep you running strong during the race. In 2014 I considered using a pacer, but ultimately decided against it. In the final two miles of the half marathon, a pace group passed me. I could hear them cheering each other on and relying on one another to finish strong. I was envious of the instant camaraderie of the runners and the skill and knowledge of the pacers to help their group cross the finish line.
The finish line. With minimal elevation gain and an abundance of spectator support throughout the full marathon course, even as far out as South Windsor, this race is as fun as any marathon can be. Chocolate candies and flat soda sweetened the experience at the much anticipated Mile 22 Candy Stand, and it was worth the wait! But even the candy stand can’t compete with the Hartford Marathon finish. They truly saved the best for last with this course. As you cross over Founders’ Bridge nearing Mile 26, breathtaking views of the Hartford skyline will likely bring on a mix of emotions. I felt butterflies in my stomach and despite being soaking wet with tired legs and cold numb fingers, I somehow forgot about the slight uphill incline of the highway ramp and found the energy to power through to the grand finale where a large crowd cheered for me as I made my way through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. The Arch greets both the half and full marathon finishers, the colorful potted mums paired with the screaming crowd, and bleachers filled with supporters, makes for an emotional and intense finish. I guarantee you, the exhilaration of crossing the finish will leave you with a high you will yearn for all year long.
While these are my personal favorite things about running Hartford, I would be remiss not to mention the awesome post-race party, complete with delicious beer and the best post race food I’ve ever had…seriously! Or the amazing medal (largest half marathon medals I have ever earned), and the annual Hartford water bottle (I really love them). Lastly, Charity Village; an amazing way to run, support a great cause, and meet inspiring people. There are so many wonderful reasons to #RUNHARTFORD, do not let this opportunity pass you by.
Stop hesitating. Start registering. Get running!
We hope to see out there on October 10, 2015!