The ING Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon--Among the Best and the Greenest Anywhere—the 16th Annual on Saturday, October 10, 2009
You have got to run Hartford! These and related events are marvels of organizational planning, efficiency, and expertise: Scenic fast courses, great music and support, excellent Expo, charities, and that famous post race party with the best food and refreshments in distance running. And it’s the greenest sporting event in the nation—a celebration of running!
Posted Wednesday, 27 May, 2009
The ING Hartford Marathon and associated events are simply the best by every standard. It will be the place to be and place to race on October 10, 2009. This will be the 16th running, presented by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, which has worked tirelessly for years to make it bigger and better with great success. They are famous for unique features and attention to detail. Their commitment to the environment and philanthropic causes make these events very special.
Everything is world class: Terrific awards, unbelievable volunteers, sponsorship from ING and a host of other terrific companies and organizations, a spectacularly fast course, spectator friendly loops, emphasis on charities and giving, a delicious post-race party celebration (simply the best anywhere), and excellent live music with over 50 bands performing live. Run Hartford! You are not only a participant, but a guest enjoying top-flight organization at one of the Northeast’s most beautiful, engaging, and rewarding destinations.
The ING Hartford Marathon is the ideal marathon. The course is alive with natural beauty in peak foliage season, along with history, and wonderful architecture. Much of the marathon and half marathon are run along the along the Connecticut, New England’s largest river. Race day always goes like clockwork with thousands of runners, and 332 separate awards. Additionally, Connecticut provides so many interesting sites and experiences that runners like to spend a few days in the Nutmeg State—and Hartford is in the middle of it all. Yes, the location is awesome.
The marathon is the keystone, but there will also be a marathon relay (2-5 person teams), a half marathon run, half marathon race walk, 5K, and Kids’ K (varies in distance by age group), with all kids getting recognition and a chance to finish at the world class finish line. With so many options, there will be a distance, a challenge, and a celebration for everyone.
The setting will be crowned by magnificent, vibrant foliage, for which New England is famous. People come from all over the world to see New England in autumn. Hartford is a driving, dynamic, modern city; but the city and the Greater Hartford region are also home to quaint, historic, colonial and Victorian villages and neighborhoods. You will enjoy a distinctive destination marathon.
The Greenest of Them All
The ING Hartford Marathon has been selected as one of five seedling races in the United States by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS), and it is a model. They received the prestigious Gold Certification for green sporting events. CRS certifies sustainable athletic events which are environmentally responsible and which meet its guidelines in five criteria: waste, climate, materials/equipment, community/outreach, and health promotion.
The event uses a Fuel Cell bus to transfer the elite and the relay teams, a Fuel Cell car for the lead vehicle, renewable energy credits, and reusable water bottles.
“We want to be the greenest sporting event anywhere,” said Race Director and Hartford Marathon Foundation President Beth Shluger. “Not only the greenest road race on the planet, but we want to be the greenest of all sporting events,” she said. The innovation and planning to make this happen are impressive by any standard. The dedication to this concept is palpable.
The Health and Fitness Expo, Packet Pick Up, and Pasta Dinner
The Health and Fitness Expo will be held Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center). It’s on Trumbull Street in the heart of Hartford, only two blocks from the start and finish. The Pasta Feast will also be the Friday evening, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., also at the XL Center.
Packet pick up will be available during the Expo at the XL Center and also race day morning at the XL Center beginning at 6:00 a.m. There will be no number pick up at Bushnell Park—only at the XL Center.
Also on Friday there will be a fun run with Bill Rodgers, a Hartford native, Olympian, and four-time winner of both the Boston and New York Marathons. He will also be at the Expo to meet runners and sign autographs.
There will be a variety of seminars and clinics at The Expo, with over 75 vendors and organizations participating. The general public is invited to attend and check out nutritional products, sports and fitness apparel and equipment, health screening opportunities, info on recreational activities, exercise equipment, athletic apparel, running shoes, and various races.
Bushnell Park—the Ideal Race Day Location
All events will start and finish at beautiful Bushnell Park in the center of Hartford. Bushnell Park is itself an attraction, and the center of marathon activity. Humming with energy, the park will be brilliant with the colors of New England autumn, right in the center of dynamic Hartford. The post race party (the best post race food anywhere) will get underway at 8:30 a.m., along with the finish line Expo.
Bushnell is a 40-acre front lawn of the gorgeous, golden domed, gingerbread Victorian State Capitol. The park, established in 1854, includes a working antique carousel (hand carved, 1914), a playground, and the soaring towers of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Memorial Arch built in 1884 and symbol of the ING Hartford Marathon, and a fitting ending to each event, a triumph of fun and fitness.
The signature Marathon and Half Marathon, along with the Marathon Relay, and Half Marathon Race Walk, will begin at 8:00 a.m. near the Capitol on Elm Street bordering Bushnell Park. The accompanying 5K will start simultaneously, but at a different Bushnell Park location.
The unique marathon relay, which has 2-5 person teams, includes legs of 5.5, 3, 5.6, 7.5, and 4.6 miles. The relay will have nine team divisions: Open, masters 40-49, and grand masters (50+)—women, men, and mixed. Check the Website for relay rules and descriptions.
The Kids’ K will run at 9:30 a.m. They provide a non-competitive run for children 2-11. Distance is based on age groups, and each child will run under the inspiring Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. Each will receive a medal and a goodie bag with special treats.
Terrific, Inspiring, Fast Courses
These races provide beautiful courses along New England’s largest river, and amidst the incredible foliage splendor of Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor in autumn. The marathon course is marked in orange, while the half marathon course is marked with blue, and the 5K course in Red. All courses are 100% traffic free. The 50 bands will keep everyone pumping throughout the race. Fluid stations are available nearly every mile, and Hartford Hospital provides medical stations at key locations. All courses are mostly flat. From Bushnell Park and the capitol, the Marathon and Marathon Relay will surge through 4.3 miles together, before the half marathon splits off in East Hartford.
The ING Hartford Marathon travels a very inspiring and fast course through historic Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor, and will keep your attention. Although it starts and finishes within the striking grandeur of the city of Hartford, there is also a rural section where many fields and farms dot the landscape along with colonial homes. South Windsor appears much the same as it has for several centuries. Course changes have made the route better and more scenic, with plenty of views for those who take the time to look. The surface is road and paved bike path, with the final miles featuring the very scenic river front trail along the majestic Connecticut River.
Post-race activities feature one of the best parties in North America and the only marathon known to be serving 100% organic foods.
The Marathon event records are 2:33:23 by Ramilia Burangulova in 2003, and 2:16:34 by Moses Kemboi in 2005. The Half Marathon event records are 1:15:11 by Jackline Tatori in 2002, and 1:03:36 by Benedict Akoi in 1999.
Post Race and Awards
There will be a post race party to remember, a fitting celebration! Enjoy “the best post race food in North America”, with organic, natural, and locally grown foods to feast on. During the morning and afternoon at Bushnell Park there will be wonderful music and family entertainment, along with dozens of exhibitors.
Granite State Race Services will be timing the races using the Championchip. Times will be posted very quickly and accurately. There will be over 332 individual and team awards presented. These include 30 divisions in each race, using 5-year groupings, plus 18 wheelchair prizes (6 per race), and 18 Clydesdale and Athena awards (also 6 per race). There will be at minimum 28 cash awards totaling over $60,000. All marathon finishers will receive a medal and certificate, and all half-marathoners will receive a medal.
Orange Laces ands Charity Options to Make a Difference
Charity running is exceptionally important at ING Hartford, with many choices and many opportunities. The ING Hartford Marathon continues in the tradition of giving. Charities can include any organization registered as a 501 (c) (3), and the effort will heighten the personal satisfaction, along with personal achievement. The Hartford Marathon Foundation serves as a fundraiser for several charities.
This event has raised approximately $3.7 million since its inception for local and national charities dedicated to “create and manage fitness events to benefit the greater Hartford community,” and particularly the kids. To help give kids a “running start to better health,” you can donate on line and get your orange laces, a symbol of your support in helping introduce kids to an active lifestyle; and support in the fight against child obesity in America.
Some of the charities which have been supported by the marathon include Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The NF Marathon Team - fundraising arm of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Diabetes Association, and many others. There are even perks for runners with their own mission who support their personal causes. The website explains it all.
Hartford Region and Connecticut
You can almost feel the sense of history in this region, the industriousness and cultural icons. The Wadsworth Atheneum (built in 1842, the first public art museum in the US, with artifacts spanning 5,000 years) is two blocks from the marathon finish. There are great restaurants and other museums within walking distance, and many more in nearby towns. River Front Walkway carries pedestrian traffic across the river, or to the M/V Mark Twain. The walkway and pedestrian bridge to Great River Park are immediately adjacent to the Marathon course. Mark Twain loved Hartford, where he lived, wrote, and raised his family. He created many of his classics. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived next door to the Mark Twain home. Both houses are open to the public.
Connecticut is the state of many firsts. Hartford is home to the Museum of American Political Life, and the home of Noah Webster. The inspiring New England Air Museum is adjacent to Bradley International Airport, and the Submarine Museum is in nearby Groton, adjacent to the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum of Native American History is terrific, located adjacent to the world’s largest casino at Foxwoods near Norwich. The equally impressive Mohegan Sun Casino is also nearby.
Just a few miles northeast of Hartford is Storrs, home of the University of Connecticut Huskies, this year’s NCAA National Champions in Women’s Basketball. A little further northeast is the “Quiet Corner”, Connecticut’s northeast border, offering rolling hills and farms with fabulous foliage and colonial homes. Putnam is New England’s Antique Capital.
Hartford is easy to get to. Bradley International Airport is a few miles north, and also serves nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Interstates 91 and 84 intersect within Hartford, making north-south and east-west transition very efficient, and I-95 traverses the state west to east. The Union Station for Amtrak is adjacent to Bushnell Park, and also houses several bus companies.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. They are the organizers of the ING Hartford Marathon and associated events. They direct 27 events throughout Connecticut. They are well known for the excellent training programs for beginning runners and new marathoners, as well as for sponsoring children’s running programs. Phone (860) 652-8866, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is Your Event—Let’s Go
The ING Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K are famous for unique features and attention to detail. Everything about these events is world class: Sponsorship, a spectacularly fast course, top flight organization by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, energetic volunteers, and wonderful athletes from around the world.
Runners are drawn to Hartford for the terrific race amenities, the cultural attractions, beautiful courses, choice of distances, energetic bands, many, many quality awards, strong leadership, emphasis on charities, scrumptious food, and the famous post race celebration. Hartford, and all Connecticut, provides a gold mine of cultural, historic, and athletic attractions and opportunities.
Hartford cannot be beat: Fabulous foliage, the beautiful State Capitol, Victorian grandeur, glinting skyline, colonial village, and New England’s largest river and riverfront lined with brilliant color. It’s running in the best of places—green initiatives and sustainability, history, museums, the arts, parks, restaurants, and beautiful foliage. Bring your camera, your friends, family, and your curiosity. Live this experience. Connecticut is the place to be in October.
Visit www.inghartfordmarathon.com today to sign up.