The ING Hartford Marathon and Related Events - 20 Years, and the Best Keeps Getting Better
Among the finest and the greenest anywhere, the 20th Annual ING Hartford Marathon runs on Saturday, October 12, 2013. You have got to run Hartford! The marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5K and Kids' K fun run are marvels of organizational planning, efficiency, and expertise: Scenic fast courses, great music and support, excellent Expo, charities, and that famous post race entertainment/expo with the best food and refreshments in distance running. And it's among the greenest sporting events in the nation - a celebration of running as it should be!
Posted Monday, 30 September, 2013
The ING Hartford Marathon and associated events are simply the best by every standard. And with the Hartford Marathon Foundation, standards are very high indeed. Yes, Hartford will be the place to be and place to race on October 12. This will be the 20th running, and as with all 19 previous runs, there is a level of quality and innovation with these events that is second to none. The Hartford Marathon Foundation has worked tirelessly for 20 years to make it bigger, true, but more importantly better. And they have enjoyed great success, which translates into a wonderful racing experience for participants and spectators. They are famous for unique features and attention to detail. There are amenities with these events that others have not even considered. Their innovation, dedication and commitment to the running community, to fitness and health, and 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 music with over 35 bands performing live. Run Hartford! Experience 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.
Some of the unique offerings and innovative amenities include athlete tracking via Twitter, Facebook, and MSN, mid course scans and splits, a truly valuable Expo, a real Italian pasta dinner at the impressive Hartford Club; green initiatives and green planning that is a model for all athletic events, extensive charity affiliations (over $200,000 donated in 2012); their packet mail out system which provides your bib number, etc. shipped to you; the Run for Something Better—fighting childhood obesity, the Mascots Invitational in conjunction with the kids’ run; spectator support and help, the popular “Candy Stand” at mile 22 (however many sweets you want or crave), and among the most beautiful, flower-lined finish areas anywhere framed by the signature Soldiers and Sailors Archway. There are so many more examples of inventive add-ons, which you will immediately notice when visiting the extensive “Come Together Right Now” Race Website. www.inghartfordmarathon.com
And another idea that is unique: The “New England’s Finest” bonus and recognition program in association with New England Runner Magazine. New England and New York athletes are eligible for a special set of cash bonuses for performance in competition within the group, along with special bio and photo recognition in the September issue of New England Runner, the best regional running magazine in the country. There is over $47,000 in cash prizes available—all three events award cash—and much of it is reserved for New England-New York athletes who are part of this NEF program. Additionally, there are gift certificate prizes for age groups and for wheelchair and Athena/Clydesdale participants.
20 Years Dedicated to Doing it Better—Greener, and with More Value for Runners
ING Hartford Marathon is the ideal marathon. The course is alive with natural beauty in peak foliage season, along with history and wonderful architecture. Several miles of the marathon are run along the along the Connecticut, New England’s largest river in Riverfront Park. With the revised course there are nearly six miles run when crossing into East Hartford. The Half Marathon and marathon split early, with the marathon running 18 miles east of the river while the half marathon heads west to explore West Hartford, including neighborhoods familiar to Mark Twain. Highlights include St. Joseph’s College and Elizabeth Park.
Race day always goes like clockwork with thousands of runners competing for awards in all three events with outstanding venues and courses. 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, 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. Along with the kids’ run comes the Mascot Invitational, an enjoyable recent addition where kids can cheer their favorite team mascot and get a hug and a photo to boot. With so many options, there will be a distance, a challenge, and a celebration for everyone.
The setting, Bushnell Park, the “front lawn” of the Capitol, will be crowned by magnificent, vibrant foliage, for which New England is famous, as is the course through Hartford, East Hartford and historic Windsor. 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.
As Green as They Come
The ING Hartford Marathon has been recognized 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.
For example, the unique water bubbler created by primary sponsor United Technologies has saved tens of thousands of water bottles. All paper products are biodegradable, and race bags are reusable and convenient. The recycling program is second to none. 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, and more.
“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 evident in all they do. HMF has initiated a five-year greening plan—always trying to improve.
The Healthy Lifestyles Expo, Packet Pick Up, and Pasta Dinner
The Healthy Lifestyles Expo will be held Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center). Race packet pickup is available during those hours, and also extended on Friday night to 9:00 p.m. The XL Center is on Trumbull Street (One Civic Center Plaza) in the heart of Hartford, only two blocks from the start and finish. The genuine Italian Pasta Feast will also be the Friday evening, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hartford Club, only a few blocks from the XL Center at 46 Prospect Street, Hartford 06103.
Packet pick up will be available during the Expo at the XL Center as noted but will NOT be available race day morning. There will be no number pick up at Bushnell Park, or at the XL Center on race day. They have developed a new option where you can have your packet and shirt shipped to you, but you must register for this option ($15 for shipping and handling), and you must register for it prior to September 2, 2013.
There will be a variety of seminars and clinics at The Healthy Lifestyles Expo, with dozens of 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. Check out the maps provided of the park showing hydration, bag check starting lines, food areas, charity tents, elite athlete and New England’s Finest areas, finish line and more.
The signature ING Marathon and Half Marathon, along with the Marathon Relay will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Capitol Avenue between Oak and Washington Streets on the south side of the Capitol. The accompanying 5K will start simultaneously, but at Buckingham and Washington Streets, a different location also on the south of the Capitol.
The unique marathon relay, which has 2-5 person teams, includes legs of 5.5, 5.6, 3.1, 6.3, and 5.7 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., 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. The Mascot Invitational runs at 9:30 also.
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 35 or more 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, marathon relay and half marathon will start together at 8:00 a.m. and surge through one mile together, before the half marathon splits off heading for West Hartford.
The ING Hartford Marathon travels a very inspiring and fast course through historic Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor, with beautiful foliage and river views, historic buildings and unique architecture along the way. 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. The surface is road and paved bike path, with the final miles including Founders Bridge over the majestic Connecticut River and the push to the Arch.
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—the Finish Line Expo.
There will be over 300 individual and team awards presented. These include 30 divisions in each race (three deep, using 5-year groupings, plus wheelchair prizes and Clydesdale and Athena awards for each race. There will be at minimum 28 cash awards totaling over $47,000. All marathon finishers and all half-marathoners will receive a medal.
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 $4.3 million since its inception for local and national charities.
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 for the eighth time. 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 over 30 events throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. 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, with energetic volunteers.
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 greening, charities, scrumptious food, and the famous post race celebration. Hartford, and all Connecticut, provides a trove of cultural, historic, and athletic attractions and opportunities.
Hartford has it: Fabulous foliage, the beautiful Connecticut State Capitol, Victorian grandeur, unique skyline, colonial village, and New England’s largest river and riverfront lined with brilliant color. You can run in the best of places, with green initiatives and sustainability, history, museums, the arts, parks, and restaurants. Bring your camera, your friends, family, and your curiosity. Run and live this experience--Hartford on October 12, 2013.
Visit www.inghartfordmarathon.com today to sign up and get all the details.