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home > races/results > usa: connecticut > the first legends run, a four miler with heroes in beautiful middletown, connecticut

The First Legends Run, a Four Miler with Heroes in Beautiful Middletown, Connecticut
You can run with, and chat with, legends of the sport: Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Julia Chase-Brand, Donn Cabral, and others in this four-mile chase at Wesleyan University on June 30, 2013. There will be a HMF FitKids Program too. Run along with Bill and Amby and Julia, and chat with them before and after the run. Take a photo with them and enjoy the camaraderie and a race experience like no other.

The First Legends Run, a Four Miler with Heroes in Beautiful Middletown, Connecticut

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Legends Run Website

By Skip Cleaver
Posted Wednesday, 12 June, 2013

The exciting Legends Run is coming to Middletown on the Connecticut River for a four-mile clockwise tour starting and finishing near the Wesleyan athletic fields for a scenic, semi rural tour of Middletown. This is where Amby and Bill trained for miles and miles when running on Wesleyan cross-country and track teams before their international fame and marathons. And you can run it with them, or with Julia Chase-Brand, a pioneer in women’s running in the 1960’s, or with Connecticut’s own Donn Cabral, recent NCAA champion and 2012 Olympian. There will be others attending as well for this unique opportunity to mingle and chat with these renown international stars.

This will be a rolling course in the charming town of Middletown, Connecticut, home of Wesleyan University, one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country. Much of the course is along the Wadsworth Falls State Park and the Wadsworth Mansion Estate at Long Hill. In fact, the three-mile mark is right near the entrance to the estate. This gives you small-town charm with a first class star studded field.

But just as exciting as the race itself will be the meet-and-greet with these legends on Saturday, June 29, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Usdan University Center on the Wesleyan campus, during which time you can not only pick up your race packet, but meet any or all of these stars as they chat up running and racing, old experiences at Wesleyan or pioneering racing. There will also be a book signing and photo opportunities that you should not miss. If you are not able to attend on Saturday, you may pick up your packet on race morning, June 30 from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. near the athletic fields (race start is 8:00 a.m.).

You will have the chance to run with the Legends, and then a second opportunity to chat and have photo sessions at the big post race gathering—another meet and greet with photos and discussions of running and racing—yours and theirs.

It is everything a runner could hope for in a New England race, and wonderfully positioned on the calendar in late June. There will be many other rewards in this one too: There are cash prizes totaling $2,000 for the top three women and men, and for the top teams in several divisions—high school, college and open. Teams will be either all female, mixed, or male in these three groupings. And there are many other awards available—many more than most other races: They have five-year age groups from 10 to 80+, plus wheelchair, Athena (women 150 pounds or more), and Clydesdale (200 pounds or more). The top three in ALL of these divisions will receive merchandise awards. There are over 100 prizes for this four miler. And every child receives a medal and t-shirt in their fun run, the HMF FitKids program.

Sign up before June 23 and save $5.00; and do so soon because they have a limit of 1,000 runners because of the rural nature of the course.


“The Legends Run is a great showcase of past, present and future stars of our sport. This is a great opportunity for those who love running to celebrate the sport and meet the rock stars. We invite you to join us on June 30th.” Beth Shluger, HMF President and Race Director.


Not only is this event an enjoyable, scenic adventure; it is also a rewarding one with many more awards than most and a custom dri-release shirt for all pre-registered runners. And the finish festivities are a big draw with great food and those amazing Legends who love to talk “running.”

Some of the Legends
Amby Burfoot is best known as the Editor-in-Chief or Executive Editor of Runner’s World for many years, and today is Editor-at-Large. He has been one of the most influential voices in running for decades as an editor and author. While competing he won numerous races, including the 1968 Boston Marathon.

Bill Rodgers is “Boston Billy” and Mr. Marathon in the eyes of many due to his four Boston victories to go with four wins at the New York Marathon. He also won other marathons, national and international, and made the USA Olympic Team twice, 1976 and 1980. He set the American record in the marathon and the Boston course records twice; he has set numerous age group records in several distances as his career evolved.

Julia Chase-Brand has been a pioneer in women’s running, and several times was the lone woman in a “men’s only” field in the 1960's. She began running as a child and at 70 has not stopped. A medical doctor and psychiatrist, Chase-Brand also holds a PhD (Zoology). She was written up in Runner’s World as one of the “Heroes of Running” for breaking barriers years before Title IX.

Donn Cabral grew up in Connecticut and was a high school star who continued his standout running career at Princeton where he was an All-American in cross-country and 5,000 meters. In fact, he was an eight-time All American and 10-time Ivy League champion. He was NCAA Champion in 3,000 meters and the steeplechase. He holds the collegiate record in the steeplechase and ran that event for the USA in the 2012 Olympics.

Pleasant Rolling Course
This USATF-certified course starts on Long Lane adjacent to the Wesleyan Athletic practice fields and runs a clockwise loop through southwestern Middletown. After a sprint southbound on Long Lane the course turns left on Wadsworth Street heading east briefly before turning right/south on Pine Street. Pine takes the field down to Randolph Road, where runners bear right and head west.

The two-mile point is on Randolph just before the course runs between Vinal School on the left and Mercy School on the right. Two miles also marks the high point of the course, about 100 feet above the start-finish. At the end of Randolph runners turn right or north on Laurel Grove Road, a pretty stretch of unpaved, hard-packed gravel-dirt path between Wadsworth Falls State Park (286 acres with miles of trails) and the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill grounds (another 104 acres and more trails now owned and operated by the town). Laurel Grove Road ends at Wadsworth Street and the course heads east again on Wadsworth to Long Lane, with a sprint to the finish on the bike path between the baseball fields and Long Lane. Then celebrate!

“Our goal is to organize programs and events that promote health, fitness and enjoyment for participants of all ages and experience levels.” Hartford Marathon Foundation


We understand that Bill Rodgers and Amby Burfoot helped design the course based on their experiences in running the roads, lands and fields around Wesleyan.

Middletown and Wesleyan
Middletown has a lot of charm and history, with many schools and interesting architecture. It is a town of about 47,000 set on the shore of the Connecticut River. Middletown is easy to get to, only about 27 miles south of Hartford on the major highway of State Route 9, a short distance from Interstate 91. But it has the feel of a much more remote location, of a small town, even though it is within close proximity of the capital city. It is the ideal “college town” for many.

Wesleyan University is a small liberal arts college established in 1831. There are currently about 3,100 students and 375 faculty on a lovely 316-acre campus. Despite its relatively small size, Wesleyan has 40 departments and 44 major fields. The Cardinals compete in NCAA Division III with 29 varsity teams and 14 club teams. Varsity teams include cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track for both women and men and they have been traditionally very strong in those sports as well as crew.

Hartford Marathon Foundation
Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and their events are as “green” as any in the USA. So at the awesome post race celebration with terrific food and music, expect a totally “green” presentation, and that includes the course too. HMF, of course, is the organization that brings you the ING Hartford Marathon and related events, along with about 43 other events throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island with more than 60,000 participants. Have a look and see what this remarkable group, dedicated to fitness and green living, brings to the running community: “Our goal is to organize programs and events that promote health, fitness and enjoyment for participants of all ages and experience levels.”

And from the HMF President and Race Director, Beth Shluger, “The Legends Run is a great showcase of past, present and future stars of our sport. This is a great opportunity for those who love running to celebrate the sport and meet the rock stars.
We invite you to join us on June 30th.”

Kids Love It—Let’s Help Them Be Healthy
There’s a Kid’s Fun Run for kids 3 to 11. The young runners can choose from distances of 50 yards, 1/4 mile, and 1 mile. The HMF FitKids Expo and activities are an experience they will enjoy with or without the run—adults too. Kids can register in advance or on race day, and the small entry fee includes a T-shirt and finisher’s medal.

Run with the Legends in Middletown
Register now to be part of this innovative “nostalgic reunion” and celebration of the sport with some of the greatest runners in the nation. The race website provides a ton of information, including photos and information on the Legends, links for registration, athlete info, course description and map, awards listings, kid’s run, volunteer opportunities, directions and parking, and much more. Runners will find no event like this where you can talk to TWO Boston Marathon Champions, a true pioneer in women’s running, and a recent Olympian, and more. Don’t miss out—register immediately while you are thinking about it and before you get shut out!



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