United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon -- Hosted by a Legend, and Simply World Class
Come to the Greater Hartford Marathon and enter Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood. Legendary hometown marathon hero Bill Rodgers will welcome you--and the world—to this All-American Race and the splendor of Hartford in October. Won’t you be his neighbor?
Posted Friday, 27 August, 2004
Bill Rodgers, Mr. Marathon, will join with the Hartford Marathon Foundation in hosting the 11th running of the United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon, and related events, on October 9, 2004. The world’s most famous Marathon Man will speak and sign autographs at the Marathon Expo and also in his Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, his own tent, at Bushnell Park near the marathon start and finish.
The Greater Hartford Marathon is famous for unique features and attention to detail. Everything about this event is world class: Celebrity host, Mr. Rodgers, sponsorship from United Technologies Corporation, a spectacularly fast course, and top flight organization by the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
Runners will be drawn to Hartford for the terrific race amenities, $60,000 in cash awards, Hartford cultural attractions, beautiful courses, choice of distances, 1,400 incomparable volunteers, 26 energetic bands on both long courses, many, many quality awards, strong leadership, emphasis on charities and charitable opportunities, the scrumptious post race food, and post race parties. Hartford, and all Connecticut, presents a gold mine of cultural happenings and attractions.
The Hartford International Jazz Festival will be in full swing on marathon weekend. Every race detail is covered, and runners will be treated to one of the best marathon weekend experiences anywhere. Hartford is an inspiring fall racing target for all runners, staged on a magnificently beautiful and varied course that will motivate athletes, whether beginners or professionals.
The Greater Hartford Marathon and running in general are getting due respect and recognition in the Hartford Metro area. When the marathon and its logo make the cover of the region’s phone book, you know they have had a significant impact on the community. And they have.
Bill Rodgers and Mark Twain both called Hartford home, one of the many intriguing contrasts and comparisons in this remarkable capital city.
Bill Rodgers Inspires Runners
Bill Rodgers is one of the most famous and inspiring runners in the world. Mr. Rodgers, Olympian and four-time winner of both the Boston and New York Marathons, was born in Hartford and grew up in nearby Newington. His family still lives there, and his mother has run in many Hartford Marathon Foundation races over the years, including recent outings. Rodgers ran cross-country and track at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, helping to build a collegiate powerhouse during his tenure.
Rodgers still holds many US records and course records, and continues to run strong with his enthusiastic, youthful demeanor. He will be coming home to Connecticut to help host the Hartford events, and will be available to sign autographs throughout Friday and race-day Saturday.
Bill will not be running the marathon because he is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in a training run last fall. He will lead a Friday morning fun run, and those who would like to run with him will have their chance. He will attend the Marathon Expo at the Hartford Civic Center on Friday, the day before the race. Rodgers will speak and inspire runners at the Official Pasta Dinner at the beautiful United Technology Research Center, and will have his own “neighborhood” on race day at Bushnell Park.
Rodgers shares the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s vision for children’s running and fitness, having been involved in many kids’ fitness programs. In his excellent book, Bill Rodgers’ Lifetime Running Plan (HarperCollins, 1998, ISBN 0-06-273386-9), Rodgers includes a section on children’s running, which he refers to as, “Passing the Torch.” The Hartford Marathon Foundation is also “passing the torch”, with their Jeff’s Running Partners program, a program for elementary and middle school students to encourage running and help the charity of their shool's choice. Over 360 kids paricipated last year.
An Event for Everyone
The six events include the marathon, the marathon relay (2-4 person teams), the half marathon, half marathon race walk, Huckleberry Finn 5K, and Kids’ K. All start and finish at beautiful Bushnell Park in the center of Hartford. Bushnell Park is itself an attraction, and the center of pulsating marathon activity. It is a 40-acre foliage laden park adjacent to the gorgeous golden domed, gingerbread Victorian State Capitol building.
The six different events associated with Marathon Day provide a distance and a challenge for everyone, young and old, beginner and expert. The signature marathon and half marathon, along with the relay and race walk, will begin at the same location at 8:00 a.m. This race through history begins near the Capitol on Elm Street bordering Bushnell Park. The accompanying 5K will start simultaneously, but at a different Bushnell Park location. These five events all end in the same finish area, making sighting easy for spectators. The Kids’ K will run after the other races start. The Marathon and Marathon Relay will surge through 4.3 miles together, before the half marathon departs and returns to a Hartford loop. Along the course there will be excellent support, medical and volunteer, along with 26 bands.
The marathon and half marathon both pass near Bushnell Park miles into the race, and spectators can survey the field well before the triumphal finish.
Fast Course, Inspiring Course, Great Course
The United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon offers many fascinating sights and beautiful fall colors. It provides a very inspiring and fast course through historic Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor, and will keep your attention. The course crosses the beautiful, tree-lined, silvery waters of the Connecticut River. Rich, vibrant fall foliage will be in evidence at nearly every turn. Best of all, it is a fast course with a high percentage of Boston qualifiers.
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.
With varied and powerfully alluring architecture, the first mile will be within the city, flanked by striking and contrasting buildings and spaces. The Old State House, built in 1796 and designed by Charles Bullfinch (the oldest still standing in the US) is only a few running strides from the Phoenix Building, a green-glass, boat-shaped marvel—the world’s first two-sided building. The courses will cross and return on Founders Bridge, named for the original colonial settlers.
Across the beautiful Connecticut River in East Hartford the course will traverse office parks and broad avenues lined with colorfully stunning foliage. And at 4.7 miles the marathon crosses into South Windsor, one of America’s first towns. Broad avenues give way to rural village roads and farmlands. The turnaround at the 9.4-mile mark is within this quintessential New England village, dating from1636. The Clockmaker Burnap’s house (1772), and the John Watson house (1788) still stand at the turn. The post office, built in 1727--the oldest post office in the country—will also stand on this corner. The course will pass houses from five different centuries along this out-and-back section.
After returning to East Hartford, the course will run on East River Drive and head into Great River Park. Runners will zip along the shore of the Connecticut, with radiant fall foliage reflecting on the water. Contrasts will be striking, too, with the riverboat M/V Mark Twain tied at the pier and the modern Hartford skyline soaring in the background.
At 20 miles runners will pass Bushnell Park and the soaring arch, heading west past the red sandstone Union Railroad Station to the Victorian West Side. With foliage-lined streets and beautiful homes, runners will experience the neighborhood of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe before heading back to Bushnell Park. Finishing runners will experience the thrill of victory as they pass under the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, the symbol of the Greater Hartford Marathon, marking their triumph.
Hartford, a Destination City
You can almost feel the sense of history in this city, and the power of cultural icons. The Wadsworth Atheneum (built in 1842 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, lived and raised his family there. He wrote many of his classics just blocks from the marathon course, and directly on the Huck Finn 5K course. Beecher Stowe lived out her life next door to the Mark Twain home, and both houses are open to the public.
And there are hundreds of reasons to come to Greater Hartford and historic Connecticut, the state of 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 2004 National Champion UCONN Huskies Women’s Basketball team (three in a row and fifth overall); and it is also the home of the 2004 National Champion UCONN Huskies Men’s Basketball team. A little further northeast is the “Quiet Corner”, Connecticut’s northeast border, offering rolling hills and farms with fabulous foliage; Putnam is New England’s Antique Capital. The list goes on.
Hartford is easy to get to. Bradley International Airport is a few miles north, and also serves Springfield, Massachusetts, just a few miles north and home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Interstates 91 and 84 intersect within the 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.
Awards, Rewards, Amenities
The Health and Fitness Expo will be held in the Hartford Civic Center, only blocks from the start and finish, Friday, October 8, from 11 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Passion for Pasta dinner will be the same evening, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is “the best pre-race party in the country,” prepared by many of Hartford’s great restaurants.
The Hartford International Jazz Festival, which will be represented at the Expo, will run from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10. Check it out at www.hijf.com. The Jazz Festival and the Greater Hartford Marathon are inviting the world to Hartford.
Granite State Race Services, and its President Bob Teschek, will be timing the races using the Championchip. Times will be posted very quickly and accurately. There will be over 330 age group and other individual awards presented, plus team and relay awards in all three races. 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. All marathon finishers receive a medal and certificate, and all half-marathoners receive a finishers’ pin. Additionally, there will be race walk awards and prizes for the kids K
A $10,000 bonus will be awarded if there is a sub 2:12 men’s marathon course record, or $2,500 for a sub 2:14. There will be $1,000 for a course record (2:16:52) over 2:14. On the women’s side it will be $10,000 for a record sub-2:27, $2,500 for the record sub 2:30, and $1,000 for a course record (2:35:39) 2:30 or over. Prize money was increased last year for the 10th anniversary celebration, and will be matched again this year at $60,000, promising to make this the most competitive ever.
The United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon provides two post race parties, one at Bushnell Park, and one Saturday evening at Pig’s Eye Pub (Asylum Street) along the course. The Ultimate Guide to Marathons rates United Technologies Greater Hartford as, “The best pre/post race food of any race in North America.” Before the race, or after, food and music will be plentiful, and excellent.
All events will have caps, and the reason is the need to deliver friendly, personalized service to all, whether elite, average, or back-of-the-pack participants. Don’t be shut out.
United Technologies Corporation—Part of Your Life
It is all made possible by United Technologies, a $31 billion company based in Hartford. United Technologies Corporation is best known by its business groups: Sikorsky helicopters, Pratt & Whitney engines, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems, UTC Power (which includes UTC Fuel Cells), Carrier Air Conditioning, Chubb security and fire protection, and Otis Elevators. United Technologies Corporation takes great pride in their commitment to social responsibility and community involvement. This marathon is a great example of that.
Chances are United Technologies Corporation touches your life well beyond the marathon. Pratt & Whitney engines power nearly half of the world’s commercial aviation fleet; Otis is the largest elevator company in the world, Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner 100 years ago; UTC Power is working with several auto manufacturers with fuel cell technology; and Sikorsky helicopters are used by all five branches of the US armed forces, as well as lifting for commercial and industrial uses in at least 40 countries. The Pasta Dinner will be held at the UTC Research Center on the Pratt & Whitney campus
Charity Takes on a Whole New Meaning at Hartford
The United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon continues in the tradition of giving. You can run well, and run for good. They have established a “Run Free for Charity” program, and special perks for charity runners—access to Charity Village, with separate baggage check, toilets, refreshments, raffles, prizes and gifts. Raise money, run free, and get free stuff. Jeff’s Running Partners is one of the targeted charities, a children’s running and fitness program named in memory of one of the race founders, Jeff Partridge.
They have set up a “Run In Honor” program, where marathoners carry the names of those serving on active duty, and help provide a care package for them, including race T-shirt with the name of the runner.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation serves as a fundraiser for several charities, and hopes to raise at least $500,000 with an outside chance at $1 million. There are many charity options, including the one of your choice.
Charity runners are drawn by the tremendous support and super organization of this marathon. A partnership with Justgiving.com will help charity runners and walkers design and post her or his own Website to chronicle the effort and accept online contributions. Go to www.justgiving.com/hartfordmarathon for details.
Run, Be a Part of It
Your marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards. That is 42, 195.07 meters, 138,435 feet, or 1,661,220 inches. However you measure it, the result equals a remarkable and enjoyable experience. It measures up to Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood. This is one experience you will not want to miss; an experience of pure running pleasure, picturesque beauty, striking contrasts, and yes, music and terrific food before, during, and after this memorable race. Charities and memories are only part of the draw for runners of all abilities.
The United Technologies Greater Hartford Marathon is simply one of the best by any standard. The course is alive with natural beauty, history, technology, and wonderful architecture; Connecticut packs in so many interesting sites and experiences. And Hartford is right in the middle of it all. With six events in one, pick your race. Plan a tremendously enjoyable weekend in one of the Northeast’s most beautiful, rewarding, and interesting destinations.