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home > races/results > usa: connecticut > united technologies hartford marathon (and more)

United Technologies Hartford Marathon (and More)
Excitement and excellence at United Technologies Hartford Marathon and associated events - Running the way it should be. Special races in extraordinary places - great music and delicious food.

United Technologies Hartford Marathon (and More)

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Thursday, 29 September, 2005

The excitement is already building for events that have become synonymous with excellence.
The United Technologies Hartford Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, and Huck Finn 5K are All-American Races, starting and ending near the golden dome of the State Capitol building in Hartford, Connecticut. Mark those running calendars for Saturday, October 8. These races enjoy beautiful courses along New England’s largest river, and amidst the incredible foliage splendor of Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor in autumn.

Every detail is planned and well executed throughout race weekend, and all activities are supported by an amazing corps of volunteers. This will be evident well before the events begin, with the Health and Fitness Expo, registration, and packet pick up on Friday, October 7, at the Hartford Civic Center. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Health & Fitness Expo will include hourly clinics and speakers and a wide variety of displays.

Special activities are planned for runners, friends and family, including guided tours of the Mark Twain house, and the Wadsworth Atheneum (America’s oldest public art museum). The best casinos in the east are close by for the adventurous. Famous Mystic Seaport is an easy drive to the south shore, along with the nearby Mystic Aquarium.

Charitable giving is integral to the events. The Hartford Marathon Foundation invites all participants to “Run for Good”, and makes charitable giving a part of their marathon experience. There are several different programs making this possible, and they provide some significant perks for all charity runners, before and after the start.

{b}Jazz and Pasta—Love that Music[/b]
The fourth annual Hartford International Jazz Festival will once again be held in conjunction with Race Weekend. With fantastic music in various venues, October 7, 8, and 9, there will be many opportunities for runners, families, and friends to experience some of the best live jazz anywhere. Some of the greatest jazz musicians on the planet will appear at the city’s main venues, as well as more than 20 “Encore Stages” throughout the city, including restaurants and pubs. In addition to jazz, there will be Blues, Latin, and other world music filling the air in Hartford.

The traditional pasta marathon dinner and party will be one such venue. This pasta party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will be a Dinner and Jazz Festival, and will be unlike any you have ever attended. Do not miss this one! There will be a variety of foods available, featuring Pasta Stations and Special Sauces (their own special recipes) by many of the finest restaurants of Hartford, along with other entertainment. This is available to all—participants, family, and friends for a modest fee.

Race Day, What Excitement, What an Experience
On race day, everything will begin for runners and spectators at 6:00 a.m. There will be another chance to pick up race packets (and even register if there are any openings) at Bushnell Park near the start. All races (except the Kids K) begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. Support and excitement along all courses will be exceptional. Post race festivities will begin at Bushnell at 9:00 a.m. with the 5K awards followed by the half marathon awards. ChampionChip timing by Granite State Race Services will insure accurate and immediate results.

Following the completion of each race, runners will be treated to some of the best post-race food anywhere, along with a selection of beverages: Baked potatoes (add your own luscious toppings), homemade apple crisp, Wild Oats Natural Market Rice & Beans, new menu items, samples of great micro brews in the Beer Garden, and much more. Additionally, there will be post-race family entertainment throughout the park.

Complementary post race massage will be available, as well as showers and changing facilities at the nearby YMCA. There will be an evening post-race party at the Pig’s Eye Pub, a celebration you definitely will not want to miss. Many runners and spectators will then spend Sunday seeing the sights of the region (see below), or listening to fantastic live music. This set of events is truly special.

Seven Events on Race Day--Something for Everyone-Family, Friends, Relatives
There are actually seven events built into race weekend. The marathon and half marathon get a lot of attention, but there is a lot more to chose from. The seven events include the standard marathon on a terrifically interesting course, but there is also a marathon relay which has 2-4 person teams, with legs of 6.2, 6.4, 7.4, and 6.2, and includes three team divisions: open, masters 40-49, and grand masters (50+). The half marathon also includes two events in one, with the unique half marathon race walk.

The Huck Finn 5K also includes two events—the individual 5K, and the 5K Team Challenge, inviting all companies to show the company colors and help raise money for the United Way. Lastly, the Kids’ K will get underway at 9:30 a.m., offering a non-competitive run for children 3-11. Distance is based on the age group, and each child passes under the inspiring Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch and crosses the main finish line.

All events start and triumphantly finish at beautiful Bushnell Park, the front lawn of the impressive State Capitol building. The park will be dressed in the colors of a New England autumn. All this will be taking place in the center of dynamic Hartford. Bushnell Park is a 40-acre foliage-rich park adjacent to the gorgeous golden domed, gingerbread Victorian State Capitol.

The seven different events associated with Marathon Day provide a distance and a challenge for everyone, young and old, beginner and expert, including long distance and world class competitors. The signature Marathon and Half Marathon, along with the Marathon Relay and Half Marathon 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. The Kids’ K will run at 9:30 a.m.

Marathon Course, Varied and Beautiful
The United Technologies Hartford Marathon presents a fascinating array of sights and experiences—Urban and rural, old and new, radiant foliage and a beautiful river. Runners will experience fascinating sights, including historic Hartford buildings and strikingly modern architecture. Suburban East Hartford includes a beautiful path immediately along the Connecticut River. And South Windsor will take runners back to pastoral Revolutionary times. The turnaround at 9 miles is located where an Inn housed those waiting to cross the river by ferry in the 1700’s, and is adjacent to the oldest post office in the country (1727).

Returning to East Hartford from South Windsor, the course will run on East River Drive and flow into Great River Park. Runners will glide 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.

For the last six miles, the course returns to Hartford and ventures to the western side of the city, which was home to Mark Twain, and where he wrote many of his best works. Tree-lined streets are colorful, with handsome Victorian homes lining the course. The last mile is fast and downhill. Finishing runners will experience the thrill of victory as they pass under the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, the symbol of the Hartford Marathon. It is a fast course, never exceeding 100 feet in elevation; and Hartford produces a high percentage of Boston qualifiers.

The Half Marathon and Half Marathon Race Walk
The Half Marathon course will run with the marathon for the first 4.3 miles, then break off for a separate loop in East Hartford. As with the marathon, it crosses and re-crosses the beautiful Connecticut River. After eight miles on the east side of the river, the Half returns to Hartford for the last five miles, looping to the southern side of the city before returning to Bushnell and the Memorial Arch and finish line. Both the half marathon and marathon offer several opportunities for spectators to view the competition. There will be more than two-dozen locations with live music on the courses.

The Region—a Go-To Place
There are many reasons to come to Greater Hartford--and historic Connecticut--in conjunction with these splendid events. America’s first public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum (built in 1842 with artifacts spanning 5,000 years) is two blocks from the marathon start. The American Watch and Clock and Timexpo Museums—always of interest to runners--are close by, as are historical sites and museums galore. Hartford is home to the Museum of American Political Life and the home of Noah Webster. The fabulous New England Air Museum is adjacent to Bradley International, and the Submarine Museum is in nearby Groton, adjacent to the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Mystic Aquarium will delight young and old, as will the lure of the sea at Mystic Seaport and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum of Native American History. The world’s largest casino is at Foxwoods near Norwich, and the equally impressive Mohegan Sun Casino is also nearby. Both feature world-class entertainment, and dozens of restaurants and shops. The quiet corner, Connecticut’s northeast shoulder, offers rolling hills and farms, beautiful colonial era homes, and fabulous foliage on rural country roads and main thoroughfares; and Putnam is New England’s Antique Capital. The University of Connecticut, home of the five-time NCAA Women’s Basketball Champions, houses museums, as does Yale University in New Haven. ESPN’s studios and offices are in nearby Bristol.

Hartford is easy to get to. Bradley International Airport is a few miles north of the city. Interstates 91 and 84 intersect within the city, making north-south and east-west transition very efficient, and I-95 traverses the state west to east. The Union Station for Amtrak and co-located bus terminal are adjacent to Bushnell Park. Connecticut, only 60 miles by 90 miles, is famous for it’s 59 State Parks. One is 50 miles long, the Airline Trail, a rail-trail and one of the great places for a long run. Connecticut also has hundreds of miles of blazed hiking trails.

Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, organizers of the United Technologies Hartford Marathon and associated events, also organizes many other events throughout Connecticut. They are exceptionally busy in May, June, and July with the Glastonbury River Run (5K) on May 1st, the Race in the Park in New Britain (5K), a race to fight breast cancer on May 7th, The Shamrock Duathlon in Glastonbury (5K run, 28M bike, 5K run) on May 22nd, and the Blue Onion 10K Run and Walk on May 30.

In June they present the Ironhorse Half Marathon in Simsbury, June 5th, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council 5K on June 18th. Three July events include the Women’s Five Mile Run and Walk in West Hartford on the 9th, the Capital City Dirt Triathlon July 17th, and the Summer Wind Duathlon in Windsor (5K run, 30K bike, 5K run) on July 24th. And there is much more.

United Technologies Corporation—A Winner Around the World
United Technologies Corporation actively participates in the community, and has made it part of their corporate responsibility. The Hartford Marathon is made possible by United Technologies, a $37 billion company based in Hartford. United Technologies takes great pride in their commitment to social responsibility and community involvement. This is no doubt why they support the marathon and associated events. According to UTC, “Successful businesses improve the human condition. We maintain the highest ethical, environmental, and safety standards everywhere, and we encourage and celebrate our employees’ active roles in their communities.” United Technologies Corporation was named one of the Global 100, among the most environmentally sustainable global corporations.

United Technologies does business in 180 countries; they have 210,000 employees in 4,000 locations, on the ground in 62 nations. UTC ranks 22nd in the USA in manufacturing, the 51st largest corporation in the USA, and the 141st largest in the world. Its business groups include: Sikorsky helicopters, Pratt & Whitney engines, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems, UTC Power (which includes UTC Fuel Cells), Carrier Air Conditioning, UTC Fire and Security, Otis Elevators, and United Technologies Research Center.

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. A telling sign of success and commitment to the future: UTC spent $2.8 billion on research and development last year, an investment exactly matching their net income for the year.

The Connecticut River
The broad and beautiful Connecticut River is a centerpiece for the marathon. Rising at the Canadian border, it flows 345 miles to Long Island Sound; it is the largest River in New England. The River and the valley have a rich history, well worth exploring—habitats, ecology, and geology. Native petroglyphs can be seen along its shores. It makes up nearly all the New Hampshire-Vermont border before flowing through west-central Massachusetts and central Connecticut. Along the course in Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor, it is simply beautiful, especially when contrasted with the dynamic city skyline.

The marathon and half marathon cross the broad river twice on Founders Bridge, named for the European settlers who founded Hartford in 1633; it connects Hartford and East Hartford. The adjacent Riverfront Walkway carries pedestrian traffic across the river and to the M/V Mark Twain, a steamboat look-alike. The walkway and pedestrian bridge to Great River Park make a great warm-up run the day before the Marathon. And it is an excellent vantage point to watch the marathon and half marathon.

The marathon course includes a riverside path at Great River Park. It will run close to the shore of the Connecticut, with gold and red foliage overhead. A radiant luminance will reflect on the silvery waters of the river from giant trees from Mark Twain’s Day. Contrasts are striking--the riverboat M/V Mark Twain tied at the pier on tranquil waters with the modern skyline soaring in the background. The course approaches Bulkeley Bridge, just upstream from Founders, the largest stone arch bridge in the world, and one of the last built in America.

Mark Twain was an admirer of the Connecticut, and he knew rivers. However, this river was appreciated well before Mark Twain’s day. The marathon’s first out and back turnaround is on Ferry Lane, the location of the Bissell Ferry, one of the few crossings of the great river from 1641 to 1917. At this spot—sylvan pastures and river valley --John Adams, as he passed through and crossed the ferry in 1789, declared, “Today I rode through paradise.” And the village, the river, and the ferry landing location have not changed much.

Experience Greater Hartford and a Fantastic Race Experience
The Hartford Marathon is famous for unique features and attention to detail. Everything about this event is world class: Terrific awards, unbelievable volunteers, sponsorship from United Technologies Corporation, a spectacularly fast course, spectator friendly loops, emphasis on charities and charitable giving, two post-race parties, terrific live music all weekend, and top-flight organization by the Hartford Marathon Foundation. Get involved, because these events are a credit to the sport, and participants will enjoy a most memorable experience



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