The Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, Plus 10K and 5K in Beautiful Simsbury, Connecticut
Your choice of distance—from a very scenic half marathon to a 10K, which is the USATF Connecticut Championship, to a 5K and even a Kids’ Fun Run --all beautiful late spring races in a picturesque place. Run along the Farmington River and farmlands of Simsbury, Sunday, June 2, 2013. This race is a wonderful reason to gather the family for a day trip or weekend getaway to the charming town center with shops, restaurants, and history.
Posted Sunday, 7 April, 2013
The Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon and related events are scenic tours on a relatively flat course in the charming town of Simsbury, Connecticut. This gives you small-town charm with a first class big time race. It is everything a runner could hope for in a New England race, and wonderfully positioned on the calendar in early June. The half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids’ races provide plenty of options so everyone can get in on the exciting action.
Simsbury has a lot of charm and history, with many buildings and neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places, including pedestrian-bike only Drake Hill Road Bridge, just off Iron Horse Boulevard and on the race course. What a lovely town and wonderful place to run—it was incorporated in 1670, though well before that it was part of Windsor.
It seems a world away when you are there, but….It is located just northwest of Hartford and in the Hartford-Springfield corridor, and it is also within an hour of Providence and less than two hours from Boston. It is at the foot of the Metacomet Ridge (and Ridge Trail) and contains three state parks and the famous Pinchot Sycamore—the largest tree in the Nutmeg State of Connecticut. Simsbury is easy to get to, but has the feel of a much more remote location, of a small town even though it is within proximity of the capital city
This is the USATF-Connecticut 10K Championship, so there will be cash prizes for teams in that one. And many participants in all three races will have a shot at one of many prizes because they offer so many: Top three overall, top three in each 5-year age group from kids to 80+, and Athena and Clydesdale divisions, plus wheelchairs. The 5K age divisions start at 9-and-under, while the 10K and half marathon age groups start with 15-and-under. If you’re counting that’s 108 awards in the 5K, 102 each in the 10K and half marathon, or 312 total individual awards. Plus there are cash USATF team awards as noted in the 10K for women and men—open, masters, seniors; plus veterans for men. And every child receives a medal in their fun run.
“Our race is all about a great course and great amenities,” says Race Director and President Beth Shluger.
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, music and the FitKids Program-Expo. Last year, all races sold out prior to race day. So, don’t delay. Register today.
Simsbury is Awesome
But for all that, the greater point here is the beautiful town of Simsbury and the stunning, scenic courses. The essential 10K loop includes famous Iron Horse Boulevard (all three start and finish on Iron Horse), plus several country roads through farms and fields and along the Farmington River. Roads include Drake Hill, Riverside, Terry’s Plain, Quarry Road, Route 315, and of course famous and historic Iron Horse Boulevard. It also includes a portion of paved bike path. The finish is near Simsbury Meadows, the town green. The 5K enjoys portions of the 10K loop, and the half marathon covers the loop twice. Each race has a separate starting line so there is no interference and they are relatively flat with no major hills. Please see the website for details: www.hartfordmarathon.com/Events/Amica_Iron_Horse_Half_Marathon__10K___5K.htm
Last year Maureen Terwilliger of Guilford, CT captured the women’s half marathon with 1:27:32; Brian Fuller of Ludlow, MA won the men’s race in 1:10:37. Kristin Weisse of East Longmeadow won the women’s 10K (39:01), and Tom Molowka of New Haven took the men’s overall prize with 33:42.
Hartford Marathon Foundation 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. Have a look and see what this remarkable group, dedicated to fitness and green living, brings to the running community: www.hartfordmarathon.com
The races start early so the finish will be nice and early too. They are available at 6:00 a.m. for registration (if available) and packet/T-shirt pickup at the Bandshell on Iron Horse Boulevard. But do get there early as Iron Horse Boulevard will be closed to traffic at 6:45 a.m.
The racing schedule begins with a 7:30 a.m. start for the 10K and 7:45 start for both the half and the 5K. A quick look at the schedule:
6:00 a.m. 7:00 a.m. Late registration (if available) and packet pick-up (at Bandshell)*
7:30 a.m. 10K Championship start, Mallway and Iron Horse Boulevard
7:45 a.m. 5K start at Wilcox and Iron Horse Boulevard;
Half Marathon start, Phelps Lane and Iron Horse
8:00 a.m. Beginning of Hartford Marathon Foundation FitKids Program,
Activities and Health and Fitness Expo (for adults too), Simsbury Meadows
9:00 a.m. 5K and 10K Awards, Bandshell
10:00 a.m. Half Marathon Awards, Bandshell
10:30 a.m. Kids’ Fun Run and continuing Post Race Celebration, Simsbury Meadows
*Early packet pickup and registration (if not sold out) will be available on Friday form 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Fleet Feet Sports in nearby Farmington, CT; and on Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Monaco Ford in neighboring Glastonbury, CT.
This race truly has something for everyone, and not just runners but family and friends are encouraged to participate. It begins with the Amica Inspiration Station. It allows families, friends and athletes to create a poster with words of encouragement for the runners. It’s a small gesture that can help each runner in a very big way. The two-loop course makes it great for spectators.
“Our volunteers and our sponsors have worked hard to make this race a success, and every year they try find things to improve upon to make sure every runner wants to come back year after year.”
The music and support along the course are also memorable. And by the way, there are strict limits on the numbers: they can only take 1,200 for the half marathon, 600 for the 10K, and 500 for the 5K.
The Fun Continues at the Finish
Even after your beautiful run, with that tremendous sense of accomplishment that comes with meeting your challenge, you will realize that the real fun continues after crossing your finish line. Post race activities include great food, music and award presentations upon arrival at the finish area. The Bandshell at Simsbury Meadows will be host to live entertainment and the scene of the Awards too.
An eclectic mix of music will be the backdrop as runners relax and enjoy culinary delights including bratwurst, hot dogs and burgers on the grill at the Simsbury Boy Scouts’ food tent—a true community event. They will have food for family and friends to purchase as well for a minimal fee.
Kids Love It
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. www.hartfordmarathon.com/Events/Amica_Iron_Horse_Half_Marathon__10K___5K.htm
The Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon was selected as one of “Bart’s Best Races” for Runner’s World as selected by Bart Yasso. Come and experience one of the best around—something for every level of fitness and experience.
The website provides a ton of information, including photos and videos, with links for registration, athlete info, course description, awards listings, kid’s run, volunteering, past results, directions and parking, hotel details, and much more. Runners will find no greener running pastures than the charming setting of this great event. Don’t miss out--register now!