Hartford Marathon Foundation Offers New Divisions for Athletes with Disabilities at the ING Hartford Marathon
Posted Tuesday, 27 August, 2013
August 2013, Glastonbury, CT – The Hartford Marathon Foundation will offer new divisions for Athletes with Disabilities at this year’s ING Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. Athletes who have physical challenges, visual impairments or use a wheelchair for mobility purposes are encouraged to participate in the ING Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K on October 12, 2013, and compete in male and female award divisions. Athletes will use the same start and finish lines and course routes but will have designated seeded areas and wheelchair accessible facilities.
The ING Hartford Marathon will provide divisions and expanded services in addition to the previously offered push rim wheelchair division through collaborative partnerships with the Hospital for Special Care, Achilles International CT Chapter, Gaylord Hospital and the YMCA of Greater Hartford. Athletes with disabilities will have better opportunity and resources to join thousands of runners at the 20th running celebration in October.
“We’re proud to open up the ING Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon with resources to accommodate more athletes this year,” said Beth Shluger, Executive Director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “Completing a full or half marathon is a goal on the bucket list of many athletes and we’re honored to work with our great partners to provide this experience for athletes with disabilities.”
“Hospital for Special Care will offer coaching expertise and serve as a resource for athletes with respect to equipment needs. As an Official Charity Partner of the ING Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon we are excited to be a part of one of Connecticut’s premier sporting events to further our belief and commitment that people living with disabilities should have every opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Carl R. Ficks, Jr. Esq. Director, Corporate & Donor Relations at Hospital for Special Care.
“Members of Achilles International Connecticut Chapter have participated in many of the Hartford Marathon Foundation events in the past, but never the full marathon on a hand cycle or with specific divisions until this year. We’re excited to support a more inclusive and streamlined program at the ING Hartford Marathon this year in collaboration with the Hartford Marathon Foundation, the Greater Hartford YMCA, Gaylord Hospital and the adaptive sports program at the Hospital for Special Care,” said Erin Spaulding, President of the Achilles CT Chapter.
“The YMCA of Greater Hartford has been an active participant helping athletes with disabilities compete in sporting events by offering training sessions, facilities and course support on race day,” said James Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford. “Serving athletes with disabilities, through our Adaptive Sports program, gives them the opportunity to be part of the incredible local racing community as serious athletes in their own competitive para-division group.”
“The Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital has developed a partnership with the Hartford Marathon Foundation to support their initiative to welcome and encourage athletes of all abilities to participate in the ING Hartford Marathon events. As a provider of adaptive sports and recreation programs and a Paralympic Sport Club, The Sports Association encourages the development of new opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate and compete in adaptive sports. The Sports Association will be offering sponsorships to our athletes who would like to compete in any of the ING Hartford Marathon races,” said Katie Joly, M.S., CTRS, Sports Association Program Manager.
The YMCA of Greater Hartford has five full facility branches where athletes with disabilities can train on their own, with a team or in conjunction with the Hospital for Special Care to prepare for the ING Hartford Marathon.
To volunteer, act as a guide for an athlete with a disability on race day and to learn more about the program, please visit the ING Hartford Marathon’s web site, www.HartfordMarathon.com. For additional information about the program partners, please visit www.GHYMCA.org, www.hfsc.org, www.gaylord.org and www.achillesinternational.org.
About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to create and manage fitness events that inspire people to be healthy and fit. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Hartford Marathon Foundation organizes nearly 42 annual athletic events, including the ING Hartford Marathon, and 25 training programs. For more information, visit www.HartfordMarathon.com and on Facebook at HMF Events.