Hartford's Pride Race shows off the city at its best
October 09, 2010
Other marathons may draw more TV cameras, but today's Hartford Marathon is the premiere fall outdoor event for the region, bringing out the best this city has to offer.
The race showcases the lovely Bushnell Park, spectacular Connecticut River and historic streets along the route — and rewards thousands of runners with a photogenic finale through a finish line lined with mums.
The numbers tell quite a story. Since its inception in 1994, the annual race has pumped $45 million into the local economy and raised $4.5 million for charity. More than 10,000 runners are expected from all 50 states and five other nations for the marathon (26.2 miles), half-marathon (13.1 miles) and 5K race (3.1 miles). All three races begin at 8 a.m. near the state Capitol. Along the way, bands and spectators will greet and cheer on runners as they pass.
As in past years, marathoners will wind through Hartford, East Hartford and South Windsor. Half-marathoners will follow a new course taking them through sections of West Hartford and Elizabeth Park. The finish line for both events is in Bushnell Park.
Much of the credit for this nationally recognized event, now sponsored by ING, goes to visionary race director Beth Shluger, who has overseen the run since its beginning, aided by thousands of volunteers who give their time to ensure the event goes smoothly.
Hats off to the Hartford Marathon, and welcome to guests on this beautiful fall day — perfect for lacing up and shooting for your best time.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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