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Hartford Marathon Shows Off The City

ING Hartford Marathon Popular run a great promotional tool

Hartford Courant Editorial

October 15, 2011

In the first year of the Hartford Marathon, 1994, two out-of-state marathoners were loping along the Connecticut River when one turned to the other and said, "What a beautiful city!"

The ING Hartford Marathon, which steps off this morning in the shadow of the state Capitol, does a marvelous job of showing off Capital City. Runners 14,000 from all 50 states and abroad see downtown, parks and historic sites. Race director Beth Shluger and her staff have created a compelling event.

Good fun means good fortune for what otherwise would be a quiet weekend in Hartford. With an expected 40,000 spectators, hotels and restaurants will be full and as much as $9 million will be injected into the economy. Add a major convention of biomedical engineers in the city, and the take rises to a possible $13 million.

And the marathon isn't the only sporting event in the region today. A real aficionado could watch the race, catch the UConn Huskies football game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford and make it back to the XL Center to catch most of the Connecticut Whale hockey game, spouse willing.

If the marathon whets the appetite for the city, next weekend is the Discover Hartford Parks Tour, a marvelous bike and walking tour of Hartford parks and paths. It makes for a great October.

The challenge, to paraphrase Michael Van Parys of the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau, is to create 12 Octobers a year.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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