Race: Hartford Marathon
Runner: Chad W
Race Date: 10/12/2019
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Results: 26.61 miles. 4:45:59 . Got a 2 minute PR and 40 minutes faster than my last marathon!
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
1. The volunteers are great! Mostly kids from Boys and Girls club and so friendly!
2. The finish line is really beautiful in Bushnell Park. They decorate it nicely and the crowd there is really pumping you up!
3. Really nice post race food tents etc. Huge set up, massage, runner only food area, food trucks etc. – one of the biggest finish areas I’ve seen.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
1. The out and back at the worst part of race (mile 16-22)
2. Some areas not so nice to run through
3. Sparse crowds in long stretches
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
It happens so close to Halloween that many of the homes and businesses have Halloween decorations out–including some REALLY elaborate ones. Best was an entire village of skeletons and a skeleton horse drawn carriage with skeleton dogs and animated figures. It was great.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
Finally learned how to pace a marathon! Took it nice and slow at beginning, let people fly by me and felt ok with that. I ended up passing some of them later in the race!
Learned you can pause a bit and you really don’t lose that much time.
Fueling went good for once! Did every other water stop and brought along Skittles and Fig Newtons which really helped.
Used a mantras like ‘ you are strong’ , ‘you’ve done this before’ , ‘you trained for this. You are prepared’
Was able to run most of the ‘hills’. Felt great..the hill strides Matt had me do really paid off!
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Followed a pacing group at the start that was a little slower than my goal but it really helped me keep it nice and slow at the start so saved energy for later in race.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Realized you can take the time to use a porta potty or, if need be, rest a second. I thought this would wreck my time, but I was still able to catch up to the pace group and was surprised that they had not really gotten very much further.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
All the distances start at once at the same line, so make sure you follow the marathon track!! Easy to accidentally turn onto the half path.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Some nice sections along the waterfront, about a mile going through a park trail. Many mixed residential areas, but also a good 40 percent is going through industrial areas or just nothing to look at.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Fast and flat!!! 703 feet of elevation but doesn’t feel like it. There is a lot of downhill. Many people run this for BQ as it only has one little hill that is an overpass. Only tough thing is mentally getting through 16-22 as is an out and back and can be tough for so many miles seeing people going the other way looking really strong 🙂
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
VERY well run! Could be rough with all the distances starting at once from the same spot, but it works very well.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
A real mix. Plenty of strong fast runners – winner was a 2 hour 21 minute runner. But also a lot of mid to back of packers. and a very healthy relay component.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
Get the VIP pre-perks package!! It is really worth it. They mail you your bib, you have parking very close to the start line and they rent a hotel ballroom 2 minutes from start line for a small breakfast spread, and you get to use hotel bathrooms 🙂
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Standard fare except for their famous mile 22 candy table! Three Musketeers, Skittles, Swedish Fish, you name it lol ! Great volunteers – many of them from local Boys and Girls clubs.
Weather and typical race conditions
Race day was 52 degrees and cloudy. It is often on the cooler side which is great.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
PLENTY of water stops. Each with H2O, Gatorade, and many with Gu’s and snax.
No need to bring water with you.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Lots of spectators in some sections, but also long stretches with nobody. They have about a dozen bands on the course as well as some DJ’s. Mile 16-22 is an out and back through a residential area where there are a lot of lawn parties going on.
How’s the Swag?
Great medal!!! Shirt is a nice long sleeve non-tech shirt.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
4 out of 5. Love this race – just the out and back can be a little rough.