Hartford Marathon

Hartford Marathon

Hartford Marathon

( 15 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Hartford,
    United States
  • October
  • 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Connecticut, United States
9 5
"Hartford Marathon: Great for 1st timers"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Becky 's thoughts:

Although the Hartford Marathon was my 3rd marathon, it was my first marathon in 2015 and was almost a year since my last one so I felt like I was a newbie again. Hence, the title of this review: great for 1st timers. Let's talk organization: Hartford Marathon Foundation does an EXCELLENT job with communication utilizing many channels (email, Facebook, twitter) to keep runners/participants informed and up to date. I knew exactly what was going on, what to expect, where to park, etc. So great job on organization and communication.

Expo: the expo was well laid out and organized. I got my bib and shirt/bag quickly and w/o issues. I didn't feel the expo had much to offer me personally. I liked the Run Hartford gear and then after that...well, it seemed like more physical therapy, insurance companies, etc. For me, nothing really struck my fancy.

RACE MORNING: parking was a breeze. The info/maps/directions were perfect. I knew exactly where to park and how to get to the start line. Plenty of porta potties (come on, you know that's important!) in various locations so not all the runners were piled up in one area. Start line was right in front of the Capitol Building so very easy to spot and find. I never felt crowded at all. Everyone had space. I liked how the half and the full started off together because I was able to run with a friend for the first few miles. That helped to get me off to a good start.

The course: The first part of the race covered downtown Hartford. I never felt crowded and felt there was plenty of room for everyone ESPECIALLY after the half and full runners split. I guess there weren't as many marathon runners. The only thing I didn't like about the course was the out and back. But that's just me in general. It was fun to see the lead runners on the other side of the road, but I also felt disheartened because it seemed like everyone was on the other side and passing me. More on that later. But in general, no major complaints on the course. Yes there were some hills but no real monster hills and I always feel a good hill or two is needed to keep a runner in check during a race.

Aid Stations/Musical Acts: This is where the Hartford Marathon really shined. Plenty of aid stations with lots of water/gatorade to go around. And get this, there was a musical act (band, DJ, bagpiper, etc) every 1-2 miles. I really liked this because I ended up not using my music at all during the race. I wanted to see what the next act was going to be doing/singing. So for me, the musical acts helped to keep me entertained on the course and make the miles go by faster. And I have to mention the candy stand just past mile 22. All sorts of treats to help keep the sugar rush going. I'm telling you, that green apple Jolly Rancher lasted me a mile. It was a nice refreshing treat that kept me going!

On Course Support: I cannot say enough about the on course support at this race. Everyone was incredibly supportive of the runners. And I do mean everyone -- the police, the volunteers, spectators, and even the musical acts. I had extreme pain in my right hip starting around mile 14/15. I struggled to make it to mile 18. This was the first time I ever seriously considered throwing in the proverbial towel and asking for a ride to the start line on one of the golf carts. I was in a world of hurt. And then to top it off, I was a back of the pack person. Most everyone was gone. This made me sad. Then I started to chat with other runners who were there going strong and they helped to encourage me. I encouraged back. We'd leapfrog one another (i.e. they ran past me when I walked and then I passed them when I was running). You don't really get those sayings about digging deep and finding a way to mentally push through until you are one of those people. When the DJ at mile 20 ran out from behind his set up to come on the course and shake my hand and tell me how amazing I was and I was going to finish...that's when I knew I really was going to finish. Up until then, I wasn't sure. And the marathon had bike support folks who would ride up next to me to check on me and ask me if i needed water or Gu or even someone to talk to while I ran. The police cheered and clapped for me. So when I say on course support was one of the best ever, if not best ever, I truly mean it. And yes, I did finish.

Race Swag: When I finished, I was handed my foil wrap and medal (yay!) but then i was handed a bag filled with all sorts of treats and a re-usable water bottle labeled as Hartford Marathon finisher. It was great. I am using that bag as my lunch bag now b/c it makes me happy every time I use it b/c I know what it took to finish that race. My reward was stuff I could use every day. I love my medal but come on, I can't wear it every day to work! So the bag and water bottle are great reminders of the race.

Finish Area: I'll be honest that after I finished the marathon, I just wanted to go home and lay down so I didn't experience the food tent or the beer tent although everything sounded and looked good. I was so drained.

In summary, the Hartford Marathon is a great marathon for someone who wants a little extra TLC for their first marathon b/c you will get tons of support. For those who want to experience New England in the fall, you will see some nice fall colors. I would recommend this race. Would I run it again? Absolutely.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Latest reviews

Loading Reviews...