GLASTONBURY, Conn. — The 2020 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon will look a little different this year.
The event will take place from October 8 through 11 as a virtual event instead of in person, and will include a new 10K race distance, the 5K race, and three new multi-distance race challenges to engage widespread participation. How do you run a virtual marathon? Here's how it will work:
- All participants run their race at a location of their choice
- Participants will receive training support materials and event experiences digitally, including race bibs, finisher certificates, and custom race day playlists.
- Participants also have the option to submit verified results following their race and appear in race results online.
In a related announcement, he 43rd Annual Faxon Law New Haven Road Race will also be a virtual event. Participants can register for the virtual half marathon, 20K, 5K, or Kids Fun Run, and participate at the time and place of their choosing during Labor Day Weekend (September 4th – 7th). Each year the event benefits numerous New Haven non-profits.
"The City of New Haven and the New Haven Road Race Board of Directors jointly decided the race cannot happen as it traditionally does on the New Haven Green. Michael Dolan, Race President, said 'The decision to make the event virtual was not an easy one. We explored every option and carefully thought through new protocols, but in the end, we could not guarantee a safe event,'" in a statement.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) says that every dollar in registration fees will be donated through the new HMF GIVES initiative which will benefit the event's official charities, which support local needs.
HMF also announced that due to financial hardships some willing participants may be facing, registration will be $25 for all individual race events. The new price was set to "encourage participants who are able to donate further and to support local business with purchases of goods and services around the event", according to HMF.
All race participants will still receive a finisher medal and long-sleeve technical shirt to commemorate their race. While the event will be virtual - meaning all participants run their race at a location of their choice - participants will receive training support materials and event experiences digitally, including race bibs, finisher certificates and custom race day playlists. Participants also have the option to submit verified results following their race and appear in race results online.
Competitive runners and those looking for some extra motivation can select one of three multi-distance challenges in the Sam Adams Challenge Series: the Tenacious 2 (5K and 10K), the Driven by Purpose 3 (5K, 10K, half marathon) or the Grit & Gutsy 4 (5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon). Participants who opt to add a challenge ($10 fee) will receive a special custom finisher medal for the challenge.
“While it's not possible to stage the Eversource Hartford Marathon in the exact same way this fall, it remains crucial for this cherished race tradition to have purpose and benefit participants, charity causes and the local economy as it has for the last 26 years," said Beth Shluger, CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Race Director of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. "We are committed to making this an amazing experience that is uniquely special for the unprecedented times we're in. We will continue to give runners and walkers of all ages, experiences, backgrounds and abilities positive goals to aspire to, we'll support them along their journey and celebrate them for their achievements. Every single person involved will know they made a positive difference by participating in the 2020 Eversource Hartford Marathon."
“As our communities continue to face unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, we’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Hartford Marathon Foundation for our seventh year of this signature event that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to empower local non-profit organizations,” said Eversource Foundation President Theresa Hopkins-Staten. “Our employees are looking forward to coming together virtually to give back to the organizations that are there for our customers and communities, now more than ever, and to celebrate the achievements of all the athletes participating.”
HMF says they have consulted with state and local officials and event safety and medical experts at length and assessed multiple event scenarios to align with current COVID-19 public safety protocols and anticipated considerations for the fall.