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Preparations underway for Hartford Marathon

While last year’s marathon was virtual due to the pandemic, organizers are expecting 7,000 runners on Saturday.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Racers are getting ready to hit the capital city's streets in just a couple days for the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.

Organizers and runners are already preparing for race day on Saturday.

RELATED: Hartford Marathon is this weekend: These are the roads that will be closed during the race

“We’ve actually been doing it for quite a few years. He does the half and I do the 5K," Jeanie Pizzoferrato, of Rocky Hill said. "We just have a great time. It’s great to see all the people out on the course and all the energy."

This year marks Pizzoferrato’s husband Tony’s 8th race in a row in Hartford.

Last year’s marathon was virtual due to the pandemic, but the Pizzoferratos still ran it.

“We understand why we had to run the virtual but it’s not the same. When you come to an event it feels good to be around people and running side by side, so I missed that last year,” Tony added.

Runners registered and picked up their packets at the XL Center on Thursday.

The event is a bit scaled back this year due to the ongoing pandemic: no full expo and runner capacity limits.

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Organizers are expecting 7,000 runners this year and they normally have around 10,000. The capacity limit is part of efforts to keep people safe.

“Spreading people out along the course more so we have a rolling wave start,” Elizabeth Johnston, marketing director for the Hartford Marathon Foundation said. “In Connecticut there is no outdoor mask requirement. So we’re not requiring masks, although we are encouraging people in the start corrals, because that is the one place where there will be a lot of people, to wear a mask.”

Johnston said they’ve been planning with health and public safety experts since the spring to make sure the event could run safely.

There’s still time for runners to register on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the XL Center. Same day registration is not allowed.

RELATED: Manchester Road Race registration is open

The first wave starts at 8 a.m. on Capitol Avenue by the Connecticut State Capitol. The race will end at Bushnell park.

For more information, click here.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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