Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014 Hartford Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly's report from the Hartford Marathon:

Butternut Squash Ravioli at Sorella
I was super excited for this race because I had heard really good things about the Hartford Marathon and we would be meeting up with some great friends for pre and post race fun. We arrived in Hartford Friday night and immediately hit the expo, even though we could have skipped it because I paid extra to have my bib and shirt mailed to me prior to the race. This is an excellent service and I wish more races offered this. We went to the expo because it was right next to the hotel and I wanted a souvenir pint glass. We met up with our friends and had a beer at a fun little bar (Vaughn's Public House) then went out for a great Italian dinner (Sorella). It was fun catching up with everyone. We were all excited for the race but worried about the forecast of rain for the race.

We woke up to a dry morning! Unfortunately that did not last. As soon as we stepped out of the hotel, the rain started and it didn’t let up for the entire race. It was also quite chilly, in the 40’s. I’ll just say that the conditions were completely miserable and I was ready to pull the plug at Mile 7. I was freezing and I didn’t know how I was going to be out there for another 4 hours. I sucked it up and kept going because I need this state for my 50 States Challenge and I didn’t want to waste the money we spent getting here. I felt pretty good except I was having issues with my knee/shin area on my left leg. I started having this issue the week after Utah and I think it is related to my ITB.

Thank goodness for our awesome spectators! Dave and Rich did a great job chasing Amanda and myself. I couldn’t believe they were standing out in the rain for the ENTIRE time. CRAZY!! I really appreciated it. They supplied me with Tylenol, oranges, and a banana. The best treat of all was a delicious beer around Mile 23. For how miserable the conditions were and the fact that my leg was bothering me, I still was able to run strong. I kept with my 2:1 ratio the entire race and managed to finish in 5:20. Pretty close to my Utah time. I think I really just wanted to be done.

After the race I got a really nice medal and a finisher's water bottle. We headed over to the beer tent. I missed the food tent, but I was freezing and just wanted a beer and to get back to the hotel for a super hot shower. The beer was great!

Nothing to see here officer
This was a well-organized race and had really nice extras. I think the course would have been great, but I have to admit I wasn’t really paying attention due to the conditions. I will say the spectators and volunteers were all great. I was surprised that they all were out there. Special thanks to the guy at Mile 20 that gave me a Yuengling. I only had two sips, but they were fantastic! Perhaps someday I will make the trek back to Hartford to give this one another try.

Dave's Comments:

Miserable weather-wise. Freezing most of the day and even got to the shivering point around noon. My gloves were soaked and not helping me out any. I wasn't too happy with my camera work as I was trying to keep it dry and didn't have much time to focus on settings by the time our runners reached us.

I did have a lot of fun teaching the art of Race Chase to my runner friend Rich (benched this race while recovering). The Hartford course map wasn't very well detailed and we had an adventure getting to what we thought was MM 6 (it was really 7.5).
What added some complexity into planning was chasing two runners going at different paces. Our friend Amanda was having an awesome day on the course and eventually finished several minutes in front of Holly. The officers didn't give great instructions on how to get back to downtown from MM 23 and we called upon iPhone lady to help us out. With a bit of a jog we made it to the finish line in time to see both runners go under the archy-thing.

Snacks weren't too plentiful on the course. Rich and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and donuts before the start. At MM 7.5 we were by a Holiday Inn with free lobby coffee so I got us some refills. Around mile 20 we passed a liquor store and bought the MM 23 beers for the ladies. I would have killed for some east coast pizza but the place at MM 23 was still closed when we arrived there. The remaining snacks came from my backpack - an apple and Sour Patch Kids.

During the weekend we discovered that Hartford has embraced the craft beer movement and supports its local brewers. We found an abundant selection at The Tavern, Sorella had nice stuff on tap, City Steam Brewpub served a variety of their own beers, and Trumball Kitchen had some unique beer on tap (including Stone's Coffee Milk Stout).

Here's the video:

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