Search This Blog

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hartford Marathon Weekend : Spectator Style

Good Morning!

What a weekend I had over here at RAR.
Saturday, I woke up, had a nice breakfast in Chester, walked around town with the dog, grabbed an ice coffee and drove up to Hartford to watch my uncle run his first marathon, the ING Hartford Marathon in Hartford, CT.  

It was such a beautiful day for a marathon;
 sunny, a nice cool breeze, warm, no threats of rain.

ING Hartford Marathon Foundation

As a spectator, I thought the race was well organized.   Signs everywhere, tents and vendors everywhere, really thought out and laid out in a way that made sense

My uncles ONE complaint was that they did not have any people directing and answering questions before the race.  

The marathon website was REALLY helpful and was really spectator friendly.  There were course maps up,  link after link about road closures with maps and times, a whole page dedicated to spectators with information like the best place to watch runners, etc.  I was really fortunate for all of this information.  

The best part?
They even supplied a tracking program so you could punch in your runners number and follow them along the course-  perfect for the cheer leading squad- AKA Olive and I.  The problem?  They had the wrong runner in for his number and showed his pace as 5:20 minute miles.  Now I am pretty sure his pace was between 9:3- and 10:00 so there is no way that was him.  An hour into the race it was back to his number and I was able to find him on the course. 

I was really impressed with the organization and overall vibe of the race.  There were cheering fans EVERYWHERE.  They had over 30 different forms of live music around the course, lots of water and gatorade stations- and my uncle even reported a CANDY station at mile 22.  There was also a really well marked reunion area that made it easier to find your runner in the crowds after the race. 

I drove to mile 18 to surprise my uncle and play cheer leader.  I knew he would fly by the first part of the race, and the second part would be the more challenging piece    He looked really surprised and grateful to see Olive and I at mile 18 flapping our arms and cheering and screaming.  It is the little things that really give you the extra OOPMH and I think he was really appreciative of the support.

After Olive and I cheered him on, I drove back to the finish line where I met up with my aunt and cousins.  They were anxiously waiting at the finish lines with noise makers and a "GO DAD GO"  sign.  
It was adorable.


The finish line was in Bushnell Park under this beautiful brick archway.   Blue skies cow bells, and lots of screaming included. 

Waiting at that finish line, I turned into a slight emotional wreck.   If you want to feel inspired, go stand at the finish line of a marathon.  The people cheering, the signs, the screaming, and of course, the runners.  Every shape and size, every age was crossing that finish line.  Sure, it is absolutely amazing elite marathoners run that race in under 3 hours, but its the average Joe that really gets me teary eyed.

Some people were crossing that finish line holding the hand of their partner/friend/sibling.  Some people crossed that line alone.  Some people were crossing that line in tears.  I don't think they were tears like "OMG I AM GOING TO DIE"  I think they were more like  "OMG I JUST RAN A MARATHON".

It was such an amazing and inspiring experience to stand at that finish line for 45 minutes, cheering and watching.  Marathoners are truly amazing people.  Congratulations to all of the runners at Hartford this weekend.  
You all rock. 

 After the finish we hung out for a little bit. 
Olive met a kitty she really liked at first, 
until she saw its face and became COMPLETELY terrified.  


Olive and I had a great day watching the Hartford Marathon.  It even inspired me to sign up for another race, a half marathon, 12 hours before the race started.

Newport Half Marathon - Half number six- recap to follow!
you know... because I said Hogsback was my last half..... two weeks ago ;) 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!