HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — The Eversource Hartford Marathon is going virtual in the fall as a way to preserve its charitable donations without holding an actual race.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation said the marathon and half marathon will take place between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 as a virtual event.
It will also include 10K and 5K distances with three new multi-distance race challenges.
“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.”
Every dollar donated with the new HMF Gives initiative will benefit the event’s official charities.
In consideration of financial hardships many are experiencing, registration will be $25 for all individual race events.
The fee, according to HMF, 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. Typical marathon and half marathon fees are significantly higher.
Through the financial support of sponsor partners led by Eversource, 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.
More information can be found on the HMF website here.
HMF said it consulted 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.
It said the community fundraising movement and virtual races ensure the health of participants, volunteers, spectators and partners remains top priority and that public safety and medical resources will not be diverted for a live event should urgent COVID-19 response needs surge in October.
“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.”
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