Race Report: Hartford Marathon

Picking up my bib for my 4th Hartford Marathon

Picking up my bib for my 4th Hartford Marathon

The Hartford Marathon is my hometown marathon.  Not only have I helped coach the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s 1st time marathon training groups on the course, but I have also raced the course.  This was my 5th time running Hartford and my 1st representing Team HMF.


I decided to pick up my bib and shop the expo prior to attending the new ticketed event “Girls Night.”  The Hartford Marathon expo is located in Hartford’s XL Center.  Since I was attending the expo the Thursday night after work and right before it closed for the evening, picking up my bib was a breeze!  I was able to visit the vendors and shop the official merchandise before the event.

094Linda Ambard, who I met at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon while we were both being profiled for Why I runDisney, would be earning her 50th State in her quest for 50 full marathons in 50 U.S. States at the Hartford Marathon.  She was chosen to be part of the Aiello Inspiration Team and I was greeted by her face when I walked into the expo!


Hartford Marathon's Race Director, Beth Shluger introducing the guests

Hartford Marathon’s Race Director, Beth Shluger introducing the guests

When Hartford Marathon announced, “Girl’s Night – Powerful Stories from Fearless Women: Kathrine Switzer, Molly Barker and Colleen Kelly Alexander”  I quickly registered to attend with my best friend, Nicole.  Beth Shluger, Race Director – Hartford Marathon, led questions of the guest panel – Kathrine Switzer, Marathon Woman and iconic athlete, Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run and Colleen Kelly Alexander. To say the evening was “inspirational” would be an understatement.  My three big takeaways were:

  1. Kathrine Switzer told us about training for her 2nd marathon – with your eyes on a goal and hard work you can do anything – BE FEARLESS.
  2. Hartford doesn’t have a Girls on the Run chapter and we really need one!
  3. If Colleen Kelly Alexander can do it anything is possible

Here’s Beth Shluger’s recap of both the evening and highlights of the Hartford Marathon weekend.


Colleen Kelly Alexander sharing her remarkable recovery when she was run over by a freight truck in 2011

With Kathrine Switzer

With Kathrine Switzer

The 2014 Hartford Marathon took place on Saturday, October 11th.  This was my first 26.2 after finishing my breast cancer treatments and I was excited to run on my home turf. I was asked to represent Team HMF and was featured on NBC 30’s marathon coverage.

Speaking with NBC Connecticut before the race

Speaking with
NBC Connecticut before the race

Unfortunately, my running was not where I wanted or needed it to be to run a solid marathon.  My coach’s advice was to use this race as a long training run for the New York City Marathon.  He suggested I run/walk 60/30 or 40/20 for the first half and then switch to 2/30’s.  Our goal was to finish under 5:30 – if the weather cooperated.

With Linda before our media interviews

With Linda before our media interviews

The weatherman had called for rain race day.  The temperature was to be in the 40’s – which is normally perfect – but coupled with rain, would not be ideal.  After speaking to the media, I chose not to meet my team, but since I was parked only 2 blocks from the start, to stay in my warm car until the last possible second.  When I ventured to the start, I wore a plastic rain poncho.

Back in the car and staying dry...

Back in the car and staying dry…

Since it was raining, I don’t have any photos to share from the course.  It was a wet, New England day.  Regardless, I followed my coach’s plan and did 60/30 intervals until miles 17.  Mile 17 is the turn of the out and back.  It also turned out to be my wall.  Sensing this, I dropped my intervals down further to 20/30, but I mostly just walked from miles 17 until the finish.


My hat signed earlier that morning by Kathrine Switzer.

There was a steady rain until I was somewhere within the 20-mile mark.  The temperature had dropped to 48-degrees and I was miserable.  My gloves were soaked.  My socks were soaked. Everything was soaked and I was chaffed in spots I have never been chafed before.  I was doing great until 17 and then I was wrestling with my inner demons.  I was trying very hard to be exactly what Kathrine Switzer had written on my hat – “BE FEARLESS” and HAPPY – but it was ugly.

I was so upset when I saw the 5 hr pacer pass me…then the 5:15 hr pacer passed me…and worst yet – the 5:30 hr pacer passed me…I was defeated, yet I kept moving forward forcing myself to not give up and NEVER, EVER, EVER looking back.

At the finish!

At the finish!

Here are my stats for my 1st marathon after completing breast cancer treatments:

  • Start 8:03:47
  • 13.1 Chip time 2:26:21 – 11:11 min/mile
  • 20 mile Chip time 4:04:11 12:13 min/mile
  • Finish Chip time 5:41:35 13:03 min/mile
Finisher shirt, medal, water bottle and my bib

Finisher shirt, medal, water bottle and my bib

The following day I felt perfectly fine. No aches. No pains. And everything felt great except for the chafed body parts.  Considering the amount of rain and puddles, I surprisingly didn’t have any blisters on my feet.  I chalked it up to another successful Hartford Marathon.  See you on October 10, 2015.

2 Comments on “Race Report: Hartford Marathon

  1. I was really close to doing Hartford this year as a last long run before NYCM and I remember the day of the race being glad I had decided against it and I felt SO bad for everyone out there running!

    I am about 99% sure I’m going to do Hartford this year! I remember working at the expo when I worked in Hartford before I ever dreamed I’d run a marathon so I feel like it’ll be sort of full circle for me!

    Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished during and after breast cancer, it’s inspiring!


  2. Pingback: Race Report: 2014 New York City Marathon | Maker Mother Marathon Runner

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