ING drops out of Hartford Marathon - WFSB 3 Connecticut

ING drops out of Hartford Marathon

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

After this year, the next time runners take their mark for the Hartford Marathon, it will not be under "ING" banners.

Officials with the company said they are pulling out of the race, but organizers of the marathon said not to worry.

In just under two weeks, 18,000 runners are expected to line up at the starting line to participate in the Hartford Marathon, half-marathon and 5k.

On top of the runners, the Hartford Marathon Foundation estimated the event brings in over 70,000 people and $11 million in economic revenue.

Race organizers said that won't change.

"They are still getting the highest quality event in the state of Connecticut," said Beth Shluger, with the Hartford Marathon Foundation.

Shluger said they got word of ING's reorganization about six months ago.

ING United States will soon become Voya Financial. With the changes, they chose not to renew marathon sponsorships not just in Hartford, but also, New York and Miami.

A spokesperson called the Hartford Marathon "a fantastic event" and said "it's wonderful for the city and region."

The spokesman said the event has gained national prominence and said the company was  proud of its growth over the past six years.

"They've been helping us a great deal as we transition and we're talking to several other companies," Shluger said. "We have a wonderful brand, a great product, so we're really optimistic for the future."

Shluger said she won't reveal yet who they're talking to, to take over that sponsorship for next year. Shluger said they're in a great spot financially, and they're going to be choosy about who get's that lead sponsor role.

There are about 70 other supporting sponsors.

At Fleet Feet in West Hartford Center, owners said this is their busiest time of the year.

"There's so much energy and excitement," said Stephanie Blozy, the owner of Fleet Feet Sports. "People coming in for the perfect outfit to wear, new shoes, nutrition, hydration belts to get them through their last training runs."

Businesses told Eyewitness News they don't care who takes over, as long as they have the means to keep the race going.

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