Thousands of runners, volunteers and officials spent Friday getting ready for Eversource Hartford Marathon on Saturday morning.
Runners have been streaming into the XL Center over the past few days where they are picking up their packets and getting tips for race training and recovery.
Friday was the runners symposium with four speakers scheduled for the afternoon to focus on staying in shape and running even faster.
At Bushnell Park and near the finish line, volunteers were putting the final touches on all the tents, fences, and signs. Race officials bring in about 8,000 linear feet of fencing and more than 100 tents.
Volunteers were also filling up about 13,000 water bottles. Every runner gets one once they cross the finish line.
"It's a great event, brings a lot of people from outside the state to Hartford for the weekend," said volunteer Alan Behm.
Nicole Gregoire is part of a group of volunteers from Travelers, joining hundreds more to make sure everything is ready before Saturday morning.
"I mean I figured there was some sort of organization that helped, but it's good to be a part of," Gregoire said.
Josh Miller, who is the marathon technical director, said it's important for runners and spectators to arrive early Saturday.
"Parking, arrive early, use our parking plan," Miller said. "We put in a lot of effort. If you come from the north, south, east west, we have parking lots established for you, so use those plans and volunteers will direct you. And your race morning will be very, very smooth."
Officials with the Marathon Foundation said since this event began in 1994. The marathon has brought more than $100 million into the Hartford economy.
Hartford HealthCare Sports Medicine Program Director Dr. Stefanie Bourassa discussed how runners could make sure they are nutritional ready for the race.
“The big thing is making sure you are carbo-loading,” Bourassa said. “You need to make sure you are getting those loose carbs a few days before, so you can store energy at mile 22.”
For the pre-race meal, Bourassa said people should eat something light and suggested a bagel with peanut butter and banana.
“I know a lot of runner don’t like to eat beforehand,” Bourassa said.
Hydration is also important, Bourassa said. Even though Saturday is expected to be a cooler day, she said runners should drink lots of waters.
"And get into those Gatorade stations. We say one part Gatorade, three parts water, so you can get those electrolytes replenished," Bourassa said. "So you don't cramp afterwards."
On Saturday, runners can check their gear starting at 6 a.m. at Bushnell Park.
All three races begin at 8 a.m. The wheelchair start time is 7:55 a.m. The starting line for the marathon and half marathon is on Capitol Avenue and Washington Street. The 5K starts at Buckingham and Washington Streets.
The HMF FitKids Run is slated for 9:30 a.m. at Elm Street and Pulaski Circle in Bushnell Park.
Race organizers said there will be 35 bands along the course with live music to keep runners moving.
For more information about the events, click here.
There are a number of race day road closures, some that were already in place on Friday. Drivers can find the list and schedule here.
If you're planning on heading to Hartford for the marathon, CTfasttrak will drop you off near the finish line. Service will take you to the Sigoruney Street station in Hartford, half a mile from the race viewing area on Broad Street and Farmington Avenue.
It is also less than a mile from the starting line at the capitol building.
Regular service will resume at 2 p.m.
For updates on CTfasttrak service, click here.
Channel 3 is a proud sponsor of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.
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