Everyone is gearing up for a huge weekend in the capital city as the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is just 24 hours away.
Hartford is transforming itself to accommodate the thousands who will run the 26.2 mile course on Saturday.
While rain was pouring down on Friday night, the skies will be clear on Saturday as thousands will cross the finish line at Bushnell Park.
The XL Center was packed with runners getting their bibs including Sarah Desantis is from Maryland. She will be running her 12th marathon on Saturday, but her first Eversource Hartford Marathon
“I've watched a little of the course video, I don't want to know too much of the course, you want the element of surprise,” DeSantis said. “You don't want to know what's around the next turn.
Saturday’s marathon is the centerpiece of a jam-packed weekend in Hartford that injects the city with people and a financial boost.
On Thursday, runners were treated to films screenings, a girls’ night out and the Total Fitness Expo. That expo continued on Friday at the XL Center and ends at 7 p.m. Then, these runners will be fueling up at the Hartford club with a pasta dinner.
“I just arrived a few minutes ago, so it seems pretty easy to navigate,” DeSantis said. [I] just checked into the hotel, so hopefully I'll have a little bit of time to wander around tonight.”
But as a veteran runner, DeSantis said she's saving her energy for the big event on Saturday.
“Good weather hopefully. As the front passes through, I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow morning,” DeSantis said.
Mary Ellen Sullivan, who is from western Massachusetts, said the 35 bands along the route make Eversource Hartford Marathon like no other.
"I love the music along the course," Sullivan said. "It's fairly flat, and just fun."
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.
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