Thousands participate in Eversource Hartford Marathon - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Thousands participate in Eversource Hartford Marathon

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Chris Zablocki and Meseret Dekebo win the Eversource Hartford Marathon and the women's race respectively on Saturday (WFSB) Chris Zablocki and Meseret Dekebo win the Eversource Hartford Marathon and the women's race respectively on Saturday (WFSB)
Runners laced up for the Hartford marathon on Saturday (WFSB) Runners laced up for the Hartford marathon on Saturday (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Thousands of runners laced up for the Eversource Hartford Marathon on a cloudy and drizzly Saturday morning.

It has started out as a mild morning as thousands of runners geared up for the 24th annual Eversource Hartford Marathon, half marathon, relay race and 5K.

People from all over the country, even from other parts of the world participated in the race, and all ages. Some people were even in their 80s.

Around 10,000 runners set out Saturday morning at 8 am on what turned out to be a perfect running day of slightly overcast skies and mild temperatures.

BJ Williams pushed the running chair of 17-year-old Jackie Gustafson of Agawam, Mass. They had done quite a few races together and sadly she died unexpectedly just two weeks ago, at just 17 years old.

"Jackie and I had been running the past two and a half years 5k's, 10k marathons, half marathons. Jackie was my friend my buddy, my coach. It's unfortunate what happened but Jackie is here today with us,” Williams said.

Chris Zablocki of Essex won the Eversource Hartford Marathon on Saturday, crossing the finish line at about 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Meseret Dekebohas is the winner of the women's race of the Eversource Hartford Marathon, crossing the finish line in about 2 hours and 37 minutes.

"I'm very happy," she said.

Speaking through an interpreter, the Ethiopia native says she trained hard and knew she would win. 

“I have confidence because I work and I was ready very hard for this race so easy to win,” she said.

New Haven's Tim Ritchie broke the record for the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon on Saturday morning. For the women's half marathon, Grace Kahura took the title on Saturday.

See more photos from the race here.

Security was tight, bomb sniffing dogs, police officers everywhere and even assistance with an eye in the sky from the New York Police Department.

One of the more poignant moments of the day, a surprise engagement. Chris DeYoung of Mystic surprising his girl Rebecca Harms and popping the question after she crossed the half marathon finish line and she said yes!

"The past two weeks I was keeping it from her and she was getting awful suspicious and she knew something was going on, she just didn't know what was going on,” DeYoung said.

Clouds covered the sky on Saturday morning with temperatures starting out in the 50s. The rain held off for the races, which was welcomed by the runners.

Highs on Saturday will be in the 60s.

There could be some patchy fog overnight into Sunday morning, Cole said.

It'll be a grey start to Sunday, but as the morning goes on there will be breaks of sun.

Sunday will feature a mix of sun and clouds, highs will be between 75 and 80.

To read the rest of the Technical Discussion, click here.

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