HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Runners and fans alike have been flocking to Hartford to gather what they need for the Eversource Hartford Marathon.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation expo kicked off on Thursday at the XL Center in Hartford.

It runs through Friday night and is the only way runners who did not have their bibs mailed to them can get their race essentials.

Race officials warned that there is no race-day bib pickup. All the information runners need, including parking, course maps and road closures, can be found here.

The expo on Friday runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the XL Center, which is located at 1 Civic Center Plaza in Hartford.

However, registration and packet pickup will remain open until 9 p.m. on Friday.

The medical director for the marathon explained to Channel 3 some of the ways his crew is helping runners at the expo and on race day.

"Some marathoners especially ones that run slower tend to over-hydrate along the route and it dilutes the sodium in their blood," said Dr. Stanley Chartoff of Hartford Hospital, medical director for the Eversource Hartford Marathon. "And that causes serious problems and now we have a way to test for that in the tents."

The expo also features massages starting at $1 per minute with a minimum of 5 minutes.

More than 50 vendors have set up around the facility as well.

They include everything from beer for athletes to nutrition to fitness equipment.

More information can be found on the marathon's website here.

Channel 3 spoke with a woman on Friday who will be participating in the relay race on Saturday. She said she trains up to 100 race participants and had some advice for anyone interested in running.

"Trust the process, train hard, get out there in every condition, and just have fun with it," said Racquel Lumser, Team 26.2 Relay participant.

Race organizers said the whole experience of the race benefits the community.

"We will raise half million dollars for charity for the race through the runners," said Beth Shluger, Hartford Marathon Foundation. "But, a goal we have always had [is] health and fitness for our community and to bring some economic [help] to the City of Hartford."

The races themselves kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday near Bushnell Park in Hartford.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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