UConn relay team gets ready for Hartford Marathon

The relay team of Nick Bertora, Michael Dalfonso, Jay Frain, Austin Darley and Nate Patrylak prepare for the Hartford Marathon. (WFSB)

With the Hartford Marathon coming up this weekend, a relay team from the University of Connecticut is running 26.2 miles.

The relay team of Nick Bertora, Michael Dalfonso, Jay Frain, Austin Darley and Nate Patrylak said they're tackling this feat together and sharing some laughs along the way.

"We run together as a team,” Bertora, who is a UConn student, said. “But in a race environment, it's really going to be a lot of fun."

But, it won't be the first time they lace up together. They're all part of UConn Recreation's Road Dogs training team staff.

It's a 10-week program for students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members to come together and meet their race day goals.

"Coaching 100 plus students every year to do something like a half marathon is really special,” Dalfonso, who is the associate director at UConn Recreation, said.

They've all done half marathons, full marathons, and other events for years. This past summer, they decided to try out something different and add this race to their fall lineup.

"I'm going to run the last leg, which I think is a little over five miles,” Frain, who is a director at UConn Recreation, said. “I get to run across the finish line this year. That's fantastic for me, I get to have that experience."

Patrylak will have the chance to stand at the starting line as the first-leg runner. But then, he plans to finish the race on his own.

"Hopefully they'll wait for me at the finish line,” Patrylak, who is the Financial Assistant at UConn Athletics, said.

For those people, who've always wondered about whether they could conquer the course, but don't know how to get started, these guys have some advice.

"You just have to try it yourself! And, you would be amazed at what you can do if you just take the first step and push yourself little by little,” Darley, who is an outdoors programming specialist, said while laughing. "You'll start with a 5k, and work your way up to a half marathon, marathon and maybe even further!"

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