Excitement is building for Saturday’s Eversource Hartford Marathon, which has captivated the Capital City for 25 years. More than 11,000 runners will lace up this year.
“It’s running under the arch through the streets of Hartford, just one big family celebrating,” said Brad Magyar, who is running his tenth half-marathon on Saturday.
Volunteers were hard at work on Thursday at the XL Center setting up for the two-day Total Fitness Expo. The Hartford Marathon Foundation said it takes more than 2,000 dedicated volunteers to make race week and race day happen.
“Ten thousand water bottles are going to be filled at the finish line, snack bags,” said Elizabeth Cowles, marketing and public relations director for the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “I think we’ve got about 80 or 90 volunteers from travelers coming out to help us with that tomorrow morning.”
The weekend is also a busy few days for area businesses, such as Vaughan’s Public House on Pratt Street.
“People start checking in today,” said manager Erin Sweeney. “I think they kind of want to get settled in. A lot of them take it as an opportunity to kind of enjoy and explore a new city.”
Sweeney said they’ve been part of 15 marathons. She said it’s always a welcomed tradition.
“We’ll open up a little bit early. We’re kind of here for people who want to come and grab a cup of coffee before their family member or the person they’re supporting runs by.”
Runners can pick up their race day packets until 7 p.m. on Thursday and between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday. There is no race-day registration.