Run, unwind and take in the sights in one of Connecticut's oldest communities. The Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon starts bright and early—at 7:30 a.m. (the 10K and 5K start 15 minutes later) giving you plenty of time to run your race, hang out at the post-race party and spend the rest of the day visiting local shops and taking in the sights.
All races start on Iron Horse Boulevard, which will be closed to traffic for the event. The half-marathon runs a figure 8 on flat, paved country roads and bike paths. The course includes three loops, but you do a different variation each time, according to Beth Shluger, race organizer and Executive Director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, sponsors and administrators of these races. Runners pass the finish line once—around mile 8—and can use the sound of cheering crowds to pump them up for those last five miles. Check out the full course map online at hartfordmarathon.com.
The 10K race follows the same route as the half, but uses only one loop; 5K racers follow portions of the 10K route. Maps for 10K and 5K races are also available on the website.
All three routes are packed with volunteers, aid stations and tons of support. Water and Gatorade stops are available every two miles; Gu will be available for runners at the start of the half marathon. No need to wear your headphones for this race—you won't need them since entertainment is provided on the roads. Plus, with sights as spectacular and quaint as Simbury's countryside, you may just want to enjoy some quiet time out there and take it all in. It's no wonder the Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon course was named one of "Bart's Best Races" by Runner's World veteran Bart Yasso. Registration is now open, so get online and sign up today to take advantage of discounted rates.
Sunday's events also include the Kids' Fun Run at 10:30 a.m. With three race distances of 50 yards, a quarter mile and 1 mile, kids age 2 to 11 can run the most appropriate distance. Registration for the youth event is available online as well as on race day; for just $10, all Kids' Run entrants receive a t-shirt and a finisher's medal.
Families can also hang out at the World of Fitness, a hands-on fitness expo that starts at 9:30 a.m. at the soccer field just off Iron Horse Boulevard. Fitness-focused activities include karate, Zumba, Hula hoops and much more; play equipment will on hand and free to use! In its second year as part of the Iron Horse event, the World of Fitness is sure to be a popular venue again in 2011.
In the Middle of It All
Iron Horse Boulevard is the hub of activity for Simsbury, Connecticut—and the perfect venue for a road race. Named because of the early iron locomotive and train that used to chug through its streets in the late 1800s, Iron Horse Boulevard is home to the Performing Arts Center amphitheatre at Simsbury Meadows, the summer home of the Hartford Symphony.
The boulevard also houses a huge playground and green space—all an ideal locale for kids to warm up for their race and for runners to stretch before and after the event. This central location is easy to access from nearby Hartford, Boston and New York City. Ample parking is available near the amphitheater. Get there early and visit the Amica Inspiration Station to create a poster with words of encouragement for your favorite runner or for everyone on the course.
A Historic Race with Modern Amenities
The Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon features a unique blend of the old-fashioned and pastoral with all the modern perks that serious runners want. Bay State Race Services will provide professional chip timing using the disposable Chronotrack B tag, and the top three male and female finishers in each category receive an award. For a full breakdown of award divisions, visit the race website.
All finishers in the Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon also receive a beautifully crafted medal—featuring an image of the historic railroad bridge that makes Simsbury distinctive. Pre-registered entrants can bank on a technical wicking t-shirt and a reusable drawstring canvas bag to carry all their loot.
The post-race party is the perfect reward for an early morning race. Local Boy Scout troops put on a free blueberry pancake breakfast for runners in the park and the festivities continue throughout the morning with fun for all ages. Post-race activities are guaranteed to be a little bit country? and a little bit rock n' roll. So, sign up today for one of Connecticut's most scenic and greenest events—the Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. With three race distances, a kids run and the Kids' World of Fitness, the entire family can enjoy a weekend in the country.Can't make it to this event? Search for other running events.