It was a big day for the Hartford Marathon Foundation as the Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K marked their first in-person race since the pandemic began.
"We all have been waiting to see our running community for 14 months," said Elizabeth Johnston, marketing director for Hartford Marathon Foundation, as over 500 racers crossed the finish line.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation describe the course as a scenic 6.2-mile race along the Farmington River, showing off the quaint community of Collinsville.
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Brittany Telke is one of 500 racers who helped sell out the 10K.
"My mantra the whole time was 'you can do it, you can do it,'" Telke said.
The long-time runner finished first among females in the race but for her, it just felt good to be back.
"It’s definitely exciting. It’s great to know that I still got it, especially with over a year of not racing to go and to do an official race is definitely a little intimidating. So it’s exciting to get back on the roads again and actually run with people," Telke said.
For the men, Evan Dolecki came in second.
"I’ve been training really hard pretty much since January 1 of this year," said Dolecki, who echoed the sentiment we heard from many that it was more than just a race, but what felt like crossing the finish line to normal times.
"It almost felt like old times" said Dolecki. "It was really cool when I registered and I saw that they were going to be starting like 50 people per each wave and I was like 'we’re gonna get to start together and go out at the same speed and work together to get the race done.' So that was one of the main reasons I was looking forward to running this race."