Crews were busy getting the finish line set up for the Eversource Hartford Marathon in downtown Hartford Thursday.
“We have the marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, a team relay, kids run, and we also have a bike ride going on early in the morning as well, ” said Josh Miller, vice president of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
Around 10,000 people are expected to race, and 60,000 more will watch Saturday. The race course runs through Hartford, West Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor.
“If you’re planning on traveling that day and don’t want to be impacted by the race check those out before you take off in the morning,” Miller said.
Security will be tight.
“We have several hundred officers working,” said Lt. Paul Cicero of the Hartford Police Department. “Not just Hartford. State police, State Capitol, all surrounding towns including FBI homeland security and even members of the NYPD coming here offering their assistance as well.”
People run the marathon for all kinds of reasons and causes.
For Jessie Sythe and his wife Courtney, it’s because they always knew they wanted to become foster parents.
"A child that is in foster care is dealing with a lot of circumstances that are out of their control,” he said. “They are looking for support in their lives."
After a lot training and certification they opened up their home and hearts to foster children about three years ago.
"We've had to about 11 kids come through our home,” Sythe said. “Two of them have been long-term placement. We have one that's an adult now. He's living on his own and he comes to visit every week and he calls me dad so it's pretty great."
Sythe is running the half marathon in Hartford Marathon this year participating for a second time to raise awareness about children in foster care.
"It has its challenges, but the struggles are part of that process and it makes all the great things that come from caring for children in foster care that much better," Sythe said.
He says his kids are the source of his strength that push him past the finish line.
"I just think about my kids,” he said. “Whenever it gets tough. I just put them in my head. You want to show them that you can do something if you put your mind to it."