Hartford Hosts First-Ever MOVE! Festival

There were many opportunities for families to get their Saturday steps in as Hartford hosted its inaugural MOVE! Festival.

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The name of game was exercise and it was all in celebration of Hartford's inaugural MOVE! Festival. 

The Urban League of Greater Hartford, which works to empower communities of color, joined forces with the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Pratt & Whitney to put on the race. 

People of all ages gathered in Keney Park to run a mile or 5K (3.1 miles).

"Whatever we can do to try and focus people's attention on health, I think is sort of the first place of resistance when you have something like covid," said Earl Exum. 

Exum is an executive with the festival's key sponsor Pratt & Whitney and serves on the Urban League Board. He was also the first to finish the mile run. 

The two quickest 5K runners say they saw this as great opportunity for health and community. One heard about it online while searching for a run as she trains for a marathon.

"I'm just happy to be able to support a good cause and also get my practice in," said Jessica Smith, of Stafford.

The first-ever "Move! Festival" was hosted in Hartford on Saturday, which aimed to get people moving and also benefitted the community.

"Even though this is just one annual event, the message is that we can and should move every day, and I love to move with my family and kids," said David Radcliffe, of Hamden.

Connecticut's youngest runners were also encouraged to get their steps in. Five-year-old Saul Curylo was ready to race in the quarter mile.

"It's getting you more healthy and stronger," said Curylo.

Once runners completed their laps, it was back to more fitness on the Keney Park Green. A DJ and fitness instructors led groups in Zumba, Tai Chi, and other exercises. 

"We have the run, but we also have some other opportunities for people to get to moving to get to jumping, get to having some good fun with some live entertainment," said Luz Holmes with Urban League.

To participate, it was $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 13 to 21. All proceeds go to Urban League of Greater Hartford to improve racial and economic equity. Event planners say they hope to make it a bigger summer tradition in the coming years.

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