Hartford Marathon Draws Thousands

Ten thousand people lined up to run in the Greater Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K Saturday.

Many were inspired to lace up for the race to support a worthy cause, others by personal fitness goals.

After four years of standing on the sidelines as a volunteer, Fairfield resident Sonia Alexander was inspired to put on a pair of running shoes. She lost 160 pounds and signed up for the 5K race.

“I feel accomplished. I’m proud of myself because if you’d ask me four years ago if I would do this I would say no this is never going to happen,” Alexander said.

The Greater Hartford Marathon Foundation is actually a charitable organization. There are 19 official charities associated with the marathon and each of the 10,000 participants chose one to support.

While fitness is foremost, charity is also a vital part of Hartford Marathon Foundation’s mission. The Healing Meals Community Project raised $24,000 today.

Eversource has sponsored the event for the past four years.

"It’s just such a great event. You see behind us all the people and all the excitement in the community and for Eversource it’s important we give back to the community. We have 100 volunteers, almost 250 runners," said Craig Hallstrom, Eversource electric operations president.

With so many runners and spectators, security is a top priority.

Organizers said extra security measures were in place in light of recent events in Las Vegas.

Without going into detail, they say a 60-member security team developed a special safety plan for this event.

Christopher Zabkocki of Essex won with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 30 seconds.

Meseret Dekebo was the first female to cross. Her time was two hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds.

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