Eight-thousand runners will fill the streets of Hartford on Saturday for the 29th Annual Eversource Hartford Marathon. The event will force the closure of several streets, draw tens of thousands of spectators and help to boost the economy.
Jason Boschan, of Charlotte, N.C., is one of the 8,000 runners and will arrive in Connecticut for the first time on Friday ahead of the race. He was told by other runners about the Hartford Marathon.
“They just said, it's a really engaging race. It's really well done. Good people. And also, my question always is, would you do it again? Would you go back to that city? And the answer to both those questions were Yes,” Boschan said.
Boschan previously completed marathons on all seven continents.
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In 2010, when his grandfather who was a lifelong pediatrician was diagnosed with dementia, Boschan started thinking about how he could raise awareness for the cause.
So, he started “Run4Papa.” It is a campaign to run 50 half marathons in all 50 states. This is race number 28 for him. Boschan said he pays for the expenses to run every race and 100% of the money that is raised goes to Northwestern Medicine for dementia research.
“By coming to your city and other cities around the U.S., it really helps spread the message, that there are so many people that are battling this vicious disease,” said Boschan.
Many of the runners in the marathon are supporting the charity of their choosing. To date, runners in Hartford’s Marathon raised $8.5 million for the event’s official charity program that supports local organizations.
With tens of thousands of spectators also in the city, the region sees a big economic boost, estimated to a total $ 179 million over the years, according to the marathon foundation.
“The whole purpose, when we began this event, 29 years ago, was to do something positive for the city of Hartford, and the region around it. And so that was the goal from day one, still is the goal,” said Beth Shluger, the CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
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