A local holiday tradition returned to West Hartford on Sunday.
Participants took to the streets for the Hartford Marathon Foundation's annual Blue Back Mitten Run. Over 1,500 runners and walkers took part in the 5K and kids races.
The first finished in record time, coming in at a little over 15 minutes.
“Feels good,” said first place winner Tommy O’Gorman.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of miles the last few weeks. I’m training for a pretty big marathon in January so this was just to test the fitness,” O'Gorman added.
The run has been happening since 2009, but had last year off due to the pandemic.
The Hartford Marathon Foundation founder is thrilled to be back in action.
“It’s sheer joy,” said Beth Shluger, the CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
“It’s joy and we can feel the joy in the air. We can feel the excitement. People keep thanking us for being back. It’s been two years since we’ve been here and just the season, it’s a part of it, too. It’s just a wonderful joy to be back," Shluger said.
All race participants were asked to bring donations of new hats, mittens and scarves for The Town That Cares Program in West Hartford. They expect the donations could reach up to over 4,000 items.