Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon & 4 Miler

09 Apr
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Connecticut, Running   |  No Comments

Team HMFThis past Sunday I ran in the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon & 4 Miler. The race started in Downtown Middletown on Main Street, and it was the perfect day for a race. The sun was shining and there was a breeze. With just over 1,500 runners, there was a good crowd but it wasn’t too packed. I ran in the 4-mile race, which ran along the same course of the half marathon for the first 3 miles before they split off.

I didn’t check the course map and elevation before the start of the race, which turned out to be a good thing because the first mile and a half were almost all uphill! I’m not sure I would have been as excited for the race if I had known that. But it was a great course that ran through Wesleyan’s campus and the neighborhoods. It started and ended on Main Street, and I found great course support throughout. People in the neighborhoods came out, handed out tissues and cheered on the runners. There was also live music which is Middletown Halfalways fun!

Something else that I noticed during this race was an extra level of support runner to runner. Every time someone had stopped to tie their shoes or stretch, other runners yelled out to them to make sure they were OK. It happens during races, but there seemed to be extra efforts made during this race, which I thought was great.

And something else that doesn’t happen much during races, I made a friend! I’m not terribly social during races – I find it difficult to run, breathe and talk at the same time. But by Mile 3 another runner and I had been running near each other for almost the whole race, so I started chatting with her. I found out that her sister had signed her up for the half marathon, but she decided to downgrade to the 4-miler because she didn’t feel ready for the half. We ran together for the last mile and chatted, and it was great! Made that last mile fly by.

After the race I hung out at the finish line and cheered on other runners, and saw the first finishers of the half come in. I’m always amazed that someone can run 13.1 miles in the same time it takes me to run 6-7. Amazing. All in all, a great race that I’d totally do again!




Team HMF

04 Apr
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Running   |  No Comments


Today, the Hartford Marathon Foundation announced the inaugural class of Team HMF – a group of runners from around Connecticut who love HMF, love running and love talking about racing in the region. And I’m super excited to say that I was chosen to be a part of this group! You can see the full list of awesome people (yes, I’m including myself in the awesome) on the HMF blog.

Team HMF

I’ve been a fan of the Hartford Marathon Foundation since I started running in 2010. My very first race was an X-Treme Scramble on the Hartford Riverfront (now called Riverfront Scrambles). They are super fun, quirky races to do. The 5ks aren’t traditional, they go over trails, stairs, fields and more. And the best part? Costumes, live music and local beer and food afterwards. It was an awesome start to my running and racing career. I’ve been in love ever since.

I’m excited to be a part of Team HMF because not only am I pumped to meet other fantastic runners in the region, but I’m also thrilled to be representing the back-of-the-pack runners in the area. I’m a slow runner (10+ minute miles), and I know how hard it is for a lot of runners to get past that. They don’t call themselves runners because they’re slow, or they get down on themselves when they get passed in races. I’ve been there. A lot. I want to create a community of kickass back-of-the-pack runners who will encourage each other in races!

Congrats to everyone on Team HMF, and we’ll see you out on the course!

Another O’Hartford in the Books

17 Mar
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Running   |  No Comments

OHartford 2014My 3rd Annual Max’s O’Hartford 5k is in the books! My favorite race to start the year with, this race is green-filled and festive with a fabulous course through Hartford. The race begins on Trumbull Street in Downtown Hartford, winds up Pearl Street to Main Street, and runs for over a mile on Park Street. I love running on Park Street. It’s a street that’s so busy during the day with people and cars that I typically don’t include it when I go running in Hartford. But on race days, I can run in the street and see the beautiful shops and artwork on the street. The course continues onto Park Terrace, to Capitol Avenue and then down through the Arch and finishes on Pearl Street.

Everyone dresses up in green for St. Patrick’s Day for this race, and when running on Park Street, it’s just a sea of green and orange bobbing heads. This year, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade fell on Saturday and as much as I love Parade Day and having so many people come to Hartford, I love the O’Hartford even more. Parade Day for many is about drinking as much as possible starting at 8am. Maybe I’m getting old but that no longer appeals to me. The O’Hartford, while there is also drinking involved, is not the primary purpose of Ohartford 2014 medalthe day. I once heard someone talking about racing, and how amazing it is for so many people to come together for one purpose – to run a race or to cheer on someone else who is running.

For me the O’Hartford is about the start of race season, the promise of warm weather and a big group of people doing something fun and healthy. This year I finished in 33:46, which I’m very happy about. Congratulations to all of the runners, and unless I sign up for a race last minute, I’ll see you on May 3rd for the BlumShapiro 5k for Camp Courant at the Travelers Championship!


11 Mar
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Barefoot, Connecticut, Running   |  No Comments

My friend Ryan McKeen is a local CT runner who is trying to raise money for Achilles International CT Chapter. He made these super awesome shirts, and you can get one if you make a $20 donation to Achilles CT!

I just got mine in the mail, and it’s pretty sweet. Get one for yourself! Tweet Ryan for more information – and to make sure you get a super cool shirt for your donation.



2014 Race Schedule

24 Feb
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Barefoot, Running   |  No Comments

Last year I didn’t do very many races because I wanted to focus on staying motivated for training even without a race on the calendar. I did pretty well! But this year there are so many great races happening that I’m too excited for, so here is my 2014 race schedule. Let me know what I’m missing, and hopefully I’ll see you out on the race course!

March 16 – Max’s O’Hartford 5k
The tradition lives on! This will be my third year running the O’Hartford and it’s always my first race of the year. It’s a great start to running season – it’s starting to warm up and it’s a great, green celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!
RESULTS – Finished in 33:46! Not bad for my first race of the year, with a lot of people. Absolutely one of my favorite races of the year, and one of my favorite traditions with my BFF Julie. You can read all about it here.

April 6 – Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half & Legends 4-Mile
I’m really excited for this new addition to the HMF lineup! The 4-Mile was run for the first time in 2013, and the Half was added this year. Main Street in Middletown is a really neat spot, and the race finishes with a party in the street with local food and drinks. Also, they will be collecting nonperishable food items for Amazing Grace Pantry, so make sure to bring some canned goods to donate!
Results – I finished in 46:26 – which isn’t so bad considering all of the hills in the first 1.5 miles! I’m happy with it.

May 3 – BlumShapiro 5k for Camp Courant at the Travelers ChampionshipI love Camp Courant and I love the Travelers Championship, so this is bound to be a great race. Camp Courant is a fantastic organization so I’m excited to support them ($10 from each race entry is donated).

June 1 – Amica Iron Horse 10k
One of the most beautiful country courses you’ll ever see! I don’t think I’ll be ready for a half marathon at this point (I’ll be fresh off a week long vacation) but I’m excited for the 10k!

June 22 – Merrell Down & Dirty
Obstacles, obstacles, obstacles! I’ve done a Warrior Dash and I loved the mud and the fun of doing an obstacle race. I’m really looking forward to doing the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run on the Hartford Riverfront!

July 20 – Providence Craft Brew Race
There’s a new race series in New England called the Craft Brew Races. It’s exactly what it sounds like – part 5k, part craft brew festival with local brewers. Sounds like a great combination to me!

August 2 – New Haven Craft Brew Race
And I’m heading back for more just a couple of weeks later at the New Haven Craft Brew Race! Delicious Connecticut beers will be waiting for me at the finish line.

August 21 – Riverfront Scramble #3
If you’ve never done a Scramble before, you don’t know what you’re missing! Part race, part party and an all around good time. Costumes, music and beer make the Scrambles one of my favorite series of the summer.

September 14 – Surftown Half Marathon
I ran in the inaugural Surftown Half with my Dad, and had a great time on the flat course with scenic views and a phenomenal after-party! I wasn’t able to run last year because I was sick, so I’m looking forward to coming back again this year.

October 11 – Hartford Half Marathon
My favorite race to end the season with. It’s a classic and I can’t wait to run through the Sailors and Soldiers Memorial Arch at the finish line.

November 9 – Freedom Run 5k
A great run along the Hartford Riverfront to honor and recognize those who serve our country! As the daughter of a Navy vet, I’ll run this race in honor of my father and my grandather who is also a veteran.

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