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Blue Back Mitten Run Will Return to West Hartford on Dec. 3

HMF Blue Back Mitten Run. Dec. 4, 2022. Photo credit: Craig Rosenberg (we-ha.com file photo)

The Hartford Marathon Foundation welcomes CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) as the title sponsor of the annual Holiday 5K in West Hartford. [Updated]

By Ronni Newton

The Blue Back Square Mitten Run, a festive family-oriented 5K, will welcome runners and walkers of all ages and abilities to celebrate the season as a community on Sunday, Dec. 3, for what is traditionally the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s final race of the year.

This year, HMF welcomes a new community partner, West Hartford’s CLA (Clifton Larson Allen LLP), as the title sponsor of the traditional holiday 5K. CLA is a CPA and professional services advisory firm with its local offices at 29 South Main Street.

According to an HMF spokesperson, as many as 2,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s Blue Back Mitten 5K, which begins on Burr Street adjacent to West Hartford Town Hall, winds through West Hartford neighborhoods where homes and businesses have been decorated for the holidays, and ends in Blue Back Square, where finishers will get a high-five from Santa and holiday cookies as a post-race treat.

Runners and walkers of all ages and experiences are welcome to participate, and there are also shorter HMF FitKids races for children aged 2-11.

The 5K begins at 10:30 a.m., and the kids’ races begin at 10 a.m.

Race participants are asked to bring donations of new mittens, hats, gloves, socks, and scarves which will be distributed by West Hartford’s The Town That Cares program to help keep those in need warm this winter. Collection boxes will be located in the Town Hall parking lot, where runners can also pick up their bibs and this year’s custom-knit beanie hat.

Monetary donations will also be accepted at HMF registration and merchandise areas.

“We are grateful for the support of CLA and all of our partners and volunteers that help make this cherished holiday tradition something to look forward to each year,” Josh Miller, president of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, said in a statement. “We encourage new participants and our many loyal community members to get active with family and friends and spread some holiday cheer while also giving back to help our neighbors in need.”

Andrew Lattimer, Connecticut Managing Principal of CLA,  said the company is “committed to creating opportunities for our people and our community. We are excited to be involved in the 2023 HMF Blue Back Mitten Run and look forward to supporting this annual tradition.”

Registration information and other details can be found here.

The Mitten Run – a community celebration of fitness and fun – was first held in 2009, and this is the 14th year the race has been run, returning in 2021 after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Some roads will be temporarily or partially closed while runners pass through town, and motorists can expect delays. Roads will reopen as runners pass, officials said, and when possible, police will direct cross traffic during the race.

The following roads will be closed:

  • Isham Road (between Memorial Road and Dinah Road) will be closed from 8:15 a.m. until noon
  • Burr Street will be closed from 9 until 10:40 a.m.

Delays should be expected on the following roads:

  • Raymond Road (Memorial Road to Boulevard) – 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Boulevard (Raymond Road to Castlewood Road – 10-11:30 a.m.
  • South Main Street (Boulevard to Memorial Road) – 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Memorial Road (South Main Street to Raymond Road) – 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Four Mile Road (Sedgwick Road to Boulevard) – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Sedgwick Road (South Main Street to Castlewood Road) – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Castlewood Road – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Woodrow Street (Boulevard to Ellsworth Road) – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Ellsworth (Woodrow Street to South Main Street) – 10:30-11:30 a.m.

More information and a detailed map of the streets used for the race can be found online.  Call 860-652-8866 with any questions.

Learn more about the CLA Blue Back Mitten Run and register at www.HartfordMarathon.com. Follow the conversations on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @RunHMF or Instagram at HMF_Events.

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