Get all your Manchester Road Race stories and information here

Thousands of runners gear up for Hartford marathon

HARTFORD --  On the eve of the Hartford Marathon, thousands of runners came to pick up race packets and bibs from the XL Center.

"I put in the training all summer, so I've been looking forward to this for a while," said Caitlin Cunningham of Simsbury. "I hope the weather holds out."

"We're doing a half marathon," said Jordan Barthol of New Hampshire. "There's a group of us that have stayed together from high school and decided to give it a shot. We've been training all summer long."

 The event features four races: a marathon, half marathon, 5k and team relay. Hundreds of kids will also participate in a race for children.

Hartford mom Marilyn Katz said her children have started running because they see her run, and are excited to participate tomorrow.

"They always get really excited and they go, mommy's going running! And then they want to come with me," she said.

Runners picking up packets and bibs also had a chance to browse through running apparel and fitness gear as they finalize their preparations.

"Tonight, I'm probably going to go home and have some ravioli," said Cunningham, adding that she would also be getting a good night's sleep.

"Plan for tonight is to get some rest, relax a little bit" said Barthol.

The Hartford Marathon steps off at 8 a.m. Saturday. For a guide to the marathon route and road closures, click here.