Runners lace up for charity at Hartford Marathon

HARTFORD - Every runner has a story. Robin Rosario lost her brother to suicide. “My hope is that I have a good race and more importantly, that the mental health issue is something that I can shed light on,” says Rosario.

Yale student Marina Yoshimura has mental health challenges of her own. “Addressing mental health, should be a solution, it should not be a problem, and I just hope that if we ask for help at the right time,” said Yoshimura.

The two are preparing for a big day Saturday at the Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon they met along the course and are both raising money for Mental Health Connecticut.

“I am originally from Japan where mental health is a source of stigma, so there is a difference between saying you have a problem and you are the problem, and in Japan the latter notion prevails, and I’d like to change that through running,” says Yoshimura.

They are just two of the thousands or runners who are lacing up to raise money for charities around our region at the 25th anniversary race. Stan Jankowski is running for the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain. “We raise funds for special equipment and special wheelchairs, we sponsor athletes, we sponsor teams with athletes of different abilities.

So is Rob Backus, who is hoping his donations can help fight Alzheimer’s. “When there are events that can raise money for this type of disease and research, do it, it is only going to benefit someone, because it affects so many different people,” says Backus.

Alison Scharr is looking to help people too. She’s running for Journey Home, a Hartford Organization committed to tackling homelessness in the Capital City.

“Well it is a major issue, it is a major issue around the state, but really in greater Hartford, and we see so many people experiencing homelessness, sleeping under bridges, under park benches, and is really something that needs to be resolved,” says Scharr.