Creating a legacy that reached hundreds of thousands of participants with positive opportunities to be active, Beth Shluger will retire as CEO of the non-profit Hartford Marathon Foundation at the end of 2022. Founded by Shluger in 1994 to create a unique race concept now known worldwide as the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, HMF annually produces 25-30 race events across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Under Shluger’s direction and creative design, event concepts were developed to be inclusive to runners of all capabilities and demographics, as well as welcome walkers, families and children to encourage a broader audience to get moving for physical and mental health benefits. With a mission to inspire participants to be active, HMF has thoughtfully produced events from traditional 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon races to fun runs, virtual races and challenges, multi-state relays, group runs, training programs and fitness events. Through them, Shluger fostered a strong regional running community that in turn supported various charities and boosted economic activity for regional businesses, supported municipalities and provided engaging partnerships for corporate sponsors.
With the 30th running of the flagship marathon event scheduled for October 14, 2023, the depth of impact stemming from the Eversource Hartford Marathon alone speaks volumes of Shluger’s legacy. An estimated $185 million in economic boost can be traced back to race weekend since reporting began through the VISION Economic Value study. The event has provided a platform for local charities to raise funds and awareness for important community causes, with more than $8.9 million in donations reported to date.
Within the running industry, Shluger has been recognized through the years by peers and organizations. As recipient of the National Women’s Running Magazine Trailblazer Award, Shluger was recognized as a leader and pioneer who serves the sport with distinction. A runner for years who proudly participated in her first Manchester Road race at age 18 in 1973, she was inducted into the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
One of Shluger’s proudest and most meaningful career moments came with the production of the Sandy Hook Run for the Families in 2013. Bringing 15,000+ together in solidarity and support for the families of victims and first responders from the neighboring community of Newtown, CT, was a true community movement. HMF was awarded for the “best amateur sporting event in the United States” by Sports Travel magazine and at the time, the event was the largest single source of donations to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, with $438,000 raised.
Shluger came to her role as race director after years in the restaurant industry, where she also had focused efforts on bringing people and business to the Hartford region. As national sales manager for the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau, she created the Taste of Hartford, generating millions in revenue and drawing crowds in excess of 125,000 to the annual food festival.
She served as Executive Director of the Hartford Restaurant Association. In that role, she created the Heublein Grand Chefs Festival, which brought world renowned chefs, including Todd English, Jacques Pepin, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and many others to Hartford for collaboration with talented local chefs. Shluger previously served as the Director of Event Management for the Hartford Whalers Hockey Club.
Hartford Marathon Foundation future operations will be led by Josh Miller, who currently serves as HMF vice president and race director. Miller will assume the role of president on January 1, 2023. The HMF 2023 race calendar will be announced mid-December, with registration opening shortly after. Learn more at www.hartfordmarathon.com
About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to create and manage fitness events that inspire people to be healthy and fit. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Hartford Marathon Foundation organizes more than 30 annual athletic races, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, and training programs for young runners. For more information, visit www.HartfordMarathon.com and follow on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @runHMF and Instagram at HMF_Events.