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To celebrate the diverse backgrounds and unique experiences of those that participate in its race events, the Hartford Marathon Foundation today launched the Lace Up for Social Justice initiative. Proceeds from the sale of $10 commemorative shoelaces will directly benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs.

Adorned in a rainbow of colors reading “I RUN FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE”, the shoelaces are on sale now through the HMF Shop, at upcoming HMF and Boys and Girls Clubs events, and through registration for HMF’s signature race, the Eversource Hartford Marathon, and Half Marathon. Participants are encouraged to wear their laces proudly on race day, Saturday, October 9.

The Lace Up campaign runs in conjunction with the marathon’s “Run United” theme for 2021, which is being celebrated through a special HMF FitKids running event on Saturday, October 2. Local youth will have the memorable experience of finishing a race under the iconic Soldiers Sailors Memorial Arch and crossing the grand finish line of the Eversource Hartford Marathon. A replica of the Black Lives Matter mural that is painted on Trinity Street in Hartford will also be unveiled along the sideboards of the finish line.

“We are proud that the events we produce welcome people from all walks of life to achieve goals and we celebrate each and every one of their accomplishments equally – that’s no more evident than at the Eversource Hartford Marathon,” said Beth Shluger, President and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “We want to honor that social responsibility and raise funds for the incredible resources available through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford to foster a more caring, accepting, and equitable future for our youth.”

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford are proud to be a part of the Eversource Hartford Marathon Lace Up for Social Justice Campaign. Now more than ever, our Boys & Girls Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs are so important. We believe all young people should be afforded the guarantee of fair treatment, access, and opportunity,” said Samuel S. Gray, Jr., President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford.

In addition to the Lace Up campaign to raise funds for the benefit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Team 13.1 Relay, and Charity 5K will continue to benefit additional worthy causes in the community. The Official Charity program for the October 9 race features 19 organizations committed to rallying participants, supporters, and volunteers to raise funds and awareness. More than $8.2 million has been raised for charity through the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon since its inception in 1994.

Purchase laces, learn more about Official Charities, or register for the Eversource Hartford Marathon events at

About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
A nonprofit organization founded in 1994, the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) mission is to promote healthy living through fitness and physical activity for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, gender identities, orientations, and experience levels, and to use HMF events to support charity, sustainability, tourism and economic growth in communities. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Foundation organizes more than 30 annual races, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon and youth training programs. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @runHMF, and Instagram at HMF_Events.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford fills the gap between school and home and touches the lives of 10,000 youth each year, providing a welcoming and positive environment. Founded by four women in 1860, the Boys & Girls is the nation’s first Club. We have nine locations in the Hartford area neighborhoods and schools, making it convenient for our families. The Boys & Girls Club’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as caring, productive, and responsible citizens. For more information, please visit