Thousands of runners toed the line on Saturday, October 12, 2013 for the 20th running of the ING Hartford Marathon. New this year was a collaboration between the Hartford Marathon Foundation, Hartford Hospital, and University of Hartford (through ENHP's Institute for Translational Research) to put on the first annual Medical Seminar for Runners. Athletes who attended the symposium received up-to-date information on running, marathons, health, and nutrition.
The collaborative symposium was staged at The Hartford Club from 3:30p.m.-5:30p.m.on Friday, preceding the pre-race pasta dinner. Speakers included Assistant Professor Beth Parker of Hartford Hospital and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Hartford, Professor Doug Casa of the Korey Stringer Institute at University of Connecticut, Dr. Associate Professor Rich Wood of Springfield College, and Dr. Paul Thompson, Head of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital. Topics included a presentation of research conducted at the 2010 and 2011 Boston Marathon (Parker), heat stroke and treatment of heat-related illnesses at medical tents (Casa), proper nutrition for training, racing and recovery (Wood), and the influence of chronic physical activity on heart health (Thompson). The energy and enthusiasm in the room throughout the afternoon were palpable, and the three sponsors are already discussing plans for the second annual symposium in 2014.
Beth Parker is assistant professor of Health Science and director of the Center for Health, Care, and Well-being in the Institute for Translational Research, College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. She is also director of exercise physiology research at Hartford Hospital. In addition to presenting prior to the race, Parker put on her running shoes and research hat and took part in the Saturday run, using this experience to collect additional data on the heart and running. Visit Parker's blog uheart - updates on health-related research for details about the race and her research interest in running.