Athletes With Disabilities

Saturday - October 10, 2015


Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT

Start Time:  8:00 AM (Wheelchair Start: 7:55 AM)

For tips on sharing the course with athletes with disabilities, please click here.


The NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon offers four divisions for athletes with disabilities. The divisions (male and female) are:

  • Physically Challenged (PC): A physically challenged (PC) athlete for the purposes of LDR Road Racing is defined as any person with a significant and permanent physical or motor deficiency but still allows them to be ambulatory for road racing. Examples of appropriate permanent physical challenges include: Partial or complete loss of a lower extremity, such as a Symes or leg amputation. Some have significant loss of motor function due to stroke or a serious degenerative neurological condition affecting the extremities such as Multiple Sclerosis. Awards to top three males/females in the PC division.
  • Push rim Wheelchair: A wheelchair athlete for the purposes of LDR Road Racing is defined as any person with a significant and permanent physical or motor deficiency requiring the use of a push rim wheelchair (not hand cranks) to compete. Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Wheelchair Division. Rules and regulations for wheelchairs will be based from the International Paralympic Committee’s regulations. See below for wheelchair specifications. Awards to top three males/females in the Push rim division.
  • Hand crank wheelchair athletes are invited to participate in the Marathon, the Half Marathon or the 5K. No awards in the Hand crank division.
  • Visually Impaired/Blind Runners: A visually impaired runner must meet the classifications of IBSA Visual Classifications Class B1, B2, B3 and B4. For more information on IBSA Visual Classifications, click here.  See below for Rules for Visually Impaired/Blind Runners. Awards to top three male/females in the Visually Impaired/Blind Runners division.


All awards in the Physically Challenged, Push rim Wheelchair and Visually Impaired divisions are based on chip time.

If you are a wheelchair athlete, before you register, we encourage you to contact the Race Director, Beth Shluger, either by phone at 860-652-8866, or by email at: beth@hartfordmarathon.com to answer any questions regarding course suitability.


Wheelchair Start: 7:55 a.m.

  • Please check the race website for last minute announcements prior to the event.
  • Start Line will be the same as the start of the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon (which starts 5 minutes after wheelchairs). Please pay attention to final announcements.
  • Athletes are required to check in to the Seeded Area at the start line no later than 7:45 am.
  • All wheelchair athletes are required to wear certified helmets at all times. Helmets cannot be modified. Participants who do not have a certified helmet will not be permitted to start.
  • Participants are timed with both the B Tag (on the race bib) and the D Tag (on the chair). Participants must wear the bib number supplied by the organizers in its entirety and original condition on the back of their racing jersey, in plain sight. Participant must affix the D Tag timing chip to their chair, using zip tie provided.
  • Bib Numbers are non-transferable and MUST be worn only by the participant to whom it is assigned.


  • Course will follow the same route as the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.
  • Wheelchair athletes must use appropriate caution and share the course when other athletes or Official Vehicles approach to pass.
  • Participants must follow and stay on the course.
  • In most cases the entire road surface is at the athlete’s disposal. Where cones are used, shortening the course by not following the cone line is against the rules and will expose the racers to unsafe conditions.
  • Pay close attention to Race Officials during the race.
  • All participants must complete the entire course unaided, except for aid that is provided at the aid stations on the course. No personal aid from a spectator is permitted.
  • Participants cannot intentionally interfere with or touch other athletes during the race.

Finish Line

  • Finish line will be the same as for the NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.

Failure to follow these rules may result in immediate disqualification.


NU Hartford Marathon

NU Hartford Half Marathon

Hartford 5K



Note: Should we reach capacity before registration is over, we reserve the right to close without notice. These events do sell out, so you’ll want to take advantage of reduced rates and guaranteed participation by registering as soon as possible. Also note that on-site registration is not available for any events.

Course Limits

Marathon: You must be able to complete the Marathon in six hours from the time you cross the start line. We will close the marathon course at 2:00 PM.

Half Marathon: You must be able to complete the Half Marathon in three hours from the time you cross the start line. We will close the half marathon course at 11:00 AM.

Push rim Racing Wheelchair Specifications

Racing wheelchairs must conform to specifications as established by the International Paralympic Committee:

  1. The wheelchair shall have at least two large wheels and one small wheel.
  2. Any device or design element that exists for the purpose of reducing air resistance will be permitted provided that said device or design is limited to the area between the rear wheels and must not extend beyond the lateral edges of the large wheels or extend in front or behind the edges of the tires except that fenders may protrude two inches (2") past the circumference of the inflated tire.
  3. The maximum diameter of the large wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 70cm. The maximum diameter of the small wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 50cm.
  4. Only one round hand rim is allowed for each large wheel.
  5. No mechanical gears or levers shall be allowed that may be used to propel the chair. Hand crank cycles or chairs are NOT permitted in this division.
  6. Only hand operated mechanical steering devices will be allowed.
  7. No part of the chair may protrude behind the vertical plane of the back edge of the rear wheels.
  8. Athletes must ensure that no part of their lower limbs can fall to the ground or road during an event.
  9. It will be the responsibility of the competitor that the wheelchair conforms to all the above rules and no event shall be delayed while the competitor makes adjustments to the chair.
  10. Chairs may be measured prior to the start of the event. Chairs which have been examined may be liable to re-examination before or after the event by the official in charge of the event.

Rules for Visually Impaired/Blind Runners

  • Athletes bring their own guides to the competition. The athlete pays one entry fee as the guide is only the runners "eyes."
  • Both athlete and guide must be registered for the race. Contact registration@hartfordmarathon.com to receive free entry code for the Guide.
  • The guide must wear the official GUIDE pinney supplied by HMF. The pinney is on loan and a $10 returnable deposit must be made to HMF. Pinney is provided at Registration & Packet Pickup, on Thursday and Friday at XL Center.
  • Guide also wears a race bib provided by HMF on the front of his/her shirt singlet. Guide(s) are not scored.
  • As the blind or visually impaired runner crosses the finish line, the guide must be behind the athlete.
  • The method of guidance is the choice of the athlete. He or she may choose to use an elbow lead, or a tether, or run free. Strapping or tying the hands of athlete and guide to one another is not permitted. The tether used must provide at least 5 cm (2 inches) length between the respective hands of guide and athlete. In addition, the runner may receive verbal instruction from the guide.
  • Guides may not use a bicycle or other mechanical means of transport.
  • The guide cannot pull the athlete, or propel the athlete forward by pushing.

For more information on the United States Association of Blind Athletes and information regarding guide running go to usaba.org.