Connecticut Patent of the Day: A Run Around Hartford

This Saturday is the ING Hartford Marathon. I’m running the half marathon for the first time. I’ve been running various other distances for 20 years, but never this far. And after this probably never this far again………So with that in mind here are a few Connecticut inventions that have summed up my many years of running the streets of Hartford and various other locations around the good old USA:

Before the race this weekend I will surely look for strength from wherever I can get it including from a higher power. Perhaps this Chaplet and Shrine of the Holy Rosary, invented in New Haven in 1908 would come in handy:

I’ve never spent much time on a treadmill. I can’t stand them actually, I get bored to tears, I need the streets, the activity. But for those who prefer the steady sameness of one here’s a version from James Morairty of Hartford in 1904:

Of course running on the streets has its pitfalls. I generally fall 3 or 4 times a year. Usually because I’m not paying attention to the road ahead. I’ve torn clothes, bruised knees, twisted ankles, shredded skin etc. And yes, been bitten by a dog or two. This invention of William Postings of Greenwich in 1929 would solve some of that problem:

Now there are of course other hazards a runner encounters. Drivers who are clueless, stupid or just plain inept. Bikers on sidewalks, (mainly adults) who won’t share the walk and just barrel ahead waiting for me to move over at the last second, other runners who run while tuned into their iPods, MP3’s or whatever. (Shut em off and listen to your body!!) I think this device, one of my all time favorites from CT, would come in handy as a stress reducer before, during or after a run. Or for that matter before, during or after family gatherings, holidays, work days etc. From the Mortimer Newman Company of New Haven in 1946:

At the end of every run I crave some simple things. First I just want to relax a bit. Give the knees, shins, ankles etc. a break. Here’s just the trick from John Collins of Norwich in 1895:

But most of all I crave liquid. Water, energy drinks, chocolate milk etc. But in the summer after a hot run there’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer…….with that wonderful thought in mind here is the aptly named Beer Drawing Apparatus from John Coit and John McNamara of Norwich in 1886:

All in all any run is a good run. Running is not always easy. It can hurt, get hot, cold, wet, exhausting. But like my all time favorite runner Steve Prefontaine said “You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement“. Lace ’em up, it’s time to run…..


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