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March 25 Event will Support Behavioral Healthcare Services at CHR as well as the Deep River Volunteer Fire Department, Essex Library and The Nest/A Little Compassion Inc.

CHR’s Steam Train Half Marathon and Relay, one of the only half marathons in the world that “races” a steam train, will lead runners from across the country through Essex and Deep River on Saturday, March 25.

Community Health Resources (CHR), the state’s most comprehensive, nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency, will be the main beneficiary of the event, and proceeds will also support the Deep River Volunteer Fire Department, Essex Library and The Nest/A Little Compassion Inc.

  • WHAT: CHR’s Steam Train Half Marathon and Relay
  • WHEN: Saturday, March 25, starting at 8 a.m. sharp when the steam train whistle blows and hundreds of runners follow along
  • WHERE: The event starts and ends at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, 1 Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT

“We are so grateful to our friends and colleagues at the Essex Stream Train and the towns of Essex and Deep River for allowing us to host this creative and unique event once again,” said Heather Gates, President and CEO of CHR. “Whether you participate as a runner or ride along on the train, it’s a beautiful course and you can feel good about supporting mental health and addiction services for children, families and adults from across Connecticut.”

“CHR was here for the community throughout the pandemic and we’re working hard to meet the profound needs that so many people are experiencing today,” she said.

How the event works:

  • At 8 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, March 25, runners will follow the Steam Train as it leaves the Essex station. The train will traverse through Essex and points north, following the Connecticut River before stopping at the Deep River station where the relay runners will trade places.
  • Upon leaving Deep River, the train will make its way back to the Essex station, covering a total of approximately two hours and 20 minutes. While the runners will follow a different course, all runners who make it back to the station by that time will win a commemorative train whistle for beating the train.
  • The half marathon is 13.1 miles through the picturesque towns of Essex and Deep River. The relay portion is 7 or 6.1 miles.

How to Participate:

  • Registration for the half marathon, relay and virtual half marathon can be found
  • The public is also invited to watch this spectacular event from the comfort of the steam train.
  • Volunteers are needed as well! To sign-up, visit this link.


  • The Steam Train Half Marathon started in 2017 as the brainchild of Matt Resnisky, an avid runner from Deep River who listened to the sounds of the steam train one afternoon while running. In both 2017 and 2019, the Steam Train Half Marathon was held in Essex and Deep River and attracted runners from across the country, as an event presented by a volunteer organization, Team Making a Difference. The event was held virtually for two years during the pandemic and returned as a live event in 2022.
  • Resnisky, owner of Deep River Roasters, is still very involved with the race and will host a packet-pick up event on the afternoon of March 24.
  • Lead sponsors this year include Mutual of America, Tartsinis, LLC., Professional Properties of Enfield, Inc., The Alera Group, Howard and Ann Orr and Heather Gates.

About CHR: Now offering services through the convenience of telehealth as well as in-person care, CHR is Connecticut’s most comprehensive, nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency. In addition, CHR was the first nonprofit agency in CT to meet all of the rigorous federal criteria as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic and has repeatedly been named among the Top Workplaces in the state. Learn more at

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