79th Annual Manchester Road Race

    Happy Thanksgiving!  Today was the 79th annual Manchester Road Race, and what a perfect day for it.  The Manchester Road Race was first started in 1927 with 12 runners and has continued, except for a few years during the depression, and has grown considerably since.  
    The Road Race is the biggest running event in CT drawing thousands of runners.  It is capped at a maximum or 15,000 registered runners with countless spectators lining the streets of the 4.748 mile course.  The race starts and finishes on Manchester’s historic downtown Main Street.  It is amazing to see the transformation of Main St on race day.  It hardly resembles the street that was there only a day earlier.  News vans, high lifts, fences and people shoulder to shoulder all the way down the historic section of Rt 83 that cuts through downtown Manchester.  
    This year the MRR was able to donate $100,000 to charity.  The donations were spread out over 19 different charitable organizations.   They were also able to give away some great prizes like the “King and Queen of the Hill: Run to the Highland.”   The King and Queen is a $1000 prize each for the first male and female runners to make it to a predetermined point near the top of Highland Street Hill (near Highland Park Market).  To receive the prize money they also need to finish top 10 in their respective divisions.  
    With a long history of the race there are competitors that have been running it for a long time and in order to honor those folks the MRR has the Perenial Performance which is for men who have run 50+ MRR’s and women who have run 40+ MRR’s.  Among the women who have achieved this is Hartford Marathon’s own Beth Shluger.
    This is a long standing way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Manchester-and celebrate they do.  It’s a fun and exciting time with hundreds of costume runners like bacon, Sponge Bob, Santas, super heros and even Lego people.  I may have been mistaken, but it seems like the further back that they lined up from the starting line, the better costumes there were- and they were great!
    Congrats to all who were involved in the race from the event staff, volunteers, runners, spectators, and law enforcement.  Another great event!  A special congrats to Will Geoghegan from Eugene, OR who finished first in the men’s division with a time of 21:34 and to Diane Nukuri from Flagstaff, AZ who finised fist in the female division with a time of 24:19.  

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To see pictures from this event please visit our facebook page