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Manchester Road Race, Turkey and Tradition

The race will be run on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 22.

The 76th annual Manchester Road Race organizers are predicting that this may be the first year in the race's history with a photo finish.

With an anticipated 15,000 runners making their way to Manchester on Thanksgiving Day, the racers will take to the annual course, as Manchester residents line the streets to cheer them on.

Race Committee President Dr. Tris Carta said that is why runners come back time and time again.

"The people of Manchester come out and cheer the runners, that’s why runners come back.  They enjoy having that," Carta said. 

In addition to the encouragement provided along the raceway, volunteers, upwards of 625 this year, will pitch in wherever the assistance is needed to make the race run smoothly.

"All the businesses in the town have supported the race in any way they can," he said, adding that the race also enjoys the full support from the town. Indeed, any time Carta needs something done he said that people are quick to ask, “How can I help?”

The committee is making the exciting prediction this year that they will be pulling out their photo finish camera for the first time because of the caliber of "elite runners" who are signed up to run. 

"There's a lot of young runners that are all very, very good this year," he said. "We might have a photo finish. We haven’t had one before.”

Aside from the possible nail biting finish, what makes the annual race special is that it “brings the entire Manchester community together to focus on the race," Carta said. 

"Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I think it is for many people in Manchester," he said.

Notably, the race this year will be dedicated to the late Patrick J. (“P.J.”) Tierney. Tierney, a longtime member of the road race committee, died on Sept. 25 at the age of 82.

"P. J. Tierney was one of the Manchester Road Race’s biggest and best boosters,” Carta said. “He will be terribly missed, but all the wonderful things that he did for our race will always be remembered and appreciated.”

As of Nov. 14, about 14,000 runners had registered on the race's online site. Another 1,000 bibs are available still for those who want to register. Walk-in registration will also be held the week of Thanksgiving at Elizabeth M. Bennet Academy at 1151 Main St. in Manchester on the following evenings:

  • Monday: 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
  • Tuesday: 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
  • There will be NO walk-in registration on Wednesday evening.
Jerry O'Connor November 18, 2012 at 04:17 PM
There are only a limited number of registrations for the Road Race left. I recommend that anyone still needing to register be at the Bennett Academy walk-in registration site on Monday when they open at six p.m. to be sure of getting a spot.
Frank November 18, 2012 at 08:07 PM
The greatest event in the town of Manchester, if only downtown Manchester could be a destination that law abiding people wanted to visit the other 364 days, 21 Hours, and 45 minutes of the year. What costume should I wear?
Kris P November 18, 2012 at 08:08 PM
We sold 660 bibs on Saturday. Only 340 remain to be sold on Monday. We will be at Bennet on Tuesday evening for packet pick-up, t-shirt sales and seeding requests.
Sarah Brown November 19, 2012 at 01:03 PM
St. Mary’s Hall Open for Road Race: The doors of Neill Hall at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 41 Park St., Manchester will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day to offer a warm gathering place, restrooms, water and hot beverages to Thanksgiving Day racers, walkers and spectators. Just walk one block up Park Street from the starting line on Main Street, enter St. Mary’s through the door at the corner of the parking lot and go down the stairs to the hall. Invite your families, friends and neighbors to meet you at St. Mary’s and then enjoy the race. For additional information, please visit www.stmarysct.org or call St. Mary’s at (860) 649-4583
David Moran November 19, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Thanks for the head's up, Jerry! I gotta make sure to stop by tonight and sign up for the race myself!!!

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