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Manchester Road Race 2014

By newadmin / Published on Sunday, 30 Nov 2014 10:53 AM / No Comments / 130 views
Manchester Road Race 2014: Route, Course Map, Times, Event Details
USA TODAY Sports

Before residents of Manchester, Connecticut, sit down for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day, many of them will compete in or observe the 78th annual Manchester Road Race.

The Manchester Road Race is a long-running tradition in Connecticut, and it certainly signals the start of the holiday season in that particular area. The race is far from a marathon at just 4.748 miles, but it clearly means a lot to the locals and has gained a positive reputation across the nation as well.

For those hoping to find out more about the race and others who are already familiar with it, here is a full rundown of vital information for the 2014 Manchester Road Race.

*Information courtesy of ManchesterRoadRace.com.

Where: Manchester, Connecticut

When: Thursday, Nov. 27

Time: 10 a.m. ET

Route and Course Map

Photo courtesy of ManchesterRoadRace.com

Points of Interest

Heavy Snow Expected

While holding the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving is great in terms of atmosphere, there is always a risk that inclement weather will come into play. That is certainly the case this year as up to 10 inches of snow is expected from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, according to Jesse Leavenworth of The Hartford Courant.

That could make things quite tricky for both runners and spectators, but all signs point toward the race taking place as scheduled. There is a precedent for competing in the face of poor conditions as the Manchester Road Race has never been canceled, per Darren Sweeney of NBC Connecticut:

There is no question that it speaks to the tough mentality of the runners and the community as a whole. The Manchester Road Race means a lot to the area, and it is difficult to imagine anything other than a catastrophe preventing this event from occurring.

According to the race’s official website, it’s all systems go unless a state of emergency is declared in Connecticut.

The forecast definitely makes things a bit more challenging for everyone involved, but the 78th Manchester Road Race may ultimately be one of the most memorable due to the majestic atmosphere that the snow could create.

Sense of Community

There are often great stories attached to annual races across the United States, but few measure up to the Manchester Road Race in terms of coming together and welcoming others regardless of where they are from.

Even if it is for only a day, the runners are truly made to feel like Manchester residents, and much of that has to do with the commitment of host families.

Jennifer Veltri is among those who allow runners to stay with them during the lead-up to the race, and she enjoys the process of getting to know the competitors, per Katie Corrado of FoxCT.com: “After about the first 24 hours, it’s not like there’s someone else in the house. They just kind of melt right in and either they do their own thing or they’re out. Last year, they were out with us watching TV. It’s pretty fun to see what they’re like.”

It takes some special people to open their homes to strangers, and there is no question that Manchester has them in spades.

Honoring Tradition

When a race has existed for 78 years, it is fair to say that it is steeped in tradition. That is a big part of what makes this event so special, and organizers are going the extra mile to recognize that in 2014.

According to Michael Walsh of The Hartford Courant, race officials have reached out to men who have been competing in the race for 50 years and women who have taken part for 40 years in an attempt to pay tribute to the history of the Manchester Road Race.

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Dennis McCormack, who will be competing for the 50th consecutive year, is among those who has seen the race evolve into a transcendent event during his time as a runner, per Walsh: “When you’re part of something for that long, you have a lot of great memories. I’ve seen the race grow up. There were 130 people that ran the first year I ran, but there were probably 15,000 people watching the race. Now there’s 15,000 people running the race.”

The dedication of people like McCormack is a big reason why the Manchester Road Race has developed into a nationally recognized event.

With that in mind, it is heartwarming to see organizers taking the time to pay tribute to those who helped build it.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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