Manchester Road Race        2012

Manchester Road Race 2012

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

The only walk-in registration for this year’s Manchester Road Race will be held today during a Sports Expo at Bennet Academy from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The academy is located at 1151 Main Street in downtown Manchester, Connecticut.019032013

The 77th running of the Manchester Road Race held annually on Thanksgiving Day will be on November 28. Start time is 10:00 a.m. in front of St.James Church along Main Street. According to the road race website, 14,000 runners have signed up and initial online registration is closed. It will only be reopened if the maximum participation number of 15,000 is not reached by the close of today’s Sports Expo. No evening registration or race day registration will be held.

The top three finishers from last year’s 2012 running of the race are expected to return.

In light of the Boston Marathon bombing, security has been increased and new restrictions apply. According to the road race website, race officials are asking that backpacks, containers or bundled items NOT be left unattended within the restricted area which spans a lengthy oval from lower Main Street approaching Hartford Road to just beyond where Main Street intersects with Birch Street, and on either side of Main Street into area surrounding parts of Oak and Forest Streets. Unattended items within the restricted area will be confiscated. During a recent television interview, the Manchester police chief noted although runners wearing costumes can be a security concern, they are such a part of the history and flavor of the race that it was decided to allow them. Go to to view a map of the restricted area.

Sponsored by, the 6th annual Manchester Road Race costume contest will be held on race day with a $300 restaurant package prize going to the winner. Registered runners are asked to show up in costume  – wearing their runner’s bib in front of their costumes – between 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m by the Three Bears Statue in Center Memorial Park. As noted on the MRR website, be prepared to have a photo taken.

The first Thanksgiving Day, Manchester Road Race was held in 1927 with ten runners turning out, as noted in a history of the race on the MRR website. The race took a hiatus during World II and the depression but at the urging of Earl Yost, then sports editor of the former Manchester Herald, it was revived. By 1956, participation was over one hundred and thereafter steadily increased.

Today the Thanksgiving Day, Manchester Road Race is one of Connecticut’s premier sports events attracting runners from around the world and thousands of spectators who line the 4.748 mile course.

(Update 11/24/2013: the 2013 Manchester Road Race is sold out, having reached its maximum 15,000 runners registered.)