There are suitable viewing areas along the entire length of the Manchester Road Race, but Main Street in Downtown Manchester near the Start/Finish line is probably the most popular. Since parking is limited traffic can be heavy and some streets will be partially or completely closed. Therefore we recommend taking the free shuttle bus, walking to your favorite viewing area, or planning to arrive well before the Race begins.
Please remember that many of the viewing areas are on private property, and that a good portion of the race course takes it through residential neighborhoods. Please respect the property owners' rights and be careful in disposing of trash or other unwanted articles. (There are trash containers provided along Main Street.)
On Main Street just above Oak Street at St. James Church. The hill in front of St. James puts you in the middle of the action but allows a good viewing angle of both the start and finish. Parking, the shuttle bus, and porta potties are all nearby. Street vendors and retail establishments offer a range of food and beverages. Road Race Souvenir Programs are distributed. You'll need to arrive well before the 10:00 am start since this area is very congested on Race Day and Main Street and sections of many intersecting streets are closed.
Main Street north of the Start/Finish Line up to Center Street
Once the Race has started many spectators like to walk north on Main Street toward the Library where the crowds thin out a little. This is a great place to watch the finishers make the turn off Center Street and head down Main just where the leaders make their final "kick" and where the race is often decided.
Main Street south of the Start/Finish Line down to Charter Oak Street/Hartford Road
Convenient to parking and the shuttle bus this location offers a great view of the Start as the elite runners come down Main Street, separating themselves from the pack as they make the turn onto Charter Oak. Remember though, with 15,000 + runners and walkers participating it can take nearly 15 minutes for all of them to go by, and if you want to walk north to see the finish you'll need to be quick because the first finisher usually crosses the line less than 22 minutes after the start!
Charter Oak Street & Highland Street
Many Road Race regulars have a favorite viewing place along this part of the course, often in front of an establishment such as The Hungry Tiger restaurant or Highland Park Market.
This is a primarily residential street and most of the activity is at private parties at adjacent homes and yards. Still, the crowds are thinner and it's a great place to see the elite runners going strong at the halfway mark and to cheer on the thousands of other runners who often need a little encouragement as they head up the hill.
East Center Street
Back in the commercial district, this is a great place to see the elite runners position themselves for the last stage of the Race, assess their Race strategies and pace, and to cheer on your favorites.