News
JIM BALCOME RECEIVES NATIONAL RACE DIRECT0R’S AWARD
Dateline: 11/08/19
Jim Balcome, the long-time Race Director of the Manchester Road Race, has been
nationally recognized for his efforts to coordinate the annual Thanksgiving Day
run.
Famous for both his organizational skills and his race day exhortation that “This is
Thanksgiving in Manchester,” Balcome was recently awarded the “Marathon
Foto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year Award,” which is
presented by MYLAPS Sports Timing.
The honor, which has been described by Boston Marathon Champion Bill Rodgers
as “the gold medal of race directing,” has been presented annually since 1987 to
the nation’s best race director. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the sport of road
racing.
A committee comprised of race directors, athletes, media representatives, corporate executives and club
officials selected Balcome from a group of nominees who were judged on several factors, including overall
ability, the reputation of the race, creativity, and organizational ability.
Balcome, 76, has served as the MRR’s race director for 40 years. A past president of the Silk City Striders
Running Club, he competed in the road race for several years before being asked to lead its operations.
An Air Force veteran and retired Rockville High School teacher, guidance counselor and track coach, Balcome
spends between 500 and 600 hours each year performing the countless tasks that are necessary to stage a
major road race like the MRR. He once told an interviewer that his primary objective is to make the road race
“runner friendly.” “We want each person who runs in Manchester to feel that he or she is the most important
runner in the race,” he said.
In addition to directing all aspects of the road race, Balcome also oversees a week-long series of activities and
events that include a Sports Expo, the Little Manchester Road Race, a luncheon for scholastic athletes, the
“Earl Yost Media Conference,” a pre-race reception for veterans and military members, a Spaghetti Supper
held on the night before the race, and the annual MRR “Ray Crothers Blood Drive.”
Balcome was nominated for the award by Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee
and Jack Leonard, the committee’s secretary. Their nomination submission noted in part: “As Race Director,
Jim and the Road Race are synonymous.” “No one has devoted more time, expended more energy, or
labored more diligently to grow the race. While the formal planning begins in June, Jim’s commitment is
year-round. He diligently works to improve and refine race procedures, recruit and encourage volunteers, and
cultivate and sustain sponsors.”
“We were thrilled to learn of Jim’s selection, said Doctor Carta. “This award reaffirms our long-held belief that
Jim Balcome is one of America’s best race directors,” he added. “Thanks to Jim’s vision, management, and
tireless work ethic, the Manchester Road Race has prospered and grown exponentially during the past four
decades.”
Carta noted that the MRR drew approximately 2,000 runners when Balcome first became its race director.
More than 12,000 people registered for last year’s event, and the field has numbered as high as 15,000
athletes in recent years.
Balcome traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife Joy to receive the award on November 7th at Road
Race Management’s annual Race Directors’ Meeting.
Road Race Management is a member-based organization that publishes a digital newsletter and many other
publications designed for race and industry professionals, and conducts a yearly national race directors’
meeting and trade show in Florida. Marathon Foto is a leader in race and endurance sports photography, and
MYLAPS is one the country’s premier providers of sports timing technology and services.
Jim Balcome, the long-time Race
Director of the Manchester Road
Race, has been nationally
recognized for his efforts to
coordinate the annual Thanksgiving
Day run.
Famous for both
his organizational
skills and his race
day exhortation
that “This is
Thanksgiving in
Manchester,”
Balcome was recently awarded the
“Marathon Foto/Road Race
Management Race Director of the
Year Award,” which is presented by
MYLAPS Sports Timing.
The honor, which has been
described by Boston Marathon
Champion Bill Rodgers as “the gold
medal of race directing,” has been
presented annually since 1987 to
the nation’s best race director. It is
considered to be one of the most
prestigious awards in the sport of
road racing.
A committee comprised of race
directors, athletes, media
representatives, corporate
executives and club officials selected
Balcome from a group of nominees
who were judged on several
factors, including overall ability, the
reputation of the race, creativity,
and organizational ability.
Balcome, 76, has served as the
MRR’s race director for 40 years. A
past president of the Silk City
Striders Running Club, he competed
in the road race for several years
before being asked to lead its
operations.
An Air Force veteran and retired
Rockville High School teacher,
guidance counselor and track coach,
Balcome spends between 500 and
600 hours each year performing the
countless tasks that are necessary
to stage a major road race like the
MRR. He once told an interviewer
that his primary objective is to
make the road race “runner
friendly.” “We want each person
who runs in Manchester to feel that
he or she is the most important
runner in the race,” he said.
In addition to directing all aspects of
the road race, Balcome also
oversees a week-long series of
activities and events that include a
Sports Expo, the Little Manchester
Road Race, a luncheon for
scholastic athletes, the “Earl Yost
Media Conference,” a pre-race
reception for veterans and military
members, a Spaghetti Supper held
on the night before the race, and
the annual MRR “Ray Crothers
Blood Drive.”
Balcome was nominated for the
award by Dr. Tris Carta, President of
the Manchester Road Race
Committee and Jack Leonard, the
committee’s secretary. Their
nomination submission noted in
part: “As Race Director, Jim and the
Road Race are synonymous.” “No
one has devoted more time,
expended more energy, or labored
more diligently to grow the race.
While the formal planning begins in
June, Jim’s commitment is
year-round. He diligently works to
improve and refine race procedures,
recruit and encourage volunteers,
and cultivate and sustain sponsors.”
“We were thrilled to learn of Jim’s
selection, said Doctor Carta. “This
award reaffirms our long-held belief
that Jim Balcome is one of
America’s best race directors,” he
added. “Thanks to Jim’s vision,
management, and tireless work
ethic, the Manchester Road Race
has prospered and grown
exponentially during the past four
decades.”
Carta noted that the MRR drew
approximately 2,000 runners when
Balcome first became its race
director. More than 12,000 people
registered for last year’s event, and
the field has numbered as high as
15,000 athletes in recent years.
Balcome traveled to St. Petersburg,
Florida with his wife Joy to receive
the award on November 7th at
Road Race Management’s annual
Race Directors’ Meeting.
Road Race Management is a
member-based organization that
publishes a digital newsletter and
many other publications designed
for race and industry professionals,
and conducts a yearly national race
directors’ meeting and trade show
in Florida. Marathon Foto is a leader
in race and endurance sports
photography, and MYLAPS is one
the country’s premier providers of
sports timing technology and
services.
Jim Balcome, the long-time Race Director of the Manchester Road
Race, has been nationally recognized for his efforts to coordinate the
annual Thanksgiving Day run.
Famous for both his organizational skills
and his race day exhortation that “This is
Thanksgiving in Manchester,” Balcome was
recently awarded the “Marathon
Foto/Road Race Management Race
Director of the Year Award,” which is
presented by MYLAPS Sports Timing.
The honor, which has been described by
Boston Marathon Champion Bill Rodgers as
“the gold medal of race directing,” has
been presented annually since 1987 to the nation’s best race director.
It is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the sport of
road racing.
A committee comprised of race directors, athletes, media
representatives, corporate executives and club officials selected
Balcome from a group of nominees who were judged on several
factors, including overall ability, the reputation of the race, creativity,
and organizational ability.
Balcome, 76, has served as the MRR’s race director for 40 years. A
past president of the Silk City Striders Running Club, he competed in the
road race for several years before being asked to lead its operations.
An Air Force veteran and retired Rockville High School teacher, guidance
counselor and track coach, Balcome spends between 500 and 600
hours each year performing the countless tasks that are necessary to
stage a major road race like the MRR. He once told an interviewer that
his primary objective is to make the road race “runner friendly.” “We
want each person who runs in Manchester to feel that he or she is the
most important runner in the race,” he said.
In addition to directing all aspects of the road race, Balcome also
oversees a week-long series of activities and events that include a
Sports Expo, the Little Manchester Road Race, a luncheon for scholastic
athletes, the “Earl Yost Media Conference,” a pre-race reception for
veterans and military members, a Spaghetti Supper held on the night
before the race, and the annual MRR “Ray Crothers Blood Drive.”
Balcome was nominated for the award by Dr. Tris Carta, President of
the Manchester Road Race Committee and Jack Leonard, the
committee’s secretary. Their nomination submission noted in part: “As
Race Director, Jim and the Road Race are synonymous.” “No one has
devoted more time, expended more energy, or labored more diligently
to grow the race. While the formal planning begins in June, Jim’s
commitment is year-round. He diligently works to improve and refine
race procedures, recruit and encourage volunteers, and cultivate and
sustain sponsors.”
“We were thrilled to learn of Jim’s selection, said Doctor Carta. “This
award reaffirms our long-held belief that Jim Balcome is one of
America’s best race directors,” he added. “Thanks to Jim’s vision,
management, and tireless work ethic, the Manchester Road Race has
prospered and grown exponentially during the past four decades.”
Carta noted that the MRR drew approximately 2,000 runners when
Balcome first became its race director. More than 12,000 people
registered for last year’s event, and the field has numbered as high as
15,000 athletes in recent years.
Balcome traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife Joy to receive
the award on November 7th at Road Race Management’s annual Race
Directors’ Meeting.
Road Race Management is a member-based organization that publishes
a digital newsletter and many other publications designed for race and
industry professionals, and conducts a yearly national race directors’
meeting and trade show in Florida. Marathon Foto is a leader in race
and endurance sports photography, and MYLAPS is one the country’s
premier providers of sports timing technology and services.
Jim Balcome, the long-time Race Director of the Manchester Road Race, has been nationally
recognized for his efforts to coordinate the annual Thanksgiving Day run.
Famous for both his organizational skills and his race day exhortation that “This is
Thanksgiving in Manchester,” Balcome was recently awarded the “Marathon Foto/Road Race
Management Race Director of the Year Award,” which is
presented by MYLAPS Sports Timing.
The honor, which has been described by Boston Marathon
Champion Bill Rodgers as “the gold medal of race directing,” has
been presented annually since 1987 to the nation’s best race
director. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious
awards in the sport of road racing.
A committee comprised of race directors, athletes, media
representatives, corporate executives and club officials selected
Balcome from a group of nominees who were judged on several factors, including overall
ability, the reputation of the race, creativity, and organizational ability.
Balcome, 76, has served as the MRR’s race director for 40 years. A past president of the
Silk City Striders Running Club, he competed in the road race for several years before being
asked to lead its operations.
An Air Force veteran and retired Rockville High School teacher, guidance counselor and track
coach, Balcome spends between 500 and 600 hours each year performing the countless
tasks that are necessary to stage a major road race like the MRR. He once told an
interviewer that his primary objective is to make the road race “runner friendly.” “We want
each person who runs in Manchester to feel that he or she is the most important runner in
the race,” he said.
In addition to directing all aspects of the road race, Balcome also oversees a week-long
series of activities and events that include a Sports Expo, the Little Manchester Road Race, a
luncheon for scholastic athletes, the “Earl Yost Media Conference,” a pre-race reception for
veterans and military members, a Spaghetti Supper held on the night before the race, and
the annual MRR “Ray Crothers Blood Drive.”
Balcome was nominated for the award by Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road
Race Committee and Jack Leonard, the committee’s secretary. Their nomination
submission noted in part: “As Race Director, Jim and the Road Race are synonymous.” “No
one has devoted more time, expended more energy, or labored more diligently to grow the
race. While the formal planning begins in June, Jim’s commitment is year-round. He
diligently works to improve and refine race procedures, recruit and encourage volunteers,
and cultivate and sustain sponsors.”
“We were thrilled to learn of Jim’s selection, said Doctor Carta. “This award reaffirms our
long-held belief that Jim Balcome is one of America’s best race directors,” he added.
“Thanks to Jim’s vision, management, and tireless work ethic, the Manchester Road Race
has prospered and grown exponentially during the past four decades.”
Carta noted that the MRR drew approximately 2,000 runners when Balcome first became its
race director. More than 12,000 people registered for last year’s event, and the field has
numbered as high as 15,000 athletes in recent years.
Balcome traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife Joy to receive the award on
November 7th at Road Race Management’s annual Race Directors’ Meeting.
Road Race Management is a member-based organization that publishes a digital newsletter
and many other publications designed for race and industry professionals, and conducts a
yearly national race directors’ meeting and trade show in Florida. Marathon Foto is a leader
in race and endurance sports photography, and MYLAPS is one the country’s premier
providers of sports timing technology and services.
MANCHESTER ROAD RACE ANNOUNCES RACE DAY CHANGES TO ELITE FIELD
11/28/2019

The Manchester Road Race Committee has announced the following changes to the field of elite runners at today’s race.

WOMEN’S ELITE FIELD:
PAIGE STONER (Bib # 60): Stoner has joined the women’s elite field. She graduated in June from Syracuse University, where she was an All-American runner. Raised in Pottsville, PA., Stoner has recorded personal best times of 9:46 for the 3000 meters steeplechase, 15: 28 for 5000 meters, and 32:07.36 for 10,000 meters.

MEN’S ELITE FIELD:
Elite male runner’s JOHNNY GREGOREK, M.J. ERB, and ERIC BLAKE have withdrawn from the competition due to injuries.

ELLINGTON MAN TO RUN IN 50TH MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
ELLINGTON MAN TO RUN IN 50TH MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
11/22/2019

Wilhelm “Willi” Frederich, 85, of Ellington will achieve a remarkable milestone on Thanksgiving Day when he completes the Manchester Road Race for the 50th time.

Frederich, a retired contractor and master craftsman, ran in his first MRR in 1968.  He has finished the 4.748-mile run every year since then with the exception of 1999 and 2000.  He missed those races due to family illness.

Last Thanksgiving, Frederich, who was then battling bone cancer that is now in remission, braved the 14-degree weather and covered the road race course in a wheel chair equipped with a hand crank.  He plans to walk and jog the course next Thursday, accompanied by 10 family members and friends.

Frederich will be easy to spot on the race course.  He will be wearing one of the special red, white and blue numbers bibs that the road race committee issues to its long-time entrants.  Frederich and his running mates will also don special yellow jerseys emblazoned with “Team Willi” on the front.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment,” said Dr. Tris Carta of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “We are very proud of Willi Frederich, and all of our perennial performers.”

ELICIT BREWING COMPANY TO HOLD ROAD RACE AFTER PARTY
11/20/2019

Manchester, CT – The Academy Awards has one. The Golden Globes, CMA's and Grammy Awards have one. And now the Manchester Road Race has one, as Elicit Brewing Company will hold the first-ever After Party on Thanksgiving after the Race.

The recently-opened brewhouse and beer garden is inviting runners, walkers, spectators, and those who watched on Fox 61 TV to come out any time after the Race to their Adams Street location (formerly the home of the Adams Mill restaurant) to celebrate making their Manchester run or drink a toast to those who did. There'll be fine food and drink, special surprises and fun, as the on-site brewery offers a large list of craft beers, a wine and cocktail bar, plus a retro arcade and a great selection of games. And the After Party will go on until closing, so Road Race fans can come early and stay late!

Elicit Brewing Company is part of Eli's Restaurant Group which already has four other popular CT locations. Their concept for Elicit is to bring the community together in an events-driven space that's centered around beer. So it makes a lot of sense that they would choose to partner with and celebrate the community's largest annual event. More information is available on the Elicit website, www.elicitbrewing.com

TOYOTA SUPRA FROM LYNCH TOYOTA TO SERVE AS MRR OFFICIAL PACE CAR
11/19/2019

Manchester, CT -- The Manchester Road Race Committee has announced that the Official Pace Car of the 83nd edition of the Thanksgiving Day Race will be a 2020 Toyota Supra  provided by Lynch Toyota in Manchester.

The new Toyota Supra is Toyota's best drivers' car, with rear wheel drive, perfect weight distribution, and a 3.0 liter twin-scroll turbo-charged inline six engine that will take it from zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds. But its sensuous body, athletic stance and jewel-like headlights make it a stunning work of art when it's just sitting at the curb or in a driveway. 

Located at 179 Tolland Turnpike in Manchester, Lynch Toyota has an experienced sales staff skilled in satisfying customer needs and ready to show off the full line of Toyota vehicles. Car shoppers can browse their inventory or request more information online at  www.LynchToyota.com

32ND ANNUAL RAY CROTHERS BLOOD DRIVE SCHEDULED
11/18/2019

Manchester, CT – The 32nd annual Manchester Road Race Ray Crothers Blood Drive will be held on Friday, November 29th at Manchester High School from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm.

Entrance to the blood bank will be located in the rear of the high school. Walk-ins will be accepted, but prospective donors are encouraged to contact the Red Cross to make appointments in advance by calling 1-800-733-2767 or visiting the Red Cross website, www.redcrossblood.org/give to make an appointment. Every donor will receive a complimentary Race tee shirt.

The MRR's blood drive, named in memory of 1965 Road Race winner and long-time Race booster Ray Crothers, has been held on the day after the Manchester Road Race since 1988. Over 6,000 people have donated to the drive over that period, it is typically the largest annual single-day blood drive in the State.

The blood drive is sponsored annually by Eastern Connecticut Health Network. A second sponsor has been added this year, Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants. Established in 1993, ECPC provides sophisticated diagnostic services and clinical lab management to community hospitals throughout southern New England. Their delivery of fast, accurate results to health care providers and their patients leads to more informed treatment plans and better health outcomes. The Manchester Road Race  is also grateful to Highland Park Market which provides catering services for the event.

KING & QUEEN OF THE HILL IS THE RACE WITHIN THE RACE
11/17/2019

Manchester, CT – On Thanksgiving morning the Manchester Road Race will be run for the 83rd time. And it will be the fifth anniversary of the King & Queen of the Hill contest which adds  a unique subplot to this Connecticut tradition.

Introduced in 2014, the King & Queen of the Hill competition lets top runners from around the world entered in the five-mile Manchester Road Race to also compete to be the first male and female runners to reach the top of the big hill at Highland Park, approximately two miles into the Race. Their reward is a cash prize of $1,000 and the publicity and prestige of being the King or Queen of the Hill. There is one additional catch, though. To earn the prize the runners must finish the Race in the top ten of their respective fields.

The cash bonus for the top competitors was, in part, the idea of Dave Prindiville, the former MRR President and Elite Race Coordinator, who saw it as something that would "add a little Thanksgiving spice for our runners." This mini-event receives a lot of media attention before, during, and after the Race, and is a crowd favorite on Race Day with the top of the hill spectator viewing area second only to the Main Street Start/Finish line in attendance and popularity. Last year's contest was especially competitive with Paul Chelimo and Emily Sisson edging out victories to earn the King and Queen titles and cash rewards.

The King & Queen contest's new sponsor this year – Urban Lodge Brewing Company – is a recent addition to the growing dining and entertainment scene in downtown Manchester. Tucked away in century-old brickworks and less than 300 feet from the Race Start/Finish line, they consider themselves “Mile 5” of the 4.748 mile contest and proudly proclaim that fact on specially made glassware. Urban Lodge features a taproom offering a wide range of craft beers plus wines and ciders, a game room with ping pong, foosball, and giant jenga, and an expansive outdoor patio with fire features.

SCHOLASTIC ATHLETE LUNCHEON SUPPORTS YOUNG LOCAL RUNNERS
11/16/2019

The Manchester Road Race Committee will sponsor its annual Scholastic Athlete Luncheon on Tuesday, November 26th at 12 noon at the Manchester Country Club.

High school runners have been a fixture at the Manchester Road Race since the very first race in 1927, which was won by John McCluskey, a Manchester High School senior. And many young runners who got their first taste of athletic competition at the Thanksgiving Day run have gone on to collegiate, professional and even Olympic success.  In honor of that tradition, and in order to encourage young runners to pursue their futures in the sport, the Manchester Road Race Committee introduced the Scholastic Athlete Luncheon two years ago.

Young athletes from Manchester, E.O. Smith, Conard, Hall, Bolton, and East Catholic High Schools, as well as Eastern Connecticut and Central Connecticut State Universities, the University of Connecticut and Trinity College have been invited to attend this year’s event.  They meet with a number of elite runners who are participating in the 2019 Manchester Road Race, former running stars, coaches and road race officials.  All will enjoy a buffet lunch along with presentations, panel discussions and question and answer sessions.

“We want to allow younger local runners the opportunity to meet some of the best athletes in the world, hear their personal stories, and benefit from their advice and encouragement,” said Thayer Redman, Assistant Race Director of the Manchester Road Race.

The Scholastic Athlete Luncheon is sponsored by the Community Child Guidance Clinic of Manchester. For 60 years CCGC has been providing mental health services to Connecticut children and families, working with more than 1,000 children each year to meet the mental health and behavioral health concerns that our community faces.  “Both the Community Child Guidance Clinic and the Manchester Road Race share the goal of reaching out to our community in a variety of ways to positively impact local young people and their families,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. We are extremely grateful to the Community Child Guidance Clinic for their support of the Scholastic Athlete Luncheon.”

FOX61 and CW20 to broadcast and live stream the 83rd Manchester
11/13/2019

FOX61 announced plans today to live broadcast and live stream the 83rd Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 28 from 9:00am to 11:00am. The race will be rebroadcast in its entirety on CW20 at 4:00pm on Thanksgiving Day.

The Manchester Road Race attracts more than 15,000 registered runners and walkers each year, and this year’s race features 2018 defending men’s champion Edward Cheserek and the return of Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, who won back-to-back women’s championships at the Manchester Road Race in 2010 and 2011. She last appeared in Manchester in 2014.

“Manchester Road Race is the only race of its length that is televised in the United States,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “Our race is managed by a highly organized team and we are proud to work with FOX61/CW20 to give viewers a front row seat to the action. Our combined effort captures the support of our town, the dedication of our runners, the drama of the
finish and the fun had by all.”

For a second consecutive year, the Manchester Road Race Committee is honoring all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans will who run in this year’s race. Partnering with the Manchester Veteran’s Council, a pre-race reception will be held for all active duty, reserve and National Guard members and veterans running in the race. In addition, a special “Veterans Row Path of Honor” will be established near the course on Main Street to pay homage to service members and veterans as they run down the race’s homestretch.

“This is Thanksgiving in Manchester,” said long-time Race Director Jim Balcome. “We treat all participants in our event with respect; the last person who crosses the finish line is as important as the first. The broadcasts and live stream on FOX61 and CW20 help convey that spirit to a wide audience.” FOX61’s live coverage from the Manchester Road Race begins on Thanksgiving Day at 4:00am on The FOX61 Morning News, Connecticut’s only all-local all-morning newscast. The race broadcast is hosted by FOX61 News anchors Tim Lammers and Erika Arias, with reports on the course from Anchor/Reporter Margaux Farrell and reporters Jim Altman, Ashley Afonso and Lisette Nunez. FOX 61 meteorologists Matt Scott and Dan Amarante will provide detailed weather forecasts in the hours leading up to the
race.

“The Manchester Road Race is truly one of our signature events of the entire year,” said Jon Hitchcock, Vice President and General Manager of FOX61 and CW20. “We are honored to continue the Thanksgiving tradition of bringing the race to the Connecticut broadcast audience, and to a worldwide audience on www.fox61.com., our FOX61 app and on our social media platforms.”

MCCLUSKEY STATUE INSTALLED
MCCLUSKEY STATUE INSTALLED
11/11/2019

Be sure to look for the statue of Olympic hero Joe McCluskey on Thanksgiving morning when you reach the race course’s two mile marker near the crest of the Highland Street Hill.

The seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Manchester’s greatest runner was recently installed in the East Coast Greenway parklet which is opposite Highland Park Market.  McCluskey grew up in Manchester and won the bronze medal in the 3000 meters steeplechase at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  Nicknamed “Shufflin’ Joe,” he won 27 national running titles, was elected to the U.S. Track& Field Hall of Fame and was a four-time champion at the Manchester Road Race during an athletic career that spanned nearly eight decades.

McCluskey’s statue was commissioned by the Manchester Sculpture Project, and created by sculptor Michael Keropian of Mt. Carmel, New York. Like McCluskey, Keropian was raised in Manchester. The effort received financial support from the Manchester Road Race Committee, the McCluskey family and many individuals, corporations and foundations.  The statute was dedicated during a ceremony held on November 10th. This is the first of three statues of prominent local citizens that members of the Sculpture Project hope to erect in Manchester.  More information about the Manchester Sculpture Project is available at www.manchesterhistory.org.

FORMER WORLD CHAMPION EDNA KIPLAGAT TO COMPETE AT MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
FORMER WORLD CHAMPION EDNA KIPLAGAT TO COMPETE AT MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
11/11/2019

One of the world’s greatest marathon runners will compete at the 83rd Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.

Race officials announced today that Edna Kiplagat, who won the 26.2-mile event at the World Championships in 2011 and 2013, will return to Manchester after a two-year absence. She finished fourth at the 2016 MRR with a time of 24:34.

Kiplagat, who turns 40 on November 15th  and grew up in Kenya, recently relocated to the Boulder, Colorado area. She won the 2017 Boston Marathon, the 2014 London Marathon, and the New York City and Los Angeles Marathons, both in 2010.  Her best time for the event is 2:19:50.

The mother of five children and a former police physical fitness instructor in Kenya, Kipligat was the runner-up at the Boston Marathon last April, and finished fourth in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships, which were held last month in Doha, Qatar.

Kiplagat will join Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego in a highly competitive womens’ elite field at the annual 4.78-mile Thanksgiving Day run through Manchester’s central streets.

NEW INFO REGARDING RACE DAY SPORTS MASSAGES
11/10/2019

Therapists from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association will offer race sports massages to runners registered in the 83rd Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2019).

The massage therapists will be available 8:00am – noon on race day at the Cone Gymnasium of Bennet Academy, 1151 Main Street, Manchester.  A fee of $15 will be charged for a 15-minute sports massage.  Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

EDWARD CHESEREK TO DEFEND MANCHESTER ROAD RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
EDWARD CHESEREK TO DEFEND MANCHESTER ROAD RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
11/01/2019

Defending champion and course record holder Edward Cheserek of Flagstaff, Arizona has entered the 83rd Manchester Road Race, race officials announced today.

Cheserek, 25, won the annual Thanksgiving Day run last year in 14-degree weather and set a new record for the 4.748-mile course with a time of 21:16.  He sliced three seconds off the old mark of 21:19 that had stood since 1995.

“Edward Cheserek ran a superb race under very difficult conditions last year,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “We are very pleased that he will be back this Thanksgiving to defend his championship.”

Cheserek captured 17 NCAA running championships when he competed for the University of Oregon.  He won the Carlsbad 5000 Road Race in California this past April with a time of 13:29. This summer, Cheserek recorded a personal best time of 13:04.44 for 5000 meters during an outdoor meet in Belgium, and placed third at the seven-mile Falmouth Road Race in 32:30.

OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST SALLY KIPYEGO WILL RETURN TO MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST SALLY KIPYEGO WILL RETURN TO MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
10/24/2019

Sally Kipyego, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time Manchester Road Race champion, will return to the Thanksgiving Day run this year.

Kipyego, 33, won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She was also the runner-up in that event at the 2011 World Championships. Her personal best time for 10,000 meters is 30:26.37

Kipyego was an All-American runner at Texas Tech, where she earned a degree in nursing and nine individual NCAA titles in cross country and track.  Born in Kenya, she now lives in Eugene, Oregon and competes for the Nike Track Club.

Kipyego won back-to-back road race championships in Manchester in 2010 (24:06) and 2011 (24:22).  Her last Thanksgiving Day appearance here was in 2014 when she placed ninth in 24:58.

Kipyego set a personal record time of 2:25:10 for the marathon on September 29, 2019 in Germany when she finished seventh at the Berlin Marathon.  She was the third place runner earlier this year at the New York City Mini 10K run with a time of 32:35.

“Sally is one of the world’s best long distance competitors, and we are so pleased that she is going to compete again in Manchester, where she has a terrific record and many fans,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.

MANCHESTER ROAD RACE WILL HONOR VETERANS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
10/20/2019

The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that it will once again honor all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans who run in this year’s road race on Thanksgiving Day.

For the second straight year, the race committee will partner with the Manchester Veterans’ Council to hold a pre-race reception for all active duty, reserve and National Guard members and veterans who have entered the race. In addition, a special “Veterans’ Row Path of Honor” will be established near the course on Main Street to pay homage to the service members and vets as they run down the race’s homestretch.

“It’s our small way of saying ‘thank you for your service’ to everyone who put on the uniform to help keep us safe,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Committee.  “Our race was sponsored by members of the Manchester Army-Navy Club in the 1940s and early 1950s, and many of our champions have been war veterans.  We are very proud of that association, and of all the men and women who served.”

The pre-race reception will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Vietnam War Memorial on Main Street.  Light refreshments will be served and all service members and veterans who have registered for the road race will receive a token of appreciation from the Manchester Road Race Committee and the Manchester Veterans’ Council.

The military runners will be saluted as they run down Main Street at a “Veterans’ Row Path of Honor” marked with the service flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The “Veterans’ Row Path of Honor” will be located on the sidewalk in front of the Vietnam War Memorial on Main Street.

Financial support for the event has been provided by the following corporations: Kaman Corporation (Patriot Sponsor); Tsunami Tsolutions, Kaman Aerospace, and Horst Engineering (Military Sponsors); and Goodwin College and Pratt & Whitney (Path of Honor Sponsors).  Highland Park Market will provide refreshments for the Veterans’ Reception.

BURFOOT TO RUN IN MANCHESTER ROAD RACE FOR 57TH STRAIGHT YEAR
BURFOOT TO RUN IN MANCHESTER ROAD RACE FOR 57TH STRAIGHT YEAR
10/08/2019

Nine-time champion Amby Burfoot has indicated that he plans to run in the Manchester Road Race for the 57th year in a row, race officials announced today.

Burfoot, 73, first competed in Manchester in 1963 when he placed 14th and won the high school division as senior at Fitch High School.  He’s run every Thanksgiving morning since then and his string of 56 straight appearances is already the record for most consecutive races. He’ll add another year to that streak when he crosses the Main Street finish line as expected this year.

A track and cross country star at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Burfoot won the Boston Marathon in 1968. Often wearing his signature painter’s cap, he finished first at the Manchester Road Race a record nine times between 1968 and 1977. Seven of those victories (1971-1977) were in a row. Overall, Burfoot placed among the top 15 runners at the MRR on 18 occasions between 1963 and 1982.

Burfoot resides in Mystic with his wife, Cristina.  He is an editor emeritus with Runners’ World Magazine and has authored a number of books about his sport.

MRR ANNOUNCES NEW VENUE FOR ROAD RACE SATURDAY EVENTS
09/20/2019


The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that the locations of two of its popular “Road Race Saturday” events on November 23, 2019 have been changed.

The Little Manchester Road Race, which was previously held at Charter Oak Park, will be run at the Manchester High School’s Barry Mitchell Athletic Facility Fields and Pete Wigren Track. The road race’s Sports & Fitness Expo, which was held in prior years at the Bennet Academy’s Cone Gymnasium, has been relocated to the Manchester High School cafeteria.

Manchester High School is located at 134 East Middle Turnpike in Manchester. Parking for the “Road Race Saturday” events is available in the school’s Brookfield Street and Summit Street lots, in addition to legally posted on-street parking near the high school.  Race officials have designated the Brookfield Street lot as the primary parking site for the Little Manchester Road Race and the Summit Street lot as the primary parking location for the Sports & Fitness Expo.  A map of the high school’s parking areas appears on the road race website (www.manchesterroadrace.com).      
             
“We have initiated these venue changes in order to accommodate growing interest in both events, and to ensure that the Little Manchester Road Race can go forward even if weather conditions are less than optimal,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race.

The “Road Race Saturday” events on November 23rd kick off race week in Manchester and are a prelude to the town’s annual  4.748-mile Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.  The Sports & Fitness Expo, which features vendors and exhibits of interest to running enthusiasts, will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon. Walk-in registration and seeding for the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race will also be held at the Sports & Fitness Expo between 9 a.m.-noon.  Participants in the Little Manchester Road Race may pick-up their number bibs and tee shirts at the Sports & Fitness Expo starting at 8:30 a.m. The race, which is expected to attract 1,000 runners 12 years of age or younger, will be run at 10 a.m.

ROAD RACE’S “HONORS CLUB” TO BENEFIT REBUILDING TOGETHER MANCHESTER
09/09/2019

The Manchester Road race Committee announced today that Rebuilding Together Manchester, a volunteer non-profit community organization, will receive the proceeds from the race’s “Honors Club” initiative this year.

The MRR “Honors Club” is comprised of 125 road race entrants who contribute $100 when they register for the Thanksgiving Day run.  The road race committee started the program in 2017 and donates all of the proceeds it generates to one local charity or non-profit group each year. The Manchester Road Race Committee contributed more than $9,000 after last year’s event to Dinda House, a transitional living facility for veterans that is located in Manchester.

Race organizers hope to raise $12,500 this Thanksgiving for Rebuilding Together Manchester, a volunteer organization that rehabilitates the housing of low-income residents, particularly that of the elderly, disabled, or families with young children.

“The “Honors Club” initiative is another example of our road race’s strong commitment to giving back,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “Rebuilding Together Manchester does such wonderful work, and we are very pleased to assist them financially this year.”

Runners or walkers who register as “Honors Club” members at the 2019 MRR  will receive an entry for the race, a special numbers bib, exclusive pre-race access to the St. James Church basement, and other perks on race day. “But the biggest benefit they get comes from the knowledge that they are making a real difference in our community,” Doctor Carta added.

JOHN GREGOREK TO SERVE AS HONORARY CHAIR OF 2019 MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
JOHN GREGOREK TO SERVE AS HONORARY CHAIR OF 2019 MANCHESTER ROAD RACE
09/05/2019


John Gregorek, a four-time Manchester Road Race champion who was known for his exciting finishes on Main Street, will serve as the honorary chairperson of this year’s annual Thanksgiving Day run.

Gregorek, 59, was an All-American runner at Georgetown University and a U.S. Olympic Team member.  He competed in the MRR 11 times between 1985 and 1996, winning four races that were all decided at the finish line. 

In 1988, Gregorek beat two-time winner John Doherty to the tape by two seconds and won the road race with a time of 21:30.  His winning margins were even smaller in 1989, 1991 and 1993, when his famous finishing kick propelled him to one-second victories over the second-place runners in each race.

Gregorek also placed second twice, notched a pair of third-place finishes, and had two other top-ten showings during the 11 years that he competed at the MRR.

“John compiled an amazing record of consistent successes and exciting performances at our road race for more than a decade,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “We are very pleased to welcome him back to Manchester this Thanksgiving, and to honor him for all the contributions that he has made to our race.”

Gregorek ran personal best times of 3:51 for the mile and 8:18 for the 3000 meter steeplechase. He qualified for the United States Olympic team in the steeplechase as a college sophomore in 1980, but did not compete that year due to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games.  Gregorek subsequently ran in the steeplechase at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and in the 5000 meters at the 1987 World Track & Field Championships.

After he ended his professional athletic career, the Seekonk, Mass. resident served for nearly a decade as the distance running coach at Brown University.  He is currently employed as a representative of the ASICS Corporation.

Gregorek is married to Christine Mullen Gregorek, who was an All-American at Georgetown and the NCAA champion in the 600 and 1000 meters. Their son, Johnny, is an elite athlete who ran a 3:49 indoor mile earlier this year in Boston. Johnny Gregorek was an All-American runner for Columbia University and the University of Oregon. He finished in 15th place at the 2015 MRR. John and Johnny hold the record for the fastest mile times ever recorded by a father and son. Including Chris, whose personal record in the mile was 4:29, the Gregoreks also own the world’s fastest average father-mother-son mile time.

MANCHESTER ROAD RACE TO OFFER ONLINE GOODIE BAG FOR THIS YEAR'S RACE PARTICIPANTS
08/31/2019

For the first time in the event's history, the 2019 Manchester Road Race will feature a goodie bag for every registered participant. But to eliminate the unnecessary waste and inconvenience from a plastic bag full of paper and samples as is often the case at other running events, the Race organizers are adding an Online Goodie Bag so runners and walkers will be able to take advantage of sponsors' and advertisers' special offers, samples, drawings, coupons, freebies, etc. at their own convenience, right over their computers, tablets, or smart phones.


Here's how it will work: Manchester Road Race registrants will receive an email a few days before the Race with a link and access code to the Goodie Bag website. Then, for 60 days, they'll be able to access the MRR Goodie Bag site and take advantage of whatever offers they wish, either by printing out a coupon, jotting down a code, or linking directly to the site of the company making the special offer. The Manchester Road Race will also be extending this special MRR Goodie Bag access to attendees at the MRR Sports & Fitness Expo and donors at the MRR Blood Bank who sign up.


There is no cost or obligation. Race registrants' email addresses will not be given to anyone and will not be used for any other purpose unless participants choose to provide it to one of the companies making a Goodie Bag offer.


The Manchester Road Race has chosen to partner with the industry leading event bag software platform of ACTIVE Network to provide this innovative benefit to Race participants. According to MRR President Tris Carta, the Online Goodie Bag will provide an additional benefit for Race registrants while still maintaining the Road Race's goal of an environmentally conscious, landfill-free event. “We feel this is in keeping with the spirit of recent Connecticut legislation banning plastic bags,” he explains. “But it also provides a more effective way for our sponsors and advertisers to reach our participants in a smart and unobtrusive way, and without compromising the personal information or even the email addresses of our runners, walkers, expo visitors and blood donors.”

The Online Goodie Bag. Another great reason to register and run or walk the Manchester Road Race!

MANCHESTER ROAD RACE DONATES $9,500 TOWARD BLEEDING CONTROL INITIATIVES
MANCHESTER ROAD RACE DONATES $9,500 TOWARD BLEEDING CONTROL INITIATIVES
08/06/2019

Pictured at an August 7, 2019 press conference with the “Stop the Bleed” supplies that were recently purchased with a donation of $9500 from the Manchester Road Race Committee are, from left to right, Irene Smith, R. N., Volunteer Coordinator of the Manchester Road Race Committee; Joshua Beaulieu, Battalion Chief and EMS Coordinator with the Manchester Fire-Rescue-EMS Department; Jim Balcome, Race Director of the Manchester Road Race; Dr Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee; and Thayer Redman, Assistant Race Director. (Photo Courtesy of the Manchester Road Race Committee).

4.748 Miles
November 28, 2019 ~ 10:00 a.m
.
The 83rd Manchester Road Race
2019 Results
Salmini Video is now available.

To view Race Results for the 83rd  Running of the Manchester Road Race please click here.

For pictures of the Manchester Road Race please visit the Photo Gallery
News
11/28/19 Manchester Road Race Announces Race Day Changes To Elite Field

11/22/19 Ellington Man To Run In 50th Manchester Road Race


11/20/19
Elicit Brewing Company To Hold Road Race After Party
Charlie Robbins Club
(75+ Year Old Runners)
The annual gathering of the Charlie Robbins Club will be held on Wed, Dec. 4 at noon at the Arbors Retirement Community.  All those who are members or new to the 75+ age group are invited to attend this luncheon and should RSVP by Contacting Us.

JIM BALCOME RECEIVES NATIONAL RACE DIRECT0R’S AWARD

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CTNOW Costume Contest Rules
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