Twenty interested athletes returned entry forms and eight were at the starting line on Thanksgiving morning in 1945. (One large group of hopefuls phoned race officials to report that their car had broken down on the way to Manchester.) The first four finishers that day were all former Manchester High School runners led by Charlie Robbins. Robbins made a name for himself in town by running barefoot and competing every year. After missing one race in 1951, he competed in more than 50 consecutive Thanksgiving Day races. The race slowly began to re-establish itself in Manchester. Joe McCluskey came back to Manchester from his home in New York in 1946 and 1947 to revive interest in the race. "Joe came in '46 and '47 and the race really took off again," said Yost. He believes that Joe McCluskey and Charlie Robbins are responsible for the early success of the race, as they were both very talented local runners.
By 1956 the number of race participants broke "double-digits," with 104 runners. This was just the beginning, however, as there has been an increase in numbers every year since.
After ten years during the depression and World War II without a Road Race, residents once again saw racers coming down the streets of Manchester on Thanksgiving morning. Through the support of the local Army-Navy Club and Recreation Department, the race was revived in 1945. Earl Yost, then sports editor for the Manchester Herald, was very instrumental in bringing the race back. "We had a meeting at the Army-Navy Club one night. About six of us thought it would be a good idea to have the Manchester Road Race be a part of the program to supplement the sports program. We had a football game in the morning, we had a basketball game at night, and we had a race mid morning."