MANCHESTER ROAD RACE TO SPONSOR RAY CROTHERS BLOOD DRIVE (October 2, 2023)
On the day after it hosts New England’s largest Thanksgiving Day run, the Manchester Road Race Committee will join with the American Red Cross to sponsor one of Connecticut’s largest blood drives.
The 37th annual “Ray Crother’s Blood Drive,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 24, 2023 at Manchester High School, 134 East Middle Turnpike in Manchester.
The event, which in recent years has become one of the state’s largest single day blood collection efforts, is being held in conjunction with the American Red Cross of Connecticut.
All donors will receive a Manchester Road Race tee-shirt. Walk-in donations will be accepted. Appointments, which are encouraged, can be made by calling 1-800-733-2767, or online.
More information about the holiday blood drive, and a direct link to the Red Cross appointment website, can be found at www.manchesterroadrace.com.
Race officials started sponsoring the blood drive in 1986 and have held it annually since then on the day after the road race. The event is named for Ray Crothers, a popular MRR champion from Tolland. Crothers won the race in 1965, and competed in it for 43 years. He died from cancer in 2008.
According to Lance Morgan, a physician assistant and member of the MRR Executive Committee who coordinates the drive, 7,886 pints of blood have been donated since the event began. Last year, 364 pints, which benefitted 1092 patients in need of blood, plasma and platelets, were collected.
“We are hoping to surpass last year’s numbers and to see the total number of units collected since 1986 exceed 8000 pints, Morgan said.
“The Manchester Road Race is delighted to once again partner with the American Red Cross,” Morgan added. “We are extremely grateful to our generous donors and financial sponsors, and we’re urging everyone who possibly can to help save lives by giving blood on the day after Thanksgiving.”
The principal financial sponsor of the Ray Crothers Blood Drive is Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN), a network of hospitals, outpatient healthcare centers and medical providers serving eastern Connecticut residents. Additional support is being provided by Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants, Highland Park Market and FOX61.
OLYMPIAN KIPYEGO NAMED MRR HONORARY CHAIRPERSON (September 25, 2023)
Sally Kipyego, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time Manchester Road Race champion, will return to Manchester this November as the road race’s honorary chairperson, it was announced today.
Kipyego won the Thanksgiving Day run in 2010 with a time of 24:06, and returned the following year to capture her second title in 24:22. A world-class performer in every distance event from 3000 meters to the marathon, she ran away from the women’s field during each of her Manchester appearances and held a winning margin of more than 40 seconds at both races.
The Kenyan-born runner, who became an American citizen in 2017, was the runner-up in the10,000 meters at the 2011 World Championships.
In 2012, Kipyego finished second behind Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia in the 10,000 meters finals at the London Olympic Games in 30:26.37, a personal best. In addition to her silver medal run in the 10,000 meters to, Kipyego just missed another podium appearance at the London Olympics when she placed fourth in the 5000 meters finals.
A 2009 graduate of Texas Tech University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Kipyego won a record nine individual NCAA running championships during her collegiate career, including three consecutive Division 1 cross country titles.
Kipyego finished second at the 2017 New York City Marathon, and represented the United States in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where she placed 17th. Her personal best time for the 26.2-mile event is 2:25:10.
According to Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee, the race annually selects an honorary chairperson to recognize his or her outstanding contributions to the MRR, or the sport of running.
“Sally Kipyego is one of the greatest distance competitors in the world, and we are very pleased that she will be our honorary chairperson,” Carta said. “She made many friends here when she won the two championships, and we are all delighted to welcome her back to the road race this Thanksgiving.”
The 87th Manchester Road Race, which has been designated as a 2023 World Athletics Label Event, will be held on Thanksgiving Day (Nov.23, 2023) at 10 a.m. The iconic 4.748-mile run, one of America’s oldest and most popular Turkey Day road races, is held on a loop course through the town’s central streets.
The road race starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church. The event’s principal financial sponsors are ECHN, Hoffman Lexus and Pratt & Whitney.
ROAD RACE ENTRY FEES TO INCREASE OCTOBER 1st (September 18,2023)
Manchester Road Race officials are reminding potential entrants that the registration fees for the annual Thanksgiving Day run will increase on October 1st.
The entry fee is $32 for runners who sign up online by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on September 30. It increases to $37 on October 1st, and to $42 on November 18th. Registration closes on November 21st, and no entries will be accepted on race day.
Race organizers also indicated that all participants who sign up for the road race by October 9th will receive personalized race bibs embossed with their names.
“We hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of our early registration fee incentive and sign up before October 1st,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.
The MRR, which is run on a 4.748-mile-long loop course through the town’s central streets, attracted 9,641 registered runners last Thanksgiving.
Race officials are also offering a virtual option for those who cannot be present in Manchester on Thanksgiving Day. Runners can use a GPS-equipped app on their smart phones to run the race remotely anywhere in the world. More details about the Virtual Manchester Road Race are also available at www.manchesterroadrace.com.
The 87th Manchester Road Race will be held at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day (November 23, 2023. The race, which is one of the nation’s oldest and most popular turkey trots, starts and finishes on Main Street in Manchester, in front of St. James Church.
Last year’s MRR was won by Conner Mantz of Mapleton, Utah, who set the course record of 21:04. Weini Kelati of Flagstaff, Arizona won the women’s championship for the second straight year in 23:39. Kelati set the women’s course record of 22:55 in 2021.
REGISTRATION FOR LITTLE MANCHESTER ROAD RACE OPENS ON OCTOBER 1 (September 14, 2023)
Youngsters can enjoy the fun and excitement of the Manchester Road Race once again this year at their own special event on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Registrations for the popular Little Manchester Road Race, which features non-competitive “fun runs” for children ages 12 years and younger, will be accepted beginning on October 1st, the Manchester Road Race Committee announced today.
The Little Manchester Road Race, which traditionally marks the kickoff of race week activities in Manchester on “Road Race Saturday,” will be held on November 18, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Manchester High School track. Manchester High School is located at 134 East Middle Turnpike, in Manchester.
Parents may register their children at www.manchesterroadrace.com. Entries are limited to the first 1000 children who sign up. There is no cost to register, although participants are requested to bring two items of non-perishable food for donation to the M.A.C.C. Community Emergency Food Pantry to assist with the effort to alleviate food insecurity.
In addition to running events of different distances for children in various age groups, the LMRR will offer music, costumed characters, a display of fire trucks and other vehicles, a performance by precision skydivers, and other fun activities. All participants will receive a medal.
“We love hosting the Little Manchester Road Race,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “The kids really enjoy it, and it is a wonderful way to start the week before we hold our road race on Thanksgiving Day.”
“Because registrations are limited, we are suggesting that parents sign up their children as soon as possible,” Carta added.
The principal financial sponsor of the Little Manchester Road Race is Henkel of Rocky Hill, a company with a portfolio of consumer and industrial brands that includes Loctite adhesives, Dial soaps and Persil and Snuggle laundry products. Additional support is being provided by Fleet Feet of West Hartford and Waypoint Wealth Solutions.
MANCHESTER ROAD RACE ENTRIES RUNNING AT BRISK PACE (September 4, 2023)
It took Manchester Road Race officials less than 32 hours to receive the first 1000 entries for the popular Thanksgiving Day Run.
Registration for the annual Turkey Day road race opened at 5 a.m. on September 1st. MRR Registrar Dani Kennedy reported that the 1000th runner signed up at 11:32 a.m. on September 2nd. “We are doing incredibly well,” said Kennedy, who noted that it took about one week longer last year to attract that number of entrants.
The entry fee for the 4.748-mile-long event is $32 for runners who sign up online at www.manchesterroadrace.com by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on September 30th.
The entry fee increases to $37 on October 1st and to $42 on November 18th. Registration closes on November 21, 2023 and no entries will be accepted on race day.
The race committee is also offering a virtual road race option for runners who cannot participate in person on Thanksgiving Day. More details about the Virtual Manchester Road Race are also available on the event website
Last Thanksgiving, 9,641 runners registered for the MRR. Conner Mantz, a former NCAA cross country champion from Mapleton, Utah, won the race in the course record time of 21:04. Weini Kelati of Flagstaff, Arizona, who set the women’s course record of 22:55 in 2021, captured her second straight MRR women’s championship in 23:39.
“We are looking forward to another exciting, world-class road race with a large field,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “We’re urging everyone to register as soon as possible.”
World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, has designated the MRR a “World Athletics Label Event.” The MRR is one of only 238 road races in the world and 15 in the United States to receive the World Athletics Label, which recognizes an event’s anti-doping efforts and commitment to clean sport.
MRR “HONORS CLUB” WILL BENEFIT TLC FOUNDATION (September 2, 2023)
Adolescents in need of a stable home environment will benefit from the efforts of up to 120 runners participating in the 87th Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.
The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that the TLC Foundation, Inc, a Manchester non-profit organization, will be the beneficiary of the road race’s annual Honor’s Club Program.
Race officials set aside 120 bibs each year for entrants who elect to participate in the MRR Honors Club. These runners pay $100, instead of the traditional entry fee. All of the money is donated by the road race to a designated charitable or non-profit organization.
The TLC Foundation operates the DiYeso-Lewis House, a transitional living facility in Manchester, which offers a safe and nurturing residence to adolescents who cannot stay at home due to family disruption, parent-child conflict, or the lack of a suitable home environment. The TLC Foundation has been in operation since April, 1987 and has assisted 173 youths since then.
“Our race is very pleased to support the great work done by the TLC Foundation,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “We are also extremely grateful to the generous Honors Club members, who will donate and run to benefit this very worthy cause.”
Entrants who register for this year’s honors club will receive several perks, including a special number bib and the ability to wait for the start of the race in the basement of St. James Church, where indoor plumbing and light refreshments will be available. “More importantly, our honors club members can take great satisfaction knowing that they are directly helping the young people assisted by the TLC Foundation,” Carta added.
Runners who wish to participate in this year’s Honors Club, or learn more about it, can do so at the MRR website www.manchesterroadrace.com.
The 87th Manchester Road Race, one of the nation’s largest and most popular turkey trots, will be run at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23, 2023). The race is run on a 4.748-mile loop course through Manchester’s central streets and starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church.
The Manchester Road Race was recently included by World Athletics, the governing body for the sport of track and field, on its calendar of 2023 World Athletics Label Events. The MRR is one of only 238 races in the world, and 15 in the United States, to receive that designation.
ROAD RACE REGISTRATION OPENS SEPTEMBER 1st (August 15, 2023)
Registration for the 87th Manchester Road Race will open on September 1st, race organizers announced today.
The entry fee for the iconic, 4.748-mile-long Thanksgiving Day run is $32 for runners who sign up online at www.manchesterroadrace.com by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on September 30th.
The entry fee increases to $37 on October 1st and to $42 on November 18th.
The race committee is again also offering a virtual road race option for runners who cannot participate in person on Thanksgiving Day. More details about the Virtual Manchester Road Race are available on the event website.
Last Thanksgiving, the Manchester Road Race attracted 9,641 registered runners. Conner Mantz, a former NCAA cross country champion from Mapleton, Utah, won the race in the course record time of 21:04. Weini Kelati of Flagstaff, Arizona, who set the women’s course record of 22:55 in 2021, captured her second straight MRR women’s championship in 23:39.
“We are looking forward to another exciting, world-class road race with a large field this Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday, and we’re urging everyone to register as soon as possible.”
World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, has included the MRR on its 2023 calendar of World Athletics Label Events. The MRR is one of only 238 road races in the world and 15 in the United States to receive the World Athletics Label designation, which recognizes an event’s anti-doping efforts and commitment to clean sport.
The 87th Manchester Road Race will be held at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day (November 23, 2023). The road race is run on a loop course through the town’s central streets. It starts and finishes on Main Street in Manchester, in front of St. James Church.
More than 500 volunteers of the Manchester Road Race Committee help to organize the annual run, which is one of the nation’s largest and most popular turkey trots.
LANCE MORGAN WINS MCCLUSKEY AWARD (June 22, 2023)
Lance Morgan, a long-time volunteer with the Manchester Road Race Committee, will receive the 2023 “Joe McCluskey Award” from the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame.
Morgan, a physician assistant with Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery in Manchester, has coordinated the road race’s highly successful “Ray Crothers Memorial Blood Drive” for many years. The effort, held in conjunction with the American Red Cross of Connecticut, has become one of the largest single-day blood collection efforts in the state.
Last November, 364 pints of blood, which benefitted 1092 patients in need of blood, plasma, and platelets, were donated at Manchester High School on the day after Thanksgiving.
Morgan also serves as a member of the Manchester Road Race Committee’s board of directors.
The Manchester Sports Hall of Fame presents the McCluskey Award annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Manchester Road Race.
Morgan will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony dinner, which will be held on November 4th at 6:00 p.m. at Georgina’s Restaurant in Bolton. Tickets for the event are available at the Park Hill Joyce Flower Shop, 36 Oak Street in Manchester (860-649-0791).
MANCHESTER ROAD RACE EARNS WORLD ATHLETICS LABEL (June 12, 2023)
The Manchester Road Race has received worldwide recognition.
World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport of track and field which was formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation, has included Manchester’s 4.748-mile Thanksgiving Day run as one of only 238 road races in the world listed on its 2023 World Athletic Label Road Race calendar.
The World Athletics Label designation is available to all officially sanctioned road races that have taken place for at least two consecutive years prior to 2023 with an anti-doping international measurement certificate in place.
According to a World Athletics press release, “Through choosing to have a World Athletics Label, race organizers show a tangible commitment to clean sport by funding a dedicated road running integrity programme, managed by the Athletics Integrity Unit.”
The Manchester Road Race joins 237 other marathons, half-marathons and road races on six continents and in 53 countries that will be listed this year as World Athletics Label events.
“The World Athletics designation of the MRR as a Label Program Race brings status and global recognition that our race is truly one of the world’s best road races” said Jim Harvey, the elite runner coordinator for the Manchester Road Race. “It will greatly enhance our reputation as we move forward.”
“The great, hard-working athletes who come to the Manchester Road Race inspire us with their achievements” said Matt Peak, an MRR Committee member who has coordinated drug testing at the event for several years. “Our partnership with World Athletics allows us to uphold the integrity of the sport by deterring cheaters who would take away from that inspiration.”
“We are extremely proud to earn a World Athletics Label,” added Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “This designation proves what we have known for a long time---that our road race is a world-class event that attracts some of the best athletes on the road racing circuit and is known for its inclusivity and fairness.”
Doctor Carta also had praise for Harvey and Peak. “Their efforts for a number of years have enabled us to achieve the high-caliber level of competition and integrity at the Manchester Road Race and to earn this respected international status,” Carta said.
CONNECTICUT SPORTS MEDIA ALLIANCE TO HONOR WRIXON (May 8, 2023)
Former Manchester Road Race champion Dr. Leslie Wrixon will receive the Connecticut Sports Media Alliance’s President’s Award for 2023 at the organization’s 81st annual Gold Key Dinner in October.
Wrixon won both the overall women’s division championship and the scholastic title at the MRR on Thanksgiving Day in 1982 while she was a 17-year-old senior at Glastonbury High School.
She is the only athlete in the history of Manchester’s Turkey Day run to win an open division championship while in high school, and her winning time of 27:01 that day is still an age group record in the women’s 14-18 bracket.
Wrixon, now a clinical psychologist with a practice in Glastonbury, won multiple state championships in cross country and track for Glastonbury High School, and went on to compete in both sports at Boston College
Tickets for the Gold Key Dinner are available by contacting CSMA President Tim Jensen at 860-394-5091, or by email at email@example.com.
REDMAN NAMED MRR’S DIRECTOR OF RACE OPERATIONS (April 26, 2023)
A former decathlon competitor and long-time local high school football and track coach will oversee race day activities at the Manchester Road Race this November.
Race officials announced today that Thayer Redman, 53, has been named the Director of Race Operations for the annual Thanksgiving Day run. He succeeds Jim Balcome, who served as the MRR’s Race Director for the past 43 years.
Redman, who has been a physical education teacher at Manchester High School (MHS) since 1995, worked alongside Balcome as the assistant race director for more than a decade.
Redman recently stepped down after 28 years as the head track coach at Manchester High School. In 2011, Redman was honored as the Connecticut and New England Track Coach of the Year and was one of eight finalists for the National Track Coach of the Year Award.
He was also an assistant high school football coach for many years at MHS and at RHAM High School in Hebron.
A graduate of the University of Maine, Redman was a standout athlete on the Black Bears’ track team, competing in the hurdles, long jump, decathlon, and sprint relay events. He also played for two years on the UMaine football team.
“Thayer brings a great wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our road race“, said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “We are so pleased that he has agreed to take over the reins from Jim Balcome on race day.”
Redman, who was raised in Maine, moved to Connecticut in the mid-1990s after teaching on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona. His wife, Susan Moriarty Redman, is a Manchester native and she introduced him to the MRR in 1994.
“I have been to every race since then, either cheering on my students, running with my family or volunteering with clean-up and registration,” Redman said. “When Jim Balcome asked me to join the race committee and subsequently become his assistant, I jumped at it. I believe the Manchester Road Race is one of the best sporting events anywhere.”
Redman and his wife live in Hebron and have two children, Cal, who is a member of the Stony Brook University Football Team and Piper, who attends the University of Maine.
Redman said that one of his immediate priorities will be continuing the MRR’s reputation as an inclusive and “runner friendly” event. “We have some of the best runners in the world competing as well as weekend joggers,” he said. “It’s a wonderful tradition that allows everyone to be part of the best day in Manchester.”