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The Manchester Road Race 2019

Road Races are a great way to set a training goal, get some exercise, and soak up some of that race-day positive energy from your fellow runners!

My most recent race was the Manchester Road Race which takes place every Thanksgiving morning in Manchester CT. The race is a 4.7-mile route through the center region of Manchester. For the 2019 race there were about 11,000 people signed up to run, but on race day that could’ve easily climbed to 15,000! This race is well known for its party atmosphere, festive costumes, and a loud and boisterous side-line crowd. There is a wide variety of race participants, which range from children/adults walking to elite runners. A good number of runners dress-up in Thanksgiving or Christmas themed costumes which makes this race fun to be a spectator too.

Why is this a great race?

#1--This race kicks off the holiday season in a big way. If you are feeling like you just are not ready for the onslaught of holiday music, decorations, and holiday cheer, this race can absolutely snap you right out of it. You see a little bit of everything, from near naked runners, turkey costumes, Santa, and this year it seemed like there were a ton of people handing out beer! There are bands playing from the driveways of the houses along the route, people playing music and a ton of cheering.

#2—At just over 4.7 miles it’s just long enough to get a pretty decent calorie burn, whether you are walking or running. The first mile is all up hill with the rest of the course rolling hills so it is fairly challenging without making it impossible. Most people walk up the first big hill so it does take the pressure off to produce a good running time as it is nearly impossible to get around the walkers.

This year I was able to run with two of my sons (who are not really runners) who agreed to run this year as an early birthday present. My race time this year was not great but it did not matter as it was really just fun to be there, enjoy the party atmosphere and spend time with family.  

If you have never been to the Manchester Road Race, and even if you are not a runner, you should put this on your list for next year!