By Emily Hughes, Live Wire Staff Writer

For friends and relatives celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the bustling town of Manchester, Connecticut, there is a tradition that comes before preparing casseroles and finishing the apple pie: The Manchester Road Race.

Since 1936, it has been a staple of Connecticut and brings many participants from other towns in and around Manchester, and some out of the state.

This past Thursday, on November 24, marked the 80th season of the race with approximately 15,000 runners. The race itself is about 4 miles long which included an elevation climb from 255 ft. to 496 ft. before going down to 274 ft. Spectators watched the race and witnessed the runners depart the starting line (which was located between St. James and Forest Streets) in Downtown Manchester.

In addition, there were also lucky residents living on streets such as Charter Oak and Porter that watched as the runners made their way through. On a personal note, I live along the race route and there is nothing like watching a whole stream of people run across your street in crazy costumes and high-fiving the residents as they pass by them. The runners continued up to Highland Street before making their way to Wyllys Street and Porter Street. While some may have stopped the race, those who were competing inched closer to the finish line in Downtown Manchester.

Winners of the men’s race was Ben True of Hanover, NH; he had previously won the race in 2014. Emily Sisson of Providence, RI was the winner of the women’s race. Sponsors included Stop and Shop, Pratt and Whitney (UTC), Key Bank, and ECHN Health Network.

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