Nine-time Manchester Road Race Champion Amby Burfoot will extend his longevity streak record when he runs in the event for the 58th consecutive year this November. It will, however, be a totally new experience for the former Boston Marathon Champion from Mystic.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Manchester Road Race is being held virtually this year. The Manchester Road Race Committee has indicated that anyone who runs in the virtual race will be credited as an official 2020 MRR finisher.  The effort will count towards all longevity streaks.

Runners who register for the Virtual Manchester Road Race will download an app on their smartphones that will permit them to run the MRR’s 4.748-mile distance, between November 19th and 25th, at any location of their choice.  An event map depicting the Manchester Road Race route will be displayed on their smartphones, and the runners will be able to monitor their progress on the actual course as they run.  The names and times of all entrants will be uplinked to MRR officials when they complete the run.

“The Virtual Manchester will be very important to all us streakers, so we are very happy to have the opportunity to log another year and keep the streak alive,” Burfoot said.  “I don’t think anyone is going to care very much what their time is this year but we’re all going to care about putting another [Manchester] race in the history books.”

Burfoot, who is 74, first competed the MRR in 1963, and he hasn’t missed a November appearance in the Silk City since then.  He won the Turkey Day race nine times between 1968 and 1977, and has had 18 top-25 finishes here. 

Burfoot plans to run the Virtual Manchester Road Race with a small group of his friends.  “We are discussing when and where,” said Burfoot, who is an editor emeritus with Runners’ World Magazine.  “We may decide that we want to run the real Manchester course, just not on Thanksgiving, but within the assigned dates.”

“We are so glad that Amby Burfoot will continue his streak and participate in our virtual road race,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “Amby is one of our great champions, and we are looking forward to next year when he’ll hopefully run down Main Street in his 59th straight MRR on Thanksgiving morning.”







The Manchester Road Race Committee will again honor area veterans this November, but in a manner different than it has in past years.

The committee, which is sponsoring a Virtual Manchester Road Race next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is unable to hold its annual Veterans Row pre-race reception for vets and members of the Armed Forces, or to cheer them as they run along the race route.

Instead, the MRR is launching a Veteran’s Tribute communications campaign to thank active duty service members, reservists, National Guard members and veterans across the region. 

In addition, the Manchester Road Race Committee will make a financial donation to a local veterans’ organization.

The communications campaign will feature special email messages to registered runners who are Armed Forces members or veterans; thank you cards and posters to military offices, veterans’ hospitals, VFW and American Legion Posts; targeted social media posts to veterans; and an expanded schedule of thank you advertisements during the week of Veteran’s Day on November 11.

KAMAN Corporation in Bloomfield is the top-level Patriot sponsor of the Veterans’ Tribute.  Horst Engineering in East Hartford is the U.S. Army sponsor; KAMAN Aerospace in Bloomfield is the U.S. Marine Corps sponsor; Mastercam in Tolland is the U.S. Coast Guard/U.S. Navy sponsor; and Tsunami Solutions in Glastonbury is the U.S. Air Force sponsor.

Runners who are active duty or reserve or National Guard members of the Armed Forces and veterans are encouraged to register for the Virtual Manchester Road Race.  If they identify themselves as Veteran/Military on the registration form, they will receive special emails and news about future veterans-related Manchester Road Race activities and resources.

“One of the advantages of the virtual race is that members of the military and veterans from anywhere in Connecticut, across the United States, and around the world can participate in the MRR this year,” said Drew Crandall, who is the son of a World War II  U.S. Navy submarine veteran and the founder of the Veterans’ Tribute.


Registration for this year’s Virtual Manchester Road Race will begin October 1st, race organizers said today.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Manchester Road Race Committee canceled plans to hold an on-site road race on Thanksgiving Day morning, and is only sponsoring a virtual event this year.

“This unprecedented health crisis prevents us from safely holding an on-site road race this Thanksgiving, but we are going to keep the wonderful spirit and tradition of the Manchester Road Race alive with a virtual run,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.

Carta said that anyone who wishes to register for the virtual MRR may do so beginning October 1 on the race’s website. The registration fee is $20. 

Runners who register will download a phone app with GPS capabilities to their smart phones.  They can then run the MRR’s 4.748-mile distance at any location of their choice.  The app will measure their distance, signaling when they have completed the full course, and upload their times to race officials.  The runners will be able to see their progress on an “event map” of the actual MRR course that will be displayed on their phones, even if they running at some other location.

The Virtual Manchester Road Race must be completed between 8 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, November 19, 2020 and 5 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.  “We are concluding the virtual race before Thanksgiving Day for safety reasons,” Carta said.  “We are urging our virtual entrants and everyone else to stay off the course on Thanksgiving Day, because our 600 road race volunteers, officers from the Manchester Police Department, and other public safety personnel and town employees won’t be on hand to block the streets and provide protection for large groups of runners.”

Carta indicated that anyone who registers and runs in the virtual road race will be credited as an official 2020 MRR finisher, and that the effort will count toward longevity streaks.  He added that the race committee intends to publish the names and times of all registered finishers who run or walk in the virtual road race in local newspapers.

“Because the virtual MRR can be run anywhere using the smart phone app, we anticipate that we’ll have participants in locations all over the state and country, and perhaps even in foreign countries,” Carta said.  “We are going to do everything in our power to make the virtual race a fun and successful event this year, and to bring our traditional Thanksgiving Day road race back even bigger and better next year.”

Principal sponsors of the Virtual Manchester Road Race are Pratt & Whitney, ECHN and Stop & Shop. 


The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that it has canceled its plans to hold an on-site road race on Thanksgiving Day morning this year.

The committee will continue to sponsor a virtual road race. Registration will begin October 1st.

“We have said continually that the health and safety of our runners, volunteers and spectators was our primary concern", said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “Our committee developed a plan, consistent with state guidelines, for a limited, 500-runner event on Thanksgiving Day that we believed could be safely run in waves of 25 runners each.”

“After further review and consultation with officials from the Town of Manchester, we have sadly reached the conclusion that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it will not be possible from a health and logistical standpoint for us to safely hold an on-site road race this Thanksgiving,” Carta continued.

“The Manchester Road Race has been run 83 times, and we did everything we could to attempt to keep the tradition alive this year, even in the face of this unprecedented medical crisis,” Carta said.  “Unfortunately, the coronavirus has made that impossible.”

This is not the first time that Manchester’s Turkey Day run has been sidelined.  The road race, which began in 1927, was not held during the period between 1935 and 1944, due to the Great Depression and World War II. The Thanksgiving Day road race resumed in 1945 and has been held continuously every year since then.

“It is sad, because the Manchester Road Race is such a wonderful holiday tradition and has become a beloved annual event in town,” Carta said.  “But we will do everything in our power to bring the road race back even bigger and better next year.”

Manchester Mayor Jay Moran said: “Although so many of us are disappointed that the Manchester Road Race will not be live, keeping our community and the so many visitors that come to town safe on Thanksgiving Day is our number one priority.”  “I would like to thank the Road Race Committee for creating a virtual experience that will keep this annual tradition alive and ongoing for so many runners and walkers,” Moran added.

Carta stressed that anyone who registers and runs the virtual race this November will qualify as an official 2020 MRR finisher and the effort will count for longevity streak purposes.  He urged anyone interested in registering for the virtual MRR to do so as soon as possible after October 1st on the race’s website.

The road race committee also announced today that it is cancelling the “Little Manchester Road Race” for youngsters, which is traditionally held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  “The Covid-19 Pandemic makes it impossible to safely hold it as an on-site race, and the ages of our participants and the family friendly nature of the LMRR preclude us from offering it as a virtual event", Carta said.


The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that two of its key volunteers have been elected to serve on the race’s Executive Committee.

Road Race President Dr. Tris Carta said that Danielle (“Dani”) Kennedy of Vernon, and Lancelot (“Lance”) Morgan of South Windsor, were recently selected to serve on the seven-member Executive Committee, which acts as the event’s policy-making body and corporate board of directors.

A long-time runner who has competed in the MRR since 1993, Kennedy has volunteered with the race since 2011 and oversees its social media outreach efforts.  Now retired, she served as the head track and field coach at Bolton High School for 10 years, and prior to that was the cross country coach at Manchester High School for five seasons.  In addition to her work with the MRR, she previously served as race director for the Bolton Road Race and organized the Bolton Summer Cross Country Series for many years. Kennedy is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

Morgan has directed the MRR’s annual “Ray Crother’s Blood Drive” since 2015. The road race sponsors the blood drive in conjunction with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross each November on the day after the race.  In recent years it has become one of the largest and most successful single-day blood collection efforts in the state.  Morgan is a certified physician’s assistant with Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery in Manchester.  He holds bachelors and masters degrees from Springfield College.

“Dani and Lance each bring a tremendous wealth of energy, enthusiasm, and expertise to their work on behalf of the Manchester Road Race, and they make invaluable contributions to its success,” Carta said.  “We are very fortunate and thankful that they have agreed to assume additional leadership responsibilities with the road race.”


Twelve charities and non-profit organizations will soon benefit from the 2019 Manchester Road Race.

The Manchester Road Race Committee announced today that it will donate a total of $68,139 from the proceeds of last November’s Turkey Day run.

The MRR will donate $20,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  The research efforts to find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy have been a charitable objective of road race organizers since the early 1950s.

Grants of $10,000 each will be made to the Manchester Police Activities League and the Manchester Area Conference of Churches.  Manchester PAL offers athletic, recreational and enrichment programs to the town’s youth.  MACC provides food and other assistance programs to underserved residents.

Rebuilding Together of Manchester, an organization that that helps to repair and restore the homes of individuals with financial needs or physical challenges, will get a check for $8,100.  This donation was made possible by the race’s 81 “Honors Club” runners who each paid $100 when they entered last year’s road race.

Other groups who will be receiving donations from the road race committee include: Community Health Resources ($5,239); MARC ($5,000); Footwear with Care ($3000); Community Child Guidance Clinic ($2000); MRC Track & Field Services ($2,000); Coventry Lake Rowing ($1300); Manchester High School Performing Arts Technical Crew ($1000) and the Manchester High School Project Graduation ($500).

“All of these organizations do such terrific work, and we are delighted that we can financially assist them,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee.  “We are also deeply grateful to our wonderful sponsors, athletes, volunteers and spectators.  Their generous support enables us to offer a world-class road race and to make these donations each year.”

The 4.748-mile Manchester Road Race has been run through Manchester’s central streets on Thanksgiving Day morning for 84 years.  The Manchester Road Race Committee is monitoring ongoing developments in the Covid-19 Pandemic. Dr. Carta said that the committee will continue to review and be guided by the recommendations of national, state and local health officials and leaders before making a determination about the status of this year’s road race, which is scheduled for November 26, 2020. He added that the media and public will be notified as soon as it is possible for the committee to provide further information about this year’s event.

Kevin McCusker Will Achieve Longevity Milestone at 2020 Virtual MRR
Kevin McCusker Will Achieve Longevity Milestone at 2020 Virtual MRR

Congratulations to longtime Manchester Road Race competitor Kevin McCusker of Rindge, New Hampshire.

McCusker, 63, will run in his 50th consecutive MRR this November when he competes in the virtual road race.

McCusker grew up in Farmington and was a standout track and cross country performer at Farmington High School and the University of Massachusetts.  He finished eighth at the 1977 MRR as a college student with a time of 23:30, and placed 11th here in 1976 and 12th in 1978.  McCusker also won his age group division at the MRR in 2007 and 2012.

Check out this TIC-FM interview with race organizer Ken Larson…

4.748 Miles
November 2020
The 84th Manchester Road Race