Although the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Manchester Road Race Committee to hold a virtual event last November, it didn’t stop the group from continuing its decades-long tradition of charitable giving.

The race committee announced today that it will donate a total of $40,000 to four nonprofit organizations this month.

The coronavirus health crisis prevented race officials from holding the traditional Turkey Day run through the town’s central streets last November.  It was the first time since 1945 that the annual holiday race was not held in Manchester on Thanksgiving morning.  The committee held a virtual road race instead. 

The first-ever Virtual Manchester Road Race attracted approximately 2,000 registered runners who used the MRR’s proprietary app on their smartphones while they ran the 4.748-mile distance at locations throughout Connecticut, the United States, and in several foreign countries during the week prior to Thanksgiving

Carta said that in order to combat food insecurity in the community that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and its resultant economic impact, the committee will give $20,000 to the Manchester Area Conference of Churches Food Pantry. A check for $10,000 will be sent to the Muscular Dystrophy
Association to support its research efforts.  The fight against the crippling childhood disease has been a primary charitable objective of MRR sponsors since the early 1950s.

Two donations of $5000 each will be made to the Manchester Police Activities League and to Dinda House, a transitional living facility for veterans that is located in Manchester.

“We are able to make these contributions thanks to the tremendous generosity of our financial sponsors and virtual road race entrants,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. “Because of the devastating economic conditions caused by the pandemic, the race committee believed that it was imperative to provide whatever financial support we could this year.”

The principal financial sponsors of the 2020 Virtual Manchester Road Race were Pratt & Whitney and Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN).

Carta noted that the MRR also “gave back” to the community last November when it sponsored a highly successful blood drive in conjunction with the Connecticut Chapter of American Red Cross on the day after Thanksgiving.  A total of 306 pints of blood were collected, which will help 918 hospital patients in need of blood, plasma, and platelets.

Carta said that the road race committee will begin planning for next November’s 85th annual MRR shortly. “We will be consulting soon with officials from the state and the Town of Manchester and will make an announcement as soon as we feasibly can,” Carta said.  “Public health and safety will be our only concern, but we are obviously hoping and praying that we’ll be able to hold the road race on Main Street on Thanksgiving morning.”     

4.748 Miles
November 2020
The 84th Manchester Road Race