Manchester Road Race cancels on-site run, going virtual


MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The 84th annual Manchester Road Race will still go on this year, but with some significant changes.

COVID-19 concerns have led to the on-site cancellation of the Manchester Road Race. Organizers announced Saturday, the Thanksgiving Race will now be an all virtual road race.

This comes after the organizers initially announced in August the race would be hybrid amid virus concerns.

Registration begins Oct. 1. Times for anyone who runs the virtual race will become official.

“There are no location limits,” organizers said on Facebook. “As long as you register, download the app, and run with the app during the designated dates/times, your run will count no matter where you are in the world!”

The Little Manchester Road Race that is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving has also been canceled.

The original story follows below.

The road race will still happen in-person this Thanksgiving Day, but only 500 runners will be picked to attend. Everyone else will be able to participate virtually. The race typically attracts over 12,000 participants.

Runners can start registering for the race on Oct. 1. Those who want a chance to run the on-road race can indicate that when registering.

Virtual runners will need to download an app with GPS capabilities to run the 4.748-miles. The virtual race can be completed between 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 and 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.

The 500 runners selected for the on-road race Thanksgiving morning will run in waves. 20 heats with 25 runners each will start the race at 5-minute intervals, starting at 8 a.m. The finishing order will be determined based on net times.

The road race committee will select the on-road runners based on times applicants posted at the 2019 or 2018 Manchester Road Race.

Unfortunately, the race will not invite elite professional athletes to compete due to the national and international travel advisories brought on by the pandemic. Also, prizes will not be awarded this year.

Volunteers and spectators are asked to wear a face-covering and follow social distancing guidelines while at the race.

For more information, go to

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