MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The 86th annual Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race kicks off at 10 a.m. on Thursday!
Nearly 10,000 runners are expected to be hitting the streets of Manchester for their 4.7-mile trot, which starts and ends on Main Street in front of the St. James Church.
As the event begins, travelers should be wary of road closures and traffic disruptions that will persist on Thursday morning.
Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee, said race organizers coordinated with the Manchester Police Department and Connecticut State Police to plan for the disruptions.
“As always, concern for public safety is our foremost objective,” he said.
Manchester police announced that there will be no parking allowed on East Center Street from Lenox Street to Center Street during the overnight period of Wednesday, Nov. 23 through 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24.
There will also be no parking allowed on Main Street, from Center Street to Hartford Road, during the same period. Officers warned that if it was deemed necessary, vehicles will be towed, so watch where you park!
Downtown Main Street will be closed to traffic between Bissell Street and Maple Street at 5 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. This is to allow construction crews to put up fencing and ropes along the roadway.
Main Street closures will be extended from East Center Street to Charter Oak Street beginning at 5:30 a.m.
All local roads intersecting the race course will also be closed at 9 a.m.
Officials warned that all traffic will not be permitted to enter or leave the interior of the race course during the road race. A map of the race course, and the interior streets that will be affected by the closures, can be viewed online.
Exit ramps from I-384 that connect to the road race course will be closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. These include Westbound Exit 3 (Charter Oak Street), Westbound Exit 4 (Highland Street), Eastbound Exit 3 (Main Street), and Eastbound Exit 4 (Wyllys Street).
“We want everyone, especially those residents who live on streets located within the interior of the road race course, to be aware of the road closures so they can make their holiday plans,” Carta said. “If you need to travel during the race, please be sure to leave before the roads close at 9:00 a.m.”
Carta also noted that due to the high volume of traffic expected on race day, the committee will once again offer free shuttle bus service to and from the event. The buses will run from the Manchester Community College (MCC) parking lot to Main Street before the race and return to MCC after the event ends.