The 5th Annual Little Manchester Road Race is at 10am on Saturday, November 22 at the Bennet Academy soccer fields near Charter Oak Park in Manchester. The race has filled to capacity - no new registrations are being accepted.
On race day, there will be three non-competitive, casually-timed “races” beginning at 10am: ½ mile, 1 mile and 2 miles. You child can choose which event(s) to enter on the morning of the race. Parents are welcome to run with their child. All of the courses take place within the park so there are no roads or traffic to worry about. Details about the race are provided below.
PARKING: There is plenty of free parking around Bennet Academy and Charter Oak Park. To get there, take I-384 East to Exit 3 (Main St). Turn right at the end of the ramp and then your first right onto Charter Oak Street. The school is about ¼ mile further down at 1151 Main Street (turn right onto School St).
PACKET PICK-UP: Before the race, you must check-in at theManchester Road Race Sports Expo at the Bennet Academy Gym between 8:30-9:45am (1151 Main St. Manchester, CT 06040). The expo takes place in the Bennet Academy gym (just ¼ mile from the start of the fun run). At check-in, you will pick-up your child’s special commemorative sweatshirt and race bib.
With 700 kids racing and a quarter-mile walk to the race start, don’t plan on waiting until the last minute to pick up your child’s race gear. We have a great team of volunteers to help make check-in as smooth and organized as possible, but please be patient.
After you pick-up your gear, you are invited to stay in the (warm) gym visiting the booths at the Sports Expo, meeting Olympic Marathoner Deena Kastor and dropping off your canned goods before heading over to the race start by 9:35am. There will be a crossing guard at the major intersection by the Chevy dealer for safety reasons.
CANNED GOOD DONATIONS: In lieu of a race entry fee, we ask that all kids bring at least 2 canned goods to donate to the local food bank. There will be an ambulance outside the gym/packet pick-up area that will be collecting the goods.
COURSE DETAILS: The ½ mile course consists of a two loop course around the grass soccer field by the start/finish line. The 1 and 2 mile courses combine running on the sports fields with some running on an asphalt path. We will have a “lead runner”, volunteers and HAM radio operators stationed every 100m along the course to make sure the kids stay on course and are safe. Kids will receive a medal once they cross the finish line. If your child does more than one race, please have them take only one medal so that we have enough for everyone.
RACE START: Please plan on being at the start by 9:45am since our skydiving friends will be back again this year to kick-off the race in-style.
When you arrive at the start/finish area, there will be special areas organized by race distance and staffed by runners from the Manchester High School Cross Country teams who will play games with the kids and get them warmed up. There is also a special backdrop that your runners can stand in front of for a great race photo!
The first race (1/2 mile) will begin once the skydivers have landed (~10:00am). The other races will start within a few minutes of the finish of the previous race (approx. 10:10am for the 1 mile and 10:25am for the 2 mile). All races will be completed by 11am. Kids are welcome to leave after their race, but they are invited to stay and cheer the other races on. That’s part of the fun!
POST RACE: After the race, we encourage you to visit a special exhibit highlighting 78 years of the Manchester Road Race at the Dehn Gallery at MCC on Main (903 Main St – just a short stroll from Bennet Academy). Among the artifacts on display are medals and trophies won by Joe McCluskey, an Olympic bronze medalist from Manchester who won the race four times, the gym uniform worn by Julia Chase Brand when she toppled the gender barrier at the road race in 1961 and a racing singlet that belonged to Dr. Charlie Robbins, a two-time champion who ran here 56 times and often competed barefoot.
Thanks to our friends at Asics, we are psyched to have one of the United States’ preeminent female distance runners, Deena Kastor, joining us for this year’s LMRR! Deena may best be remembered for her incredible bronze medal finish at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, but she also loves inspiring kids to run and is super personable.
Deena will be hosting a special STORYTIME for kids aged 10 and under at Fleet Feet Sports at 4pm on Friday, November 21.
At 6pm, kids and adults alike can meet Deena and even join her for a 3 mile fun run through the neighborhoods of West Hartford (please wear reflective clothes and bring a light).
Deena will also be our official race starter for the LMRR on Saturday morning. She will be available for photos and autographs pre-race at the Asics tent in gym, as well as after the races. Don’t miss this great opportunity for your child to be inspired by an Olympian!