Today, on Thanksgiving, all four Livingston’s ran the awesome 80th edition of the Manchester Road Race. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite day of the year. The road race is one of the main reasons why.
This was my 27th overall MRR and 22nd in a row. After the race, I saw my long time friend, and “nemesis,” Todd Brown. He got his remarkable 40th in a row today! He has done half of them.
Our son, ran his fourth and got his best time. He was shadowed for the first part of the race by Laurie Brooks, who volunteered to look after him in the thick crowd. They run a similar pace, so it worked. Our daughter did her first Thanksgiving Day road race, and we are so proud of her. Debbie ran with her.
It looked like there were more than the 15,000 registered runners on the course. The weather was fine, and good enough for lots of spectators to come out and cheer. It was cool and cloudy, but dry. We saw so many friends, which is part of the tradition. We saw too many to name them all, but many are members of the Shenipsit Striders, Silk City Striders, Team Horst Sports, and the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes.
The men’s race had an absolutely amazing ending, with Ben True, a New England resident (Hanover, New Hampshire) prevailing over Leonard Korir in a photo-finish. Christopher Thompson was in the mix until the final kick, and finished third only four seconds behind True and Korir. The video that Lori Riley captured from the press truck is spectacular. If you are a fan of running, to watch these guys duel after 4.7 miles was sweet. They averaged 4:32/mile for the 4.748 mile race. This race has a pretty stiff hill on Porter Street (for a road race), so that’s not the course record, but still and insane pace. As Main Street pitches upward towards the finish line, they unleashed their kicks and it was True’s lean at the end that nailed the victory.
Emily Sisson won the women’s race in 24:08 and Sarah Pagano of Brighton, Mass. was second in 24:19. Jordan Hasay was third in 24:27. Sisson was quoted by Riley in her post-race video interview regarding her win, “…it’s a pretty big deal.” I’d say!
I had a good race. It wasn’t my fastest time, but I’ve been doing more cycling than running. I tested my cyclocross fitness and ran smooth and steady to finish in 27:42. It was a good day.
I know that there are “turkey trots” all over the country and world, but Manchester, Connecticut is where it all started. Thank you to the race committee, the volunteers, and sponsors. Happy anniversary Manchester Road Race!