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What to know about the 87th Manchester Road Race: Street closures, history and more

The Manchester Road Race will close exit ramps on Interstate 384 from 8:45-11:30 a.m.
Elena Popova
The Manchester Road Race will close several exit ramps on Interstate 384 from 8:45-11:30 a.m.

Prepare for plenty of road closures in Manchester on Thursday as thousands of runners take over the streets for the 87th Manchester Road Race.

The annual Thanksgiving Day tradition is expected to attract about 10,000 runners and 30,000 spectators. The race starts at 10 a.m. Runners start and finish on Main Street in front of St. James Church.

Race organizers are cooperating with the Manchester Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and local officials, race officials said in a statement.

“The safety of our runners, spectators and the general public is our primary concern,” Tris Carta, president of the Manchester Road Race Committee, said in a statement.

All local roads that intersect with the race course will be closed at 9 a.m. Thursday. Residents who live in the area and plan to travel on Thanksgiving morning should be sure to leave before 9 a.m., Carta said.

More about road closures

An on-street parking ban will be in place starting at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday through 1 p.m. Thursday for the following streets:

  • Linden Street from East Center to Locust Street; 
  • East Center Street from Main Street to Center Street; 
  • Main Street from Center Street to Hartford Road. 

Starting at 5 a.m. Thursday, Main Street in downtown Manchester will be closed to all traffic between Bissell Street and Maple Street. Then at 5:30 a.m., Main Street closures will be extended from East Center Street to Charter Oak Street.
All local roads intersecting the course will be closed at 9 a.m. Thursday. See a map here.

Exit ramps on Interstate 384 that abut the course will be closed from 8:45-11:30 a.m. They include Westbound Exit 3 (Charter Oak Street); Westbound Exit 4 (Highland Street); Eastbound Exit 3 (Main Street) and Eastbound Exit 4 (Wyllys Street.) Parking is not allowed along the interstate shoulders.

Expect traffic on affected streets to resume around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Shuttle bus rides

Free shuttle bus rides will be available to and from the race. Buses will run from the Manchester Community College parking lot before the race and return once the race is over. Learn more here.

About the race

The race is considered one of the nation’s oldest and most popular Thanksgiving Day races. The race wasn’t held over a 10-year period because of the Great Depression and World War II. In 1945, veterans helped revive the race. In 2020, the race was held virtually due to COVID-19.

Learn more about the history of women in the race here.

Sources: Manchester Road Race; Connecticut Public research

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