Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The 75th Running of the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race

There's only one race that has been a tradition for me over the many years I have been running and that's the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day each year. The race course is only twelve minutes away from where I live plus it's in an area I used to faithfully train in.
The day before the race this year, Wednesday, I reported to work and took a rest day in preparation for the race. Around 10:00 am, I ran into one of my co-workers who said that I was in a picture in the morning Hartford Courant from last year's race. Now with the 15,000 or so people that run, it's difficult to get in, never mind make out images in most of these newspaper photos. Shortly thereafter, I walked down to our lunchroom to see if there was a copy of the paper.  It took a little searching, but I was able to find the half page with the race photo. It only took me several seconds to find myself since I was one of about sixty people that were easily identifiable. I'm the guy wearing gray and white on the left side of the picture two people from the bottom. Well, only half of my body is showing, but you can see my head.

The next day I made the mistake of leaving later than usual for the race and paid for it. By the time I had reached East Center Street, the path I usually follow to parking right behind Main Street near the start/finish line had been blocked off. I had to pass by Main Street and park about a 1/2 mile away. This all lead to me having to gently push my way to the starting area so that I could use my special pass to get into the under 40 minute area. There must have been over 300 people blocking my way. I finally got into the fenced in starting area with three minutes to spare. There's three areas that faster runners can get access to: under 30, 30 to 35, and under 40, but you need an access card. You just need to run a qualifying time the previous year of the race or a qualifying time that year as listed on the race website to get one. The problem is that security is lacking and people often climb over the gate without an access card.

As I'm waiting for the gun to go off, this guy lifts his three kids (all looked under the age of 8) over the gate and then climbs over himself. He didn't even have a card. This is the type of behavior that's dangerous because the faster runners aren't expecting to have to dodge little kids. When I said something to him about it, he gave me a dirty look. To be honest, I passed about another thirty or so people that looked like they couldn't run a quarter mile, never mind 4.75. It took me about 22 seconds to get to the starting line and another 1.5 minutes before I could run unimpeded. I have to take some of the blame though because of my late arrival. Normally I'm able to get right up to the 30 minutes line and when they drop  the partition just before the race starts, I usually end up closer to the line.

This is a loop course, with the second mile all up hill. My goal was to run the first two miles in around 15:30 and I was able to do that. I unfortunately slowed down in mile 3 and ended up there at 23:00 minutes, 30 seconds slower than planned. I finished fairly strong, but ended up finishing in 35:30, about 22 seconds slower than last year. I just wasn't race ready. This is only the second race for me this year. I had planned to do 2 or 3 others in September, but my wildfire assignment put an end to that.

Did anyone else run a turkey day race or another one this past weekend? Let me know. I hope everyone had a good holiday.



  1. Sounds like overall it was a good race. Hope you had a great Thnaksgving!

  2. Pretty awesome you got in the paper for yours. I'm not even sure the print version of our paper even mentioned our Turkey Trot. I think there was just a small mention in the online version.

  3. I ran in the 18th annual Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento California. There were about 26,000 + sign ups. NOt sure how many showed up since it started raining at 5 am and rained through the entire run. It was still fun. This was my 3rd time participating. I've ran it twice and walked it once.

    I actually got into some marketing material for a race that is held on Super Bowl Sunday. Four women from my running group ran it last year. It shows us after the run with a beer in our hands. We didn't know about until someone looked at their goodby bag from a Half Marathon in the Monterey area and there we were.

  4. Awesome race!!

    I didn't do a turkey run this year, I should've, maybe then I wouldn't have gotten ill.

    Happy Holidays Ken!

  5. Hey guys,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Krista-I did have a good Thanksgiving. I hope you did too. I briefly stopped by your blog and saw something about running and "bondage". Let's just say I'll be back shortly to check it out more thoroughly. You crack me up!

    Brent-my race has so much tradition (75 years)and is so big that it gets a lot of coverage. Did you run that Turkey Trot?

    Lori-I was glad to hear from you. It's been a while. There's nothing better than running for a good cause. Good job, especially with the rain. And I see you're a celebrity too and with beer in hand-Nice! Ha ha!

    Lily-Sometimes with the stress of school, work etc.. it can really "run" you down. Glad to hear you're feeling better. Don't worry-it just feels like you lost a lot when you get sick and miss training for 3 weeks. You'll get it back though. Just give it some time. Happy holidays to you too!

  6. Yeah I did. Our, though 50+ years running is mostly a small community affair, but this year was much larger than years before (at least the recent ones) according to the long-timers. That may just be because there's more runners in general. Your Turkey Trot is more the scope of our Crim (and maybe bigger) from the sounds of things.


Your comments are appreciated!