The Manchester Road Race, which will celebrate its 80th running in November, was named the recipient of the President's Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance.
The President's Award is chosen by the CSWA president and presented to an individual, team or organization that has made a positive impact on Connecticut sports. This year's award was selected by CSWA President Matthew Conyers of The Hartford Courant.
The Manchester Road Race will be honored at the 75th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 24 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
The Manchester Road Race is a 4.748-mile race held every Thanksgiving morning in Manchester. Proceeds from the race are donated to Muscular Dystrophy research and several other local charities. The race, which was first run in 1927, is a Thanksgiving staple in Connecticut. It annually attracts some of the best international and American runners. It is one of the oldest races in the country.
Winners of the race have included Joe McCluskey, Charlie Duggan, Eamonn Coghlan, Phillimon Hanneck and nine-time winner Amby Burfoot. But the race is just as beloved for its community support and festive atmosphere. The race begins at 10 a.m. every Thanksgiving and starts with the race director's familiar refrain of "This is Thanksgiving in Manchester."
Since 1991, 9,000 or more runners have participated each year. From 2010-2013, the race sold out with 15,000 registered runners. It is considered one of the most popular races in New England. It also attracts a large audience of supporters along the course, who line the sidewalks of Manchester.
The Manchester Road Race committee said donations totaled $100,180 in 2014. In 2015, the committee announced that it once again raised more than $100,000 for area charities and non-profit organizations. The Muscular Dystrophy Association received the largest donation of $20,000.
Former welterweight boxing champion Marlon Starling, New England/Hartford Whalers owner and founder Howard Baldwin, 1960 U.S. Hockey Olympic gold medalist Bob McVey, Trinity College squash coach Paul Assaiante and longtime Greenwich High boys swimming coach Terry Lowe will receive Gold Keys at the dinner.
Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner, which begins at 4 p.m., are $75 and can be purchased by contacting Conyers at 860-874-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Vice President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at email@example.com. Tickets can also be obtained by mailing a check to the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance, P.O. Box 70, Unionville, CT, 06085.