MANCHESTER, Conn. — The Manchester Road Race is maintaining its commitment to charitable giving after holding the annual Fall event like never before due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 health crisis forced organizers to cancel the traditional Turkey Day run through Manchester's streets last November, marking the first time since 1945 that the annual holiday race was not held.
Instead, the MRR committee held a virtual road race, which still had 2,000 runners commit to running the 4.748-mile distance in locations across the world.
On Monday, the group announced that its decades-long tradition of charitable giving continues with a donation of $40,000 to four non-profit organizations.
- Manchester Area Conference of Churches Food Pantry
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Manchester Police Activities League
- Dinda House
According to Dr. Tris Carta, the president of the MRR committee, the group is giving $20,000 to the Manchester Area Conference of Churches Food Pantry an in effort to combat food insecurity in the community.
Additionally, $10,000 will be sent to support research at the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"The fight against the crippling childhood disease has been a primary charitable objective of MRR sponsors since the early 1950s," Carta said.
Finally, the Manchester Police Activities League and Dinda House, a local transitional living facility for veterans, will receive a donation of $5,000 each.
“We are able to make these contributions thanks to the tremendous generosity of our financial sponsors and virtual road race entrants,” Carta said. “Because of the devastating economic conditions caused by the pandemic, the race committee believed that it was imperative to provide whatever financial support we could this year.”
According to Carta, planning for the 2021 MRR, which will be the 85th annual, will begin soon.
“Public health and safety will be our only concern, but we are obviously hoping and praying that we’ll be able to hold the road race on Main Street on Thanksgiving morning," he added.
The Manchester Road Race says the principal financial sponsors of the 2020 Virtual Manchester Road Race were Pratt & Whitney and Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN).