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Manchester Road Race opens exhibit to showcase their running tradition

The race returns this Thanksgiving after being cancelled in 2020. Officials said the exhibit includes pictures, keepsakes & trophies from races past.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — An 85-year old running tradition is now frozen in time, thanks to a new exhibit at The WORK_SPACE, a gallery on Main Street in Manchester.

The new exhibit “Thanksgiving in Manchester: A history of the Manchester Road Race” opened on Friday, and it offers visitors a chance to go back in time to see all facets of the fabled race.

RELATED: Manchester Road Race record holder returns for 2021 race

The exhibit includes pictures, keepsakes and trophies from races past.

Rick Dyer, archivist for the Manchester Road Race, has been on the committee for 35 years.

He told FOX61 the exhibit is really a panoramic display of 85 years of history of the road race.

"It's designed to highlight the traditions of Manchester Road Race, which is much more than just a sporting event," Dyer added.

The exhibit was made possible by Key Bank and the Manchester Road Race Committee, in a partnership with the Manchester Historical Society and The WORK_SPACE.

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Race director, Jim Balcome said they have kept track over the years.

"You can see all the pictures, you can see all the representations that we have here and it’s just something enjoyable for everyone to see," Balcome said.

He added that the exhibit is more special because there was no Manchester Road Race last year. It went virtual due to COVID-19 concerns.

“This is just a special place at a special time,” Balcome said.

Dani Kennedy, a race board member, noted she will be running her 29th race this year. She's excited about the new exhibit and the chance to participate again.

"It’s crazy to me to think just how much this race has changed our lives," Kennedy said.

Dyer added that the exhibit evokes all sorts of responses.

"It's part celebration, part charity fundraiser, and it's really part of the fabric that binds our community together," he said.

“Thanksgiving in Manchester: A history of the Manchester Road Race” will run at The WORK_SPACE until November 27th.

To find out more click here. 

RELATED: Burfoot to run in his 59th Manchester Road Race this year

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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