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Little Manchester Road Race sees over a thousand young runners Saturday

More than a thousand kids 12 and under had signed up for the Little Manchester Road Race Saturday morning.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — With the countdown to Thanksgiving on, Manchester's young runners were off to the races.

More than a thousand kids 12 and under signed up for the Little Manchester Road Race Saturday morning.

Briar had "practiced running" for this race. And for Jerome, it was "probably my fourth time doing it."

Five different races took off from Manchester High School, ranging from 100 meters to two miles.

Families were asked to bring non-perishable food items as a donation.

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"This is a huge community event. It really brings families together. Grandparents will come," said Stephanie Blozy, the Little Manchester Road Race Director. "I love that people will do today’s race and then go out to breakfast here in Manchester.”

Parents like Stephanie Koch were cheering their children on, happy to introduce a new generation to the road race. 

RELATED: Manchester Road Race to hold annual blood drive following race day

"I grew up in Manchester, so I ran it for many years myself. We thought it would be fun for him to have a turn,” Koch said.

RELATED: Elite runners to join 85th Manchester Road Race; two former champions return

Road race Saturday leads up to the 85th Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving morning.

Right now, about 8,000 runners are registered for the 4.75-mile race. 

"Things are looking really good. The weather, cross our fingers, will hold out for another beautiful day. All systems go. We hope everyone comes out,” Blozy said.

Runners, families, and race organizers are also thankful for a return to in-person events.

“I actually ran the virtual race last year. It’s not the same," said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee. "There’s a special momentum you have being in Manchester on Thanksgiving morning.”

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Tune in at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day for FOX61's full coverage of the Manchester Road Race. The race will be broadcast live on FOX61, fox61.com, FOX61's news, ROKU and Amazon FireTV apps and on FOX61’s YouTube page.

The two-hour show will be re-broadcast on CW20 at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

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