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The return of the 'Road Race Ruckers' means Thanksgiving Day is around the corner

A mission to support our military endures at the Manchester Road Race.

EAST GRANBY, Conn — The Road Race Ruckers are returning to the Manchester Road Race once again.

This team of athletes has made Manchester Road Race Day into a Thanksgiving tradition that endures.

The Road Race Ruckers were started by an army of one – Dave Bouchard, a retired Marine Corp captain who decided, about a decade ago to ruck (walk and run with a wearing weighted backpack) an entire marathon, 26.2 miles, and then end up at the start line of the Manchester Road Race and run that 4.748 miles on top of everything. 

“We ruck 26.2 miles from East Granby to the Manchester Road Race starting line and then we take on the Road Race itself for a total of 31 miles," Bouchard said Monday during training.

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Bouchard added he does all of this to honor the U.S. military. Each branch of the service is also represented by a Road Race Rucker carrying a flag.

“The sheer magnitude of this event, it causes people to look and ask that question and it’s a great opportunity to bring awareness to our military," he said.

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Middle school math teacher Karri Moran is back for her fourth go around with the Road Race Ruck Team.

"It’s for me, it’s for my dad who was a Vietnam veteran, and it’s for raising awareness because it’s been part of our lives since I was born,” she said.

Melissa Koneski is also partaking in her fourth Road Race Ruck. She said that the crowd at the Manchester Road Race is what helps to get her to the finish line.

“The people, the cheers, the people that remember us, knowing why we’re doing this and what we stand for – it gets us through," Koneski said.

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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