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For race director, long run at Manchester Road Race is coming to an end

After 43 years, Jim Balcome says this year will be his last leading operations for the race.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — “This is Thanksgiving Day in Manchester!” - Those are the words synonymous with Manchester Road Race director Jim Balcome.

Every year, Balcome announces those words to start the Manchester Road Race where, this year, upwards of 11,000 runners are expected to hit the streets. And 2022 will serve as a milestone for Balcome; After 43 years, this year will be his last.

“This is just a special place,” Balcome said and added, “It’s my decision but this is going to be my last official Manchester Road Race.”

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Well-wishers are already coming forward to praise the legacy left by Balcome at the famed Thanksgiving Day race.

“Jim Balcome set the tone and, as a result, the race has grown exponentially over the years, and he really turned it into part of the culture of the community,” said Rick Dyer, a Road Race board member and race archivist.

Fellow race board member Jack Leonard said, “One of the things that’s most important to the Manchester Road Race is its history, and tradition and Jim represents both.”

“No one is better and no one represents the Manchester Road Race better than Jim,” Manchester Mayor Jay Moran said of Balcome.

Balcome, who will turn 80 in a few weeks, said he is especially looking forward to this year’s running of the Thanksgiving morning tradition, “I’m excited for this race and I’m hoping the turnout will be the best in my 43 years.”

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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