City, runners prep for 2014 Manchester City Marathon race weekend

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Katherine Switzer, center, takes a moment to pose with two of the Top 3 female finishers in the 2013 Manchester City Marathon half-marathon finishers. 2013
Katherine Switzer, center, takes a moment to pose with two of the Top 3 female finishers in the 2013 Manchester City Marathon half-marathon finishers.

Organizers and runners are counting down to this year’s Anthem Manchester City Marathon. Entry deadline is Oct. 23, so if you’ve hesitated to hit the ground running, click here for your application.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is the lead sponsor of the three-day event which kicks off Friday, October 31 and runs through race day November 2, 2014.

New this year, the Anthem kids’ race has changed to the ‘Anthem Kids’ Fitness Festival’ to be held Saturday, November 1 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Radisson Expo Center, 700 Elm St. in Downtown Manchester.

The Manchester City Marathon is a challenging Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a scenic trip through the historic mill district of the Granite State’s largest city.

“This race signifies for Anthem a community-wide event that promotes active and healthy lifestyles for both children and adults,” says Lisa M. Guertin, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. “We are proud of our associates who are engaged throughout the weekend by volunteering at water stops throughout the course and participating as runners. This is a fun weekend for the city of Manchester and we are excited to be part of it.”

Race weekend will kick off with a reception Oct. 31 to welcome racing legend Dave McGillivray as this years’ race VIP. In 1973, McGillivray made a personal commitment to run the Boston Marathon every year in tribute to his late grandfather, and has been the last person to cross the finish line every year since 1988 when he became the event’s race director. The year of the Boston Marathon in 2013, David fulfilled his promise to keep running and finished his 41st Marathon, 11 days later.

Click here for more on the marathon, and prize details in each category.

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Nov. 1 & 2 

Saturday, November 1: Anthem Sports & Wellness Expo, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH. This event is the only location where race participants can pick up their race bib with the timing chip. According to race organizers, more than 2,000 people are expected to walk through the Expo on Saturday, and not all will be registered runners of the race.

“This event is open to everyone,” said Jayne Cornell, Manchester City Marathon Race Director. “We really want this to be a fun place where the community can gather, socialize and have fun.”

The YMCA of Downtown Manchester will also be providing fun activities for parents and children of all ages at the Anthem Kids Fitness Festival, which will include health and wellness displays, demonstrations, healthy snacks, children’s activities, and giveaways. This year’s expo entertainment includes Dave McGillivray who will speak at noon, and a fashion show at 1 p.m. produced by locally owned gear shop, Runner’s Alley, 36 Hanover St.

November 2, with live race tracking

The race will begin at 8:50 a.m. at Athletes’ Village (Veterans Park) on Elm Street in Manchester. The Marathon and Half-Marathon will run along the same course. The entire route captures the essence of Manchester and all it has to offer. Runners will have the option to be tracked live. They will be given the opportunity if they chose to have the timing company automatically send text messages and to update the runner’s Facebook page with live updates throughout the race.

Always looking for volunteers to help assist. Please visit for details.

Stay up-to-date with the Manchester City Marathon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #RunMHT!

  • Kick-Off Reception – Friday, October 31 to welcome racing legend Dave McGillivray as this years’ race VIP

  • The Anthem Sports & Wellness ExpoSaturday, free and open to the public! 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

  • Dave McGillivray Speech- Saturday, Dave McGillivray will speak at noon.

  • Fashion Show – Saturday, 1 p.m., produced by locally owned Runner’s Alley, 36 Hanover St.

  • RACE DAY SUNDAYStart time 8:50 a.m.

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Runners Alley

  • Coca-Cola

  • NE Delta Dental

  • NH Ortho

  • Hannaford Brothers Supermarkets

  • Mike Lowe Media, LLC

Manchester City Marathon Facts
  • 1st marathon was held in 2007

  • Runners from across USA and World compete in the race from:
    – 40 states and countries
    – In 2013, 1,550+ runners from New England and surrounding region.

  • Donations of more than $100,000 to Manchester regional benefactors to include: The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, New Horizons, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Child and Family Services and Webster House.

  • USATF Certified Course and Grand Prix Championship

  • The race covers all areas of Manchester

  • The Anthem Manchester City Marathon supported runners displaced by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

  • Economic Impact:
    – Non-local residents spend an estimated $600 per person
    – Guests of marathon participants spend an estimated $250 each

  • World Class Marathon VIPS who have attended:
    – 2007: Joan Benoit
    – 2008: Greg Meyer
    – 2009: Dane Rauchenberg
    – 2010: Dick Hoyt
    – 2011: Greg Meyer/Chris MacDougall
    – 2012: Bill Rodgers
    – 2013: Katherine Switzer
    – 2014: Dave McGillivra

Traffic and Parking information

Elm Street will be closed from Bridge Street to Lake for the entire length of the event. There will be significant delays crossing the Granite Street Bridge and the Bridge Street Bridge will be closed for a portion of the day. Motorist wishing to cross the Merrimack River are urged to use the Amoskeag Bridge or the Queen City Bridge.
The marathon encompasses the entire city but will cause more significant traffic problems in the following areas:

The Mill Yard (Commercial and Spring streets)
River Road
Hooksett Road in the area of Livingston Park
Hanover Street from Candia Road to Elm Street
Mammoth Road from Bridge Street to Lake Avenue
Sout Main Street from Walker to Varney streets
McGregor Square from Bridge Street to Bremer Street

Travel across Hanover Street from Maple Street to Elm Street will be restricted and should be avoided.

If a motorist needs to cross the city it would be best to take the interstate around the City instead of crossing the city.

The Manchester City Marathon will require the following parking restrictions in order to ensure the safety of the race.

– Both sides of Elm Street between Lake Avenue and Amherst Street
– South side of Merrimack Street between Chestnut Street and Elm Street
– North side of Central Street between Barrister Lane and Elm Street
– Both sides of Hanover Street between Chestnut and Elm streets
– North side of Hanover Street between Page Street and East Side Plaza
– West side of Commercial Street from Arms Park to Spring Street

Also, please observe all posted parking restrictions. Any vehicle parked contrary to these restrictions or any other posted no parking zones will be towed at the owner’s expense, per Manchester Police.


About Carol Robidoux 5819 Articles
Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.