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home > races/results > usa: new hampshire > exciting new marathon and half marathon in manchester, new hampshire

Exciting New Marathon and Half Marathon in Manchester, New Hampshire
Joan Benoit Samuelson will be the guest of honor for the first annual Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon, New England’s newest long distance event, and a terrific addition to New Hampshire’s largest city. This is a huge addition to a major sports region—prize money, expo, charities, innovative post race, kids’ events—it’s all here.

Exciting New Marathon and Half Marathon in Manchester, New Hampshire

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 9 April, 2007

The Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon will be a terrific addition to New England Road Racing, and will be the first new Marathon in New England in quite some time. Both races will start in downtown Manchester near Veterans Park on Elm Street, Sunday, November 4 at 8:50 a.m. with WMUR-TV broadcasting live for this exciting addition to major sports in Manchester, directed and administered by the Manchester Marathon Association.

Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson will be on hand for the Expo, which will be held just across Elm Street from Veteran’s Park at the Center of New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3. The Radisson Hotel, Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm Street, will host the Sports and Health Exposition. Joan will be available at the Expo to talk with runners and sign autographs on Saturday from approximately 2:30 to 4:30, and she will also assist in handing out awards for both races on Sunday.

Those awards should draw a very competitive field. There will be $12,500 given for the Marathon, and another $6,800 for the Half Marathon. They include excellent team prizes of $750 and $500 for first place in the Marathon and Half respectively, with additional cash to the top three teams in each race. Individual awards will be given to the top five in the Marathon beginning with $1,500, and top three in the half beginning with $1,000. There will be cash prizes for the top three masters in each race, and for the first New Hampshire woman and man in each ($150 for each NH woman and man). Please check the Race Website for the full cash awards breakdown. Additionally, there will be non-cash prizes for the first three racers in age groups through 70+.

Everyone wins a beautiful and unique inaugural Manchester City Marathon Medal, and beautiful long-sleeved tech shirts will also be given to the first 1,000 pre-registered racers. Everyone will receive an accurate time with the DAG transponder computer chip timing courtesy of Yankee Timing on USATF certified courses (description on Race Website). This marathon will be a qualifier for Boston.

Unique Features, Amenities
There will be some unique features and amenities for these races, which will start simultaneously, and cover the same course for the initial miles, splitting just after the 12-mile mark. There will be an Athletes’ Village at Veterans Park to assist runners with preparations, with both start and finish near by. The post race celebrations will also be held at Veteran’s Park, with the innovative Soup Taste Test Challenge heading the excellent spread of post race food. The Soup Challenge will include many local restaurants with their special recipes, providing a variety of scrumptious offerings.

Vital Charities
A portion of the proceeds from the each race will benefit the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester locally, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation nationally. Please see the Race Website for more information on these vitally important organizations, or check the following links. The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester at, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,

Manchester—New, Dynamic, Growing Community
The First Annual Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon will showcase the new Manchester, the dynamic, growing, sports-loving city with a rich history and forward-looking governmental and community leadership. Great cities deserve outstanding marathons. This will be the latest sporting addition to a city that is now home to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League and a AA affiliate. They play in the Verizon Center and the (Fisher Cats) Stadium, both state of the art facilities in downtown near the start/finish of these races.

Kids’ Races and Fun at the Stadium
Speaking of the Fisher Cats, they are sponsoring the outstanding Kids Running program at the stadium to be held on Saturday, November 3 in conjunction with Marathon Weekend. Kids will get the opportunity to run at the stadium. They can also participate in the Kids Marathon, where they train over several weeks to complete their “Marathon” where the entire family can get involved. Check the Website for details. Packet pick up for the kids will be Saturday a.m. with their runs set to start at 11:00 a.m. Check the race Website for more details.

Thanks to outstanding sponsors, including the Elliot Health System and Delta Dental, these races are inviting hundreds of runners to the southern New Hampshire region—runners of all paces and abilities. The Manchester City Marathon Race Weekend will also attract thousands of spectators with the support and participation of many local and regional business owners.

Historic City—And Marathon History Too
Everyone knows that at its height, Manchester was one of the largest producers of textiles in the world. It was powered by the mighty Merrimack River, with the Amoskeag Dam and a series of canals, power transfer was the epitome of Yankee Ingenuity. Many of the mill buildings have been preserved and will be showcased on both courses in the early stages. And Marathon runners will get an outstanding view of the River and the Millyard as they cross the bridge on the return from the West Side, a breathtaking vista from high above the river.

Many do not know that there was a highly respected New England Title Marathon Championship ending in Manchester in the 1930’s. It drew all the big marathon names of the era, including Clarence DeMar, Tarzan Brown, Jock Semple, and Fred Brown. For nearly a decade, the old race was considered one of the premier events in New England distance running. Highlights of that race included Tarzan Brown challenging “Mr. Marathon” DeMar, falling just short at the very end. One year Tarzan Brown won back-to-back marathons—in New York on Saturday and Manchester the following day--after a whirlwind overnight train ride.

Thousands lined the highways for a glimpse of these legends as they made their way south from Boscawen and Penacook through Concord to the center of Manchester. New England’s Marathon is now back, running in New Hampshire’s largest city and generating a lot of excitement.

Get in on the Fun—This is a First, Be Part of It
This event and these races are all about the participants. Thoughtful consideration by runners for runners will make this experience one of the best distance events. The course will be closely monitored, including excellent medical support from Presenting Sponsor Elliot Health System. There will be entertainment along the course.

There will be live music and family entertainment for the pre-race and post-race festivities at Athletes Village, including professional announcers. There will be a unique Soup Taste Test Challenge, with many area restaurants offering their special recipes to all in attendance. The post celebration will also include a variety of food and beverage items for all. And your results will be immediate and accurate.

And you will have an opportunity to visit with Joan Benoit Samuelson, one of the most famous and highly respected distance runners in the world.

Come join the fun for the first one, an exciting inaugural. You can show off the medal for the First, and you will want to come back for the second annual.

On-line registration is available at, or through the Cool Running Calendar. For inquiries e-mail

For more information on Manchester go to:



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