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The director of the Manchester Road Race has been recognized nationally for his efforts to coordinate the Thanksgiving Day event.
Jim Balcome, the director and backbone of the Manchester Road Race for about four decades, has been recognized nationally for his efforts to coordinate the annual Thanksgiving Day run.
Balcome is known for his meticulous — and personal — approach to the annual Thanksgiving Day event and, last weekend, he was awarded the "Marathon Foto/Road Race Management RaceDirector of the Year Award," which is presented by MYLAPS Sports Timing.
The honor has been described by Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers as "the goldmedal of race directing," has been presented annually since 1987 to the nation's best race director. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the sport of road racing.
A committee comprised of race directors, athletes, media representatives, corporate executivesand club officials selected Balcome from a group of nominees who were judged on several factors,including overall ability, the reputation of the race, creativity, and organizational ability.
Balcome, 76, coined the race day phrase, "This is Thanksgiving in Manchester," and is known for making Manchester "a runners race" from the elite athletes kicking toward the tape down Main Street to the guy in the back of the 11,000-strong field kicking back in a bunny suit.
Balcome has served as the MRR's race director for 40 years. He's a past president of the Silk City Striders Running Club and competed in the road race for several years before being asked to lead its operations.
He's an Air Force veteran and retired Rockville High School teacher, guidance counselor and track coach who spends between 500 and 600 hours each year performing the "countless tasks" that are necessary to stage a major road race like the MRR, other race officials said.(11/14/2019) ⚡AMP
The Manchester Road race is one of New England’s oldest and most popular road races. The 80th Manchester Road Race will be held on Thanksgiving Day. It starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church. The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance recently honored the Manchester Road Race. The CSWA, which is comprised of sports journalists and broadcasters...more...