Manchester Village Council Considers 2021 Run Manchester Request

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By Doug Marrin

It feels good to hear of plans going forward for summer events.

With refreshing optimism and hope, Manchester Community Schools FIRST Robotics Teams submitted its request to the Village Council for a permit to host its annual Run Manchester race held the first Saturday in August.

“Over the last couple of months, we've been planning again the 2021 Run Manchester Event hosted by the FIRST Robotics Teams of Manchester,” Jacob Mann, Robotics Team member, and event organizer, told the Council. “Our goal is to host this event at 8:00 a.m. on August 7, 2021.”

The annual event is a fundraiser that supports Manchester Community Schools’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs. Last year, as with everything else fun, the run was cancelled (and we all know why).

But this year, the Robotics Teams are coming back bigger and better with plans to add a 10-mile and a half-marathon option to the 5K and 10K runs. The longer routes would take runners into the neighboring townships, giving participants a chance for a more challenging race, enjoying Manchester's bucolic environs.

“This provides a different view on course for runners’ enjoyment, keeps the race on quiet back roads, and is safer to manage,” Mann explained in an email to the Council. “This is an absolutely beautiful running route.”

To accomplish this expanding routing, the group needs approval from the Village of Manchester, Manchester Twp, Bridgewater Twp, and Freedom Twp.

Should the expanded plan somehow be thwarted, the group has a backup plan which would keep the runners within the Village limits for the entire event. Options for this “Plan B” would be just a 5K or 10K run.

If the planning safety concerns and timeline allows, Mann told the Council, “We would also like to host a free kids’ mile run, as well as another kids activity, such as a self-guided scavenger hunt packet that includes promoting local businesses.”

The plan is for the race to be run in-person with modifications to promote COVID safety.

  • Start time will be a 30-minute window, staggering runners’ starts and avoiding a large group of participants at once.
  • No award ceremony will be held. Results will be posted online.
  • Safety precautions are also being planned for packet pick-up.
  • If required, runners will need to complete a COVID-19 health screening form before packet pick-up.

Should state safety mandates prohibit the event in August altogether, the Robotics Teams either plans to hold the run virtually or move it to a later date in the fall.

The Village Council approved the 2021 Run Manchester event request. The Robotics Teams now move on to the surrounding townships to request their approval for the run.

“Thank you, everyone,” said Village President Vailliencourt after the permit was approved. “It will be nice to have our events return to somewhat normal again.”

A sentiment echoed throughout many communities.

Follow Run Manchester on Facebook for updated information.

Photo: Run Mancester Facebook

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