Annual Cigna/Elliot Corporate 5K Road Race in Manchester is all about team-building
The event — the third largest 5K road race in New England — draws thousands to the downtown, and police will start closing some streets as early as noon. By 5 p.m., downtown portions of Elm, Amherst and Canal streets will be closed.
Meanwhile, organizers are keeping an eye on weather maps. Heavy rain and even thunderstorms are forecast for Thursday, but they are expected to dissipate in the early afternoon, said Susanna Whitcher, spokesman for Elliot Hospital, one of the race organizers.
“People who come to an event like this, even if it were rainy, would have as much fun with this if it were sunny,” she said.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but we always have beautiful weather every year,” she said.
The number of runners is expected to approach 6,000, and the event also draws hundreds of supporters and spectators.
“It’s not an individual vs. individual race,” she said. “It’s a team-building race. It’s about the spirit of the teams.”
She said the Cigna/Elliot race encourages employers to field teams. Teams have a minimum of five members. Teams logos are imprinted on T-shirts, and many teams try to stay together and run as a unit.
She said the race raises health awareness in the city.
According to the race website, this is the first year that baby strollers won’t be allowed on the course. The website said it is doing so for safety reasons and notes that bikes, roller blades and skateboards have not been allowed in previous races.
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