It's 'go' time for the Marathon
"As we expected, we got a late push in registration signups. and we're very pleased with the numbers," said Cornell. "Our four-person relay is sold out. We accepted a maximum of 100 relay teams, and we met our goal."
Cornell said earlier that Manchester helped its cause to gain grand prix status last year when it re-opened registration to accommodate runners who were planning to run in last year's New York City Marathon before it was canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
In last year's half marathon, another Ethiopian, Tadesse Girma, a 32-year-old resident of Malden, Mass., led the men's field in 1:12.18. Heidi Westover of Walpole defended her women's title and won her third Manchester Half Marathon overall, in 1:19.41.
The finish line will be on Elm Street just north of the entrance to Veterans Park.
Cornell said beginning at Mile 3, there will be water stops every two miles and two ambulance crews will roam the course. A medical tent will be available at Veterans Park, and 26 police posts along the course will stop traffic and direct the runners.
Today's weather forecast calls for temperatures around 40 degrees at the start of the race, with the sun emerging as the runners make their way through the early miles.
Local runners returning this year include Jason Porter of Bedford, who finished ninth overall in last year's marathon, in 2:45.06, and Kelly Galan of Londonderry who was seventh among the women in last year's half marathon, in 1:37.19.
A graduate of Raymond High School and Southern New Hampshire University and director of operations for United Healthcare, she said she appreciates having an event of the Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon's caliber so close to home.
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