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Letter to the Editor: Don’t ‘Bandit’ the Manchester Road Race

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To the Editor,

Connecticut’s greatest Thanksgiving Day gathering is the Manchester Road Race, attracting nearly 15,000 runners. It’s a fun, world class event that donates its proceeds to local charities. In 2017, that total was $85,000 which sounds like a lot, but was substantially lower than years past due to “banditing.”

Bandits are people who choose to run the race without registering for it. It’s estimated that 1,000-2,000 people bandited the race last year. While banditing a race may not seem like a big deal, it is. By not paying the $27 race registration fee, the bandits short-changed local charities by as much as $54,000. This matters as last year the Manchester Road Race received charitable requests for nearly $300,000, but had to turn most of those requests down.

Additionally, unregistered runners risk the safety of all involved with the race. In the post-Boston Marathon bombing world security efforts have rightly been stepped up. Registration asks for emergency contact info for each participant, and also allows organizers to know who is on the 4.748 mile course. With nearly 15,000 people, this is critical information to have.

Please help spread the word especially to those who might run the Manchester Road Race. Be an officially registered runner – not a bandit – and kick this season of giving and gratitude off on the right foot. www.manchesterroadrace.com.

Stephanie Blozy
Owner, Fleet Feet – West Hartford
Manchester Road Race Committee Member

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  • If 15000 racers raised $85000, how will 2000 racers raise more than half of that as you suggested?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone participating without registering but I’m not sure how you think registering an additional 15% of the runners is going to add 60% to your charitable donation amount

  • If you cap it at 15,000 runners and then reach max registrations, as happens every year, then you lose no revenue, whether it be one “bandit” or 2,000 because they have no way to pay even if they intended to.

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