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60 and 70-somethings all in step | “Running Amigos” ready to return to the Manchester Road Race

For groups like the "Running Amigos," a return to an in-person race is also a sign that some things are returning to normal after COVID-19.

MANCHESTER, Conn — They have all been around the block before – add it up and it’s a collective 192 Manchester Road Races.

The group, all runners in their 60’s and 70’s, call themselves the "Running Amigos.” They were out on a sunny, bright-blue, cloudless Monday morning taking a practice run on the Manchester Road Race course.

RELATED: Manchester Road Race opens exhibit to showcase their running tradition

After a two-year absence, veteran racers like 72-year old Sue Leslie is happy to return to Main Street. Leslie will be running her 44th Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s the tradition of just doing this and it was sad last year that we couldn’t do this,” Leslie said.

Also on this year's course will be 72-year old Bob Dacey, who will be running his 33rd Manchester Road Race.

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Dacey said last year most of the group participated virtually.

"It’s really not the same when you’re running by yourself or on a different type of course," he added. "Seeing everyone on Main Street will be a big deal this year.”

For groups like the "Running Amigos," a return to running the race in person is also a sign that some things are returning to normal after COVID-19 hit and subsequently cancelled the 2020 race.

Dean Bolt, 68-years old, from West Hartford will be running his 15th Manchester Road Race. He agreed it’s all about being there in person.

“The crowd in any race pulls you along but in this race it’s just beyond, it’s just special," Bolt said.

RELATED: Manchester Road Race to air on FOX61 and CW20 this Thanksgiving

Manchester Road Race executive committee member Rick Dyer watched as the "Running Amigos" took a few extra strides, training down Main Street.

"This means we are coming back to normal, but it’s also a source of great joy for everyone associated with the Manchester Road Race,” Dyer added.

The 85th Manchester Road Race is on Thanksgiving Day and will air live on FOX61 at 9am.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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