MANCHESTER -- Patriotism helped recover a microphone malfunction at the 78th Manchester Road Race this year. The sound system cut out during the National Anthem, but the estimated 15,000 runners poised at the starting line chimed in to finish the song.
The race, a turkey day tradition, went off without a hitch after the hiccup, despite some daunting weather on Thanksgiving eve.
Snow and freezing rain coated the nearly 5-mile route through downtown Manchester on Wednesday, but a speedy clean-up and family tradition could not keep tens of thousands of fans and runners away. "We've been doing this since the early 70s, and some of them even earlier than that," one fan told Fox CT's Jim Altman.
Racers represented their favorite teams, honored the holiday's founders and sported a few out-of-this-world outfits.
"This is my seventh time running it, fifth time in the astronaut suit," said one festive racer dressed in a space suit. "I work in the aerospace industry, so I wanted to do something that I could relate to."
Musicians dotted the course and, along with high-fiving fans, erased any feelings of fatigue.
"When I’m running and that hammer is in the air, they’re going to be like, they’ll be yelling, they're screaming like, ‘Go Thor!’ It’s amazing," said a runner dressed head-to-toe like Marvel Comics' Thor.
The new King and Queen of the Hill competition provided additional motivation, with a $1,000 prize for the first man and first woman who hoofed it up Highland Street Hill. Of course, the biggest prize: bragging rights for race winners.
New Hampshire's Ben True finished in less than 22 minutes. Diane Nukuri- Johnson of Arizona cruised in during minute 24.
"I was a little nervous last night when it kept snowing, but then this morning was beautiful, no wind and it was definitely perfect for me. It was perfect weather for running," said Nukuri-Johnson.
Unofficial race results show nearly 11,700 runner crossed the finish line, marking a successful 78th year for the Manchester Road Race and many more to come.
"It’s watching families come together. It’s seeing old people that you've seen for years. Really reliving your childhood almost. Years and years of tradition," said a huge MMR fan.