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3 generations of Stoefflers hit the road in Manchester

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MANCHESTER - When the shotgun signals the start of this year's Manchester Road Race, three generations of the Stoeffler family with be hitting the pavement.

It is a family tradition that dates back to the 70s and it all began as a way to get in shape.

"It was 1979, and I was about 46, and starting to get a little flabby, so I started running, and the Manchester Road Race was the first race I ever ran," said Dick Stoeffler of Tolland.

Year after year, Dick Stoeffler went back and soon running in the Manchester Road Race became a tradition, one that he would soon share with his family.

His son, Brett Stoeffler, also of Tolland, has been lacing up his sneakers on Thanksgiving morning for more than 30 years. He says it is a race like no other.

"There`s people in costumes. There's serious runners. There`s world class runners and you get people who are walking it maybe for the first time," said Brett Stoeffler. "I just think that`s one of the nicer things about it. You have everyone out there, and everyone`s getting along. It is all good. It is all fun."

Last year was the first year his son, Luke, joined him.

"He`s a pretty good runner himself, so I wanted him to jump in and see how he could do, and just get with the tradition," said Brett Stoeffler.

"I remember when I was used to watching, I was really young, and now that I`m actually running it, it feels a lot different," said Luke Stoeffler.

This year it will be Luke, Brett and Dick - three generations all lining up at the start line. Dick says he`ll walk it this year. After all, he is 82...

"I`m going to walk and run a little," said Dick Stoeffler. "I`ll probably run down the hill."

Luke, 11, is looking to beat his time from last year.

When it is all done and the race is all run, there is a Thanksgiving Day dinner waiting for them.

"It`s just a good holiday. You got the race, then the drink, and the food. All the good stuff," said Brett Stoefller.

To read more about the Manchester Road Race, click here.

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