Thousands of runners pound the pavement for annual New Haven Roa - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Thousands of runners pound the pavement for annual New Haven Road Race

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Thousands of runners ran in the 40th annual New Haven Road Race on Monday. (WFSB) Thousands of runners ran in the 40th annual New Haven Road Race on Monday. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

For the 40th year, several thousand runners took over the Elm City for the annual New Haven Road Race.

The race kicked off from Elm Street on the green Monday morning.

"This is a great course, great city, great sponsors," said Dave Iannone of Milford. "So this is like the ultimate."

The race is known to organizers and runners alike as one of the best in the country. It attracts veteran runners and beginners.

"We are very excited for two reasons today," said John Courtmanche, New Haven Road Race. "One, it's our 40th anniversary which everybody says is quite an achievement. The second reason we're excited is we haven't had weather like this in several years."

Courtmanche recalled the threat of Hurricane Hermine in 2016 and the 90 degree heat and humidity from 2015.

Courtmanche said they registered new entrants from 6:30 a.m. up until the start of the race at 8:30 a.m.

Organizers said they expected about 70,000 runners total to take part in the half marathon, 20k or 5k races.

"It has been a goal that we've been working towards, and we're just really excited to achieve it today," said Karen Cahill of Hamden.

They also said much of the funds go to local charities.

Bumper stickers for sale at the event raised funds for the people of Texas impacted by Harvey.

Eyewitness News spoke with one man who said he's run the race every year since the beginning.

"The people on the course, the bands, the incredible number of people down here right now and there's an hour to go before the race," said Peter Halsey, who was competing in the race for the 40th time. "It has just become a major community event."

To keep the energy going, about 14 bands, including DJs and bag pipers, will line the half marathon and 20k courses.

More than 300 volunteers will man dozens of water and nutrition stations along the courses.

After 40 years of races, the tradition for many continues to grow every year.

"We've had five different mayors in the 40 years and everyone of them has been enthusiastic supporters, especially this new mayor [Toni Harp]," Courtmanche said. "She has really embraced this race."

Several roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to city officials, there will be no CTtransit bus service to the green during the road race. Detours will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To see the courses and roads affected by the race, head to the event's website here.

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