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Ladies Night Out 5K run/walk to be held Saturday in Manchester

MANCHESTER — A 5K run/walk to be held downtown on Saturday is much more about the fun than the run.

Manchester is hosting the Ladies Night Out Run, Wine and Chocolate, an event pretty much summarized by its name. It's for women only, although men can volunteer provided they dress up and provide a little charm between the start and red-carpet finish.

"The more the merrier. It's a fun, unique event," said Ashley Steeves, race coordinator for B&S Event Management.

This is the second such event for Salem, Mass.-based B&S. The first was held in December in Newburyport, Mass., when many runners were decked out with holiday cheer such as Santa hats and other attire more eccentric than typical fitnesswear.

"I'm sure we'll get some crazy outfits. We always do," Steeves said. "It's one of those things people really try to get into."

The run starts at 4 p.m. Saturday outside Runner's Alley on Hanover Street, which will be closed off from Chestnut to Elm streets during the festivities starting at 2 p.m.

Manchester police said traffic on northbound Elm and southbound Chestnut along the course will remain open, but limited to one lane. Runners will go north on Elm up to Clarke, go east for a few blocks before veering south on Ray for one block to Appleton, west to Chestnut and south the rest of the way to Hanover Street.

"It's a fast, flat, pretty easy course with minimal turns," Steeves said.

Organizers are expecting up to 300 runners. The finish will be lined with a red carpet and volunteers will be there with a carnation and Ladies Night Out wine glass. The reception area is basically up and down that block of Hanover Street with hors d'oeuvres, chocolate and various beverages — including a selection of something white, red or rose' to fill the new wine glasses. Several businesses have partnered with B&S for the event and will be supplying the food and drink.

Steeves said the only requirement for the male volunteers is to be "all dressed up and looking sharp for the ladies." A suit or tuxedo is fine.

Registration is $65 for adults and $30 for ladies under age 21 and can be completed online or on Saturday outside Runner's Alley starting at 2:30 p.m. Some of the proceeds will go to the American Heart Association and Easter Seals.

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