John Habib's City Sports: Race founder no longer running the marathon
This is the first year a Manchester City Marathon won't have Sarah Normand as its director. A mother of three young children, Normand said she had to step away from the time-consuming task of managing the event to tend to family matters.
"It's something I'm proud of, and to see it grow from year to year made me very happy," she said. "(Directing) the marathon was always a 12-month commitment for me — spending many hours making sure the next marathon was going to be better than the last one."
"You never forget the first one," she said. "The other highlight for me was last year when we reached out to the runners who couldn't run the New York Marathon because of Hurricane Sandy. To help those runners was very gratifying to me and my entire staff."Jayne Cornell, a Manchester City Marathon volunteer since its inception is its new director. She credits her predecessor with making a dream come true.
An experienced distance runner herself, Normand said she was leaning toward registering for this year's half marathon.
Asked how she feels about running in the half marathon as opposed to running the entire event as its director, Normand laughed.
The event, of which Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is primary sponsor and the New Hamsphire Union Leader a co-sponsor, starts at 8:50 a.m. on Elm Street, outside Veterans Memorial Park.
FOR THE second straight season, the Manchester Babe Ruth Baseball League in 2014 will host a regional tournament.
League president Gary Ulbin corfirmed this week his league will host the 15-year-old New England Regional Tournament Aug. 2-7 at Gill Stadium.
"The regional tournament directors and many of the coaches from teams in the tournament were very complimentary," he said. "The coaches said they loved playing at Gill Stadium, and the directors were very happy. The Manchester Parks and Recreation Department also went above and beyond their duty to prepare the field for our tournament."
"Norm Messier, the regional Babe Ruth commissioner, was here, and I told him we were interested in hosting the 15-year-old regionals," said Ulbin. "He's been to Manchester many times, and he knows we have a history of hosting tournaments and running them well."
"Our Lebel team got eliminated in two games and our other state team, Bedford, got eliminated in three games," said Ulbin. "I believe more people will come out next summer to watch the older kids play. The fact we just went to the World Series and are returning most of the players certainly will draw more people to the regionals."
ULBIN said he won't know until April whether Manchester will continue to run the Ray Lebel League for 13-year-olds.
"Our registration numbers were down last year, and we were able to field only three 13-year-old teams," he said. "We had to schedule some games with Bow to fill out our schedule."
"The main reason for the low number is because registration is also down on the Little League level in Manchester," said Ulbin. "We won't know anything until we hold our registration and see how many kids try out. If we fall below this year's number, we may have to drop the 13-year-old Ray Lebel League and go exclusively with the 13- to 15-year-old Tom Woodlock League. Time will tell."