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The Ultimate Guide to New Haven’s September Races

Walkers, joggers, and cyclists alike, did you hear that starting bell? Lace-up your sneakers and hit the pavement, New Haven’s September races are right around the corner. These annual events aren’t just about beating your records, these days are a full-fledged celebration of history, community, and the thrill of friendly competition. Here’s everything you need to know about the races, from their history to their future. 

46th Annual Faxon Law New Haven Road Race

The year was 1978, marked by the reigning power of disco and the birth of running for leisure instead of running for sport. That year, the New Haven Road Race was born out of the locals’ desire to unite, share a sweat, and experience a community-wide runner’s high. This year will mark the 46th Annual Faxon Law New Haven Road Race. On Labor Day, September 4, the event features 5 races: the 20k, the Half Marathon, the 5k, the Half Marathon Relay, and the Kids Fun Run. All of these races begin at the New Haven Green. The Kids Fun Run begins at 8:10 AM, and all other races begin at 8:30 AM. 

13th Annual Closer to Free Ride

Cyclists have come together for the last 12 years to raise awareness and research funds for the Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital with the Annual Closer to Free Ride. Those interested in racing for a good cause can participate in the 13th Annual Closer to Free Ride on September 9. The free ride features five routes ranging in distance, from 10 miles to 100 miles long, and invites racers to free ride along their route either in-person or remotely. One hundred percent of the funds raised by Riders and Volunteers fuel the unparalleled research and care these organizations rely on. 

New Haven Grand Prix

Connecticut’s most anticipated cycling event, the New Haven Grand Prix, returns for its 13th year on September 15. Established to allow the community to see top riders up close in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, the New Haven Grand Prix invites cyclists of all ages and experience levels. The event includes a twilight bike race, a lively street festival featuring the city’s best food vendors, and live music from talented local artists. If you’re racing, don’t forget to stretch. If you’re spectating, the beer garden and Apizza feast open at 4:00 PM.

Beyond the Finish Line

The fun doesn’t end at the finish line. In the Elm City, apres-race is alive and well, complete with live music, food trucks, and swapping os tales of the track with newfound friends. Through spirited high fives and sweaty hugs, racers and cheerleaders alike will share delicious bites and plenty of rehydrating refreshments (spiked or not). 

Our Advice to Racers

  • Remember, it’s not just about the destination – though that finish line looks mighty fine – it’s about the journey! Embrace your race and enjoy the process. 
  • Celebrate the small victories. Every inch you take is one closer to achieving your goal. Embrace the milestones along the way.
  • On race day, take a moment to savor the crowd’s energy and the scenery around you. 
  • Be sure to hydrate. Your body’s a well-oiled machine, and it deserves the best. Don’t forget to treat yourself post-race, you’ve earned it!


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