Planet Princeton

Princeton Half Marathon Full, but HiTops Still Seeks Race Volunteers

The Princeton Half Marathon has reached its maximum capacity of 1,000 registered runners, but you can still take part in the excitement as a volunteer  if you missed out.

Organized by the non-profit HiTops, the event has attracted runners from across the country and around the world to take part in the Nov. 4 race.

“The response has been fantastic,” said said Catharine Vaucher, the director of development and marketing at HiTops. “While a significant number of the U.S. runners are from the Tri-State area,  a lot are from as far away as California, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming. We also have runners from Sweden and Switzerland.”

There is a waiting list for the event, and at this point HiTops is referring people to the Nov. 10 Trenton Half Marathon. HiTops is still seeking sponsors for the event, and Arm & Hammer is the anchor sponsor. Vendors will have booths on Palmer Square the day of the race, and there will be entertainment and other activities on the square. The race is expected to draw several thousand spectators.

“We are starting to get a lot of calls from people who want to be involved,” Vaucher said of the new event that has generated a lot of anticipation in the community.

It will take about 300 volunteers to pull off the race. HiTops is looking for groups and individuals willing to donate a few hours of their time. Various volunteer opportunities are available on race day and  the Friday and Saturday before the race. Some residents who live along the 13.1 mile race course have already volunteered to allow HiTops to put water tables on their properties.

“Princeton is so beautiful, and there is so much culture and history. It’s great to be able to share it with visitors,” Vaucher said. “People who love running can enjoy the cultural aspects while they run. We just hope the weather will be beautiful too.”

Volunteers are needed for the following activities:

Pre-Race Logistics Volunteers – Work with a team of volunteers to put together race day packets for runners and volunteers, check-in all runners on Friday and Saturday, and verify that their information is correct and distribute race packet. Volunteers will be provided a shirt to be worn during their shift(s). Positions open for November 2nd and 3rd. Race day is Nov. 4.

Information Booth – Become familiar with the race day events and course maps. Participants will travel through the many areas of Princeton. You should have a good knowledge of the downtown streets and surrounding area. Volunteers will offer information to participants, spectators and anyone who may need assistance, and will also be asked to perform ad hoc jobs as needed.

Logistics, Setup & Breakdown – Logistics volunteers assist Saturday and Sunday early morning on race weekend with race course barricades and traffic control devices, set up and breakdown of food tables, and the first aid booth. This job will require more physical labor than others.

Water Marshals – One of the most important jobs of the race. Water Marshals are positioned at various points on the racecourse in teams of 20 to ensure runners have water or performance beverages as needed. Water Marshals also cheer and encourage the runners as they pass. Some water marshals may be required to walk a mile. This shift is from 5:30 – 11:30 a.m..

Water Marshal Leaders – Responsible for the check-in of water marshal volunteers, oversight of their water marshal team and assigned zone within the course. Will be in direct contact with Princeton Half Marathon staff with any challenges that arise, via a walkie-talkie. Those who are willing to use
their car for transporting 3-4 volunteers are encouraged to apply.

Green Team – The Green Team will be responsible for collecting and recycling any trash left on Palmer Square during and after day’s events. May also be asked to perform other ad hoc jobs as needed.

Traffic Cyclists – A crucial safety role during the race. Traffic cyclists will ride the race course along with the runners to assist with runner safety and be in contact with team leader as necessary. Serious cyclists encouraged to participate. Knowledge of Princeton area a plus.

For more information about the race or to sign up to volunteer, visit princetonhalfmarathon.com.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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