The Princeton Half Marathon is the biggest community event Princeton has ever had in terms of space, land covered, and logistical requirements, according to police.
HiTOPS, the organizer of the half marathon, has been planning for the big day for almost two years. Last year the race had to be canceled because of Superstorm Sandy.
“Wee are very excited about the race, and we appreciate everyone’s energy and support,” HiTOPS Executive Director Elizabeth Casparian said. “Come out Sunday and watch. We’re praying for really great weather.”
The race starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. The 13.1-mile course highlights some of Princeton’s most scenic landmarks, including the Princeton Battlefield, the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University, Lake Carnegie and Herrontown Woods.
The event will include food and family entertainment in Hinds Plaza from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Hinds Plaza.
Approximately 1,000 runners will participate in the race, which is also expected to attract several thousand spectators.
All proceeds from the event will benefit HiTOPS, a Princeton-based nonprofit dedicated to adolescent health care and education since 1987. HiTOPS, which is located at the corner of Wiggins Street and Tulane Street, helps children, young adults and families achieve healthy lifestyles through risk-prevention education and intervention. The ultimate goal is is to help youth make healthy lifestyle choices and avoid long-term negative health outcomes.
“Over 1,000 runners and more than 200 volunteers are helping to put adolescent health into the spotlight and make a difference for our community,” said Bill Schofield, head of the HiTOPS Board of Trustees. “It’s a one of a kind event in Princeton, and everyone is coming together for to make it happen; community members, merchants, church groups, the university, and of course the police and the town of Princeton.
“So many people have worked incredibly hard, and we can’t wait to cross the finish line on November 3rd,” Schofield said.
The course is a USATF- certified road and trail run. The race starts and ends on Paul Robeson Place. For a detailed map, visit the Princeton Half Marathon website. The site also lists the roads that will be part of the race.
Casparian said the fastest runners are expected to finish the race in about an hour. The slowest runners will finish in just over three hours. For their safety and so that roads can be reopened in a timely manner, runners must maintain a minimum pace of 15-minutes per mile to avoid being escorted off the course. The HiTOPS “Victory Village” will be located on Hinds Plaza. There will be a medal ceremony at the village at 10:30 a.m.