Everything you need to know about the 5th annual Princeton Half Marathon

The fifth annual Princeton Half Marathon will take place tomorrow morning, Nov. 5. The race will start on Paul Robeson Place at 7 a.m. sharp.

HiTOPS, a regional non-profit adolescent health education and empowerment organization based in downtown Princeton, is the producer of the race. This year’s race has raised more than $516,000 so far for adolescent health programs.

“We created the Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon to engage the broader community in our work because at the end of the day, community health begins with healthy young people,” said  Bill Schofield, CEO of HiTOPS. “We intend to expand our ability to reach marginalized and at-risk youth populations throughout Central New Jersey, and proceeds from the race and private donations throughout can make that possible.”

Each year the Princeton Half Marathon gives a nod to its hometown with themes like Albert Einstein, the Black Squirrel, and the Dinky. This year, the race honors the memory of mathematician John Nash.

More than 1,600 people have registered for the race. About 25 percent of the runners are from Princeton. Runners registered to participate in the race are from 30 states and Washington D.C. Other countries represented include India, France, Spain and Germany.

The oldest participant is 89 years old. The largest age group represented is 40 to 49 year-olds, with 482 runners.

Landmarks on the race course include the Princeton Battlefield, Institute for Advanced Study, the home of Einstein, Princeton University, the Princeton Boathouse on Lake Carnegie, Westminster Choir College, Herrontown Woods and more.

The course was adjusted slightly for this year. A small trail section through the Princeton Battlefield and through the Institute woods was eliminated for safety concerns.

“This was a tough decision because a lot of people really loved that section of the race”, said Race Director Courtney Newman. “But at the end of the day, we had to do everything possible to minimize the chance someone could get hurt”. With the growing popularity and field size of the race, the trail through the woods was becoming increasingly congested, and a few runners fell last year and sustained minor injuries such as sprained ankles.  Organizers worked in consultation with the Princeton Police Department to alter the course to loop back from Battlefield State Park to the Institute for Advanced Study.

Streets will be closed to traffic during the event on an intermittent basis until all runners have completed the course, police said.The race begins at 7 a.m. but some streets will be closed beginning at 4:30 a.m.. Most roads will be reopened at about 10 a.m. with the exception of Paul Robeson Place, which will reopen at about 11 a.m.

The race route:

  • West on Paul Robeson Place (from Chambers Street) to west on Hodge Road
  • South on Library Place to west on Mercer Street
  • Turn left at 500 Mercer through the parking lot loop back to Mercer St.
  • Right on Mercer St. to Maxwell Ln.
  • South on Maxwell Ln to Einstein Dr.
  • East on Einstein to Olden Ln.
  • North on Olden Ln. to Battle Rd.
  • East on Battle Rd. to Springdale Rd.
  • South on Springdale Rd. to West Dr.
  • East on West Dr. to Alexander Rd.
  • North on Alexander Rd. to Faculty Rd.
  • East on Faculty Rd. to Washington Rd.
  • North on Washington Rd to Wiggins St.
  • East on Wiggins to Walnut Ln.
  • North on Walnut to Franklin Ave.
  • East on Franklin to Linden Ln.
  • South on Linden to Hamilton Ave.
  • East on Hamilton, continue straight onto Rollingmead to North on Deer Path
  • North on Clover Lane to west on Overbrook Drive to Snowden Ln.
  • North on Snowden Lane to north on Herrontown Road;
  • South on Bunn Drive to Poor Farm Road
  • South on Mount Lucas Road to south on Jefferson Road
  • West on Wiggins Street to west on Paul Robeson Place
  • To the finish line near Chambers Street

For more info on the race visit www.princetonhalfmarathon.com.