Below is a list of frequently asked questions from runners. If your question is not listed below, please reach out to Courtney Newman, Princeton Half Marathon Race Manager.
Q. Who are the race organizers and what does the race support?
A. Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon is organized by HiTOPS, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to adolescent health. Since 1987, HiTOPS has been an integral resource for the Princeton community, helping children and families achieve healthy lifestyles and behaviors through prevention and risk reduction education. HiTOPS’ ultimate goal is healthy, empowered youth who make health enhancing choices and avoid long-term negative health outcomes. HiTOPS is located at 21 Wiggins Street in Princeton, NJ. For more information about HiTOPS, please visit hitops.org.
Be sure to check out our Charity Runners program. Any participant who raises $500 for HiTOPS will have their marathon registration fee refunded in full.
Q. Where does the race start and finish? Is there a finisher’s expo area?
A. The race will start and finish on Paul Robeson Place in Princeton. Race morning we setup our HiTOPS’ Victory Village which is the place for pre-race stretching, announcements, post-race results and our medal ceremony.
Q. Is this a USATF Certified Course?
A. Yes, this course is a USATF Certified Grand Prix Event.
Q. Is there a maximum time to finish the course?
A. Competitors must maintain a minimum 14-minute/mile pace. The maximum time to finish the 13.1 mile course is 3 hours, 4 minutes. Participants that are proceeding at a slower pace will be escorted off the course due to the roads being fully open to traffic at scheduled times.
Q. Is there a Military / First Responder discount?
A. There sure is! Click here for more information.
Q. Are walkers allowed to register and run in the Princeton Half Marathon?
A. Yes, as long as walkers maintain the minimum 14-minute/mile pace.
Q. Is the 14-minute/mile pace strictly enforced?
A. Yes, police officers are working on a 14-minute/mile pace. Roads will be opening to traffic at specific times so if anyone is going slower than the pace, they will be escorted off the course. Please keep in mind that at 8:25 at mile 6 and at 9:15 at mile 9.5, there will be staff to take bibs from runners not meeting up with the pace. This is strictly enforced for the safety of our runners.
Q. Is there any recommended lodging for runners and spectators?
A. Yes, click here for more information.
Q. Do I need to be a registered runner to participate in the race?
A. Yes. We require all runners to be registered through RunSignUp.com, and to have completed all waivers prior to participation. Registered runners are required to wear the race bibs in the interest of safety. If you are not registered, you will be asked to leave the course. You must wear your bib throughout the race. The bib is a confirmation of race registration and gives you access to the entry chute, finisher’s medal and food, and can identify you in case of an emergency. Additionally, the race bib includes tear-off tags for use at a bag drop and Runners’ Fest.
Q. Where should I park?
A. Please visit Princeton Parking Authority’s website for available parking places. Click here for a Princeton parking map. Parking garages tend to fill up quickly, and access from the garages closest to the Start/Finish area may be delayed as sections of town are still closed for the event.
Q. Are runners allowed to take strollers on the course?
Q. Are wheelchair-competitors allowed to compete?
A. Because the course contains an off-road dirt section, wheelchair competitors are not allowed to compete.
Q. Is Princeton Half Marathon a road course?
A. This course is primarily a road run. Less than 10% of the course is on paved/unpaved trails and non-maintained roads. These areas may present challenges such as mud, rocks, uneven surfaces and holes. Please remain alert for these types of obstacles, as well as for other runners around you in narrow trail conditions.
Q. Will cars be on the road as runners run?
A. We will make every effort to prevent cars from being on the course through holding up traffic at points on the course. However, participants must be aware of local traffic. There is always the possibility of cars pulling out of driveways and making it on to the course. Please follow the directions of all public safety officials, course marshals, and markers. Additionally, runners must remain to the right of the road to avoid accidents. When making left hand turns, runners must make them sharp.
Q. Can runners wear headphones?
A. Runners are strongly advised not to wear headphones while racing. With unpredictable trail conditions and the importance of remaining alert for other runners and traffic, it is important for runners to hear all activity around them.
Q. Will there be an area to drop off clothing?
A. Yes, from 6:00 to 10:30 AM, there will be a bag drop. Bag drop will be at Gloria Nilson & Co located at 33 Witherspoon Street.
Q. Will every runner receive a medal?
A. Yes, every finisher receives a medal. The top three overall male and female runners receive awards, as well as the top three finishers in each age group. Awards are in 5 year increments from 14 to 70+.
Q. What’s the race etiquette?
Q. When is Registration Packet Pickup?
A. Registration packet pickup will take place 3 days prior to the race. Packet pickup will be available race morning for a donation to HiTOPS. Visit http://princetonhalfmarathon.com/packetpickup/ for details.
Q. If the race is cancelled due to weather or an Act of God, how will I be notified? Will I receive a refund?
A. Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon is a rain or shine event. If the event is cancelled, HiTOPS will make every effort to notify all registered runners via the email address provided during registration. Due to reasons beyond the control of the Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon and HiTOPS, the Princeton Police or Town of Princeton may cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances, severe weather or other reason. If the event is cancelled, there will be no reimbursement or deferment of registration fees.
Q. What is the race day schedule?
6:00 AM – Assemble at HiTOPS’ Victory Village
6:00 AM – Bag Drop Opens
6:30 AM – First Call for Runners to Start Line
7:00 AM – Race Begins
7:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Community Event at Victory Village with food, vendors, and live musical entertainment
9:00 AM – Award Ceremony at Victory Village
10:30 AM – Bag Drop Closes
Q. Where is parking available? Will my friends and family be able to find parking after the race begins?
A. Please note there are several municipal parking garages in downtown Princeton. Runners and their families and friends are asked to park in lots listed below. All lots have exits that are open throughout the event. Please note the following:
For people looking for race parking in Downtown Princeton after the race begins, please park in the lots listed above. Be aware of downtown traffic delays – especially between 7:00 and 8:30 AM, when runners will be crossing some of the major entry roads into Princeton – Route 206, Alexander Street, and Washington Road.
Q. Where are the water stops? Will there be anything on the course besides water?
A. Wegman’s MVP Sports Drink will be offered at several of the water stops in addition to water.
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