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. What is the race day schedule?
5:30 AM – Race Day Registration Opens (100 spots available)
6:00 AM – Runners 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
9:00 AM – Award Ceremony at Victory Village
9:00 AM – Post-Race Celebration “Kegs & Eggs” starts at Alchemist & Barrister.
10:30 AM – Bag Drop Closes
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 in Hinds Plaza which is the place for pre-race stretching, announcements, post-race results and our medal ceremony. Click here to see course.
Q. Is this a USATF Certified Course?
A. Yes, this course is a USATF Certified Grand Prix Event. Click here to see course.
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 any runner going slower than that pace will be informed that they are disqualified. Please keep in mind that at 8:26 at mile 6 and at 9:08 at mile 9, there will be staff to take bibs from runners not meeting the pace requirement. Those reaching mile 11 at 9:25 or after will be directed to the sidewalk to finish.
Participants not meeting the pace at mile 6 and 9 will hear “You are now behind the 14 minute mile pace and you’ve been disqualified. The roads are now open to traffic. For your own safety we ask that you get in the van. We can’t make you but we would appreciate your cooperation. There is water in the van. If you choose to continue, you are on your own. The roads are open to traffic and there is no police protection or course marshals to direct you. If you choose to continue running, please understand that the police must resume the flow of traffic and may stop disqualified runners at various intersections. A finish line medal will not be available for you today but you are welcome to come by HiTOPS next week and pick up your medal.”
This policy 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.
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. 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. Where are the water stops? Will there be anything on the course besides water?
A. There are 8 water stops on the course.
Q. Where are the bathrooms located? Are there are on the course?
There are 3 locations near the start line.
There are 4 locations on the course with 2 units each.
Q. Will there be post-race massage?
A. You bet! Click here to meet some of the PHM finish line therapists and understand the importance of massage both pre-race and post-race. Book a massage now with one of the therapists and mention “Princeton Half Marathon” for a 15% discount. They will also make a donation to HiTOPS in your honor.
Q. What is Kegs & Eggs?
Back by popular demand, the Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon Runners Fest “Kegs & Eggs” will take place at Alchemist & Barrister. All runners and race spectators are welcome to come and enjoy the best post race celebration in the industry!
Muscles starving for protein? We’ve got that covered with eggs, sausage and bacon. Need to restore all those carbs you burned? Nothing beats breakfast potatoes. Combine that with celebratory drink specials, live music and giveaways, Alchemist & Barrister is the place to be!
The “All You Can Eat Buffet” is $7 for runners with their race bib and $10 for spectators. $3 for all Michelob Ultra and Bud light beers on draft and $5 Bloody Mary’s.
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.
For every donation received, participants will be entered to win our FUNDRAISER PRIZE PACK including race swag, $25 @ Small World Coffee, $50 @ La Mezzaluna and a massage @ La Jolie Spa & Salon.
Join the FB event.