Media Contacts HiTOPS:
Bill Schofield, HiTOPS CEO (609-683-5155 ext 215)
Courtney Newman, Race Director (609-683-5155 ext 230)
THE RACE BEFORE THE RACE – Final Prep for the Princeton Half Marathon
PRINCETON, NJ (November 3, 2017) – With little more than a day to go, organizers of the HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon, presented by NRG Energy, are in a race of their own. Early on November 5th, thousands of runners and spectators will flock to Princeton for the 5th running of the iconic race. With the clock winding down, Race Director, Courtney Newman, is mobilizing hundreds of volunteers and team members to have everything in place when the whistle blows to start the race precisely at 7:00 am on Sunday morning.
“Right now we’re focused on staging all of the component parts of the race so we can quickly put them in place in the early hours before the start,” Newman said. “We have hundreds of gallons of water, truckloads of food, dozens of tents, 13 mile markers, 8 water stations… when you start thinking about it all together, it can be a bit overwhelming”, she continued.
It might seem overwhelming, but those around her see something else entirely. “Calm, cool and collected”, said Bill Schofield, CEO of HiTOPS, the producer of the race. “She started last spring with a list that appeared as long as the half marathon itself, and has been steadily knocking it down every day along the way.”
The race, scheduled for November 5th, is historic Princeton’s largest scale annual running event and is presented this year by NRG Energy. HiTOPS, an established regional nonprofit adolescent health education and empowerment organization, is the producer of the Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon.
“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 Schofield, “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.”
Course Safety is a Top Priority
This course was changed for the first time this year. While it largely remains consistent with prior years, 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 Newman. “But at the end of the day, we had to do everything possible to minimize the chance someone could get hurt”. Race officials said that with the growing popularity and field size of the race, the trail through the woods was becoming increasingly congested, and that a few runners fell last year sustaining minor injuries such as sprained ankles.
Responding to that challenge, organizers worked in consultation with the Princeton Police Department to alter the course to loop back from Battlefield State Park to the renowned Institute for Advanced Study, adding yet another iconic Princeton landmark to the race. They think the winning times might even be a little faster this year.
Each year the HiTOPS Princeton Half gives a nod to the hometown, with themes like Albert Einstein, the Black Squirrel, and the Dinky. This year, a quote from Princeton’s own John Nash is front and center.
“The only thing greater than the power of the mind, is the courage of the heart” – John Nash
Whether one rises for the cause that is HiTOPS Adolescent Health Education, rises to run each day or just plain loves math (rise over run = slope), the 2017 shirt theme, RISE/RUN, is in memory of John Nash, the master mathematician. #ABeautifulRace
ABOUT PRINCETON HiTOPS HALF MARATHON presented by NRG ENERGY.
PHM FUN FACTS
RACE DATE: Sunday, November 5th, 2017
Presenting sponsor, NRG Energy
Trojan Brands (Church & Dwight), Princeton Running Company, Novo Nordisk, Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy & Health, The Alchemist & Barrister, WPST, Wegmans, Hamilton Jewelers, First Bank of NJ, Lependorf & Silverstein, Reed Smith, Borden Perlman, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Online, Bee Fit with Tracy, Garden State Equality, Princeton Fire & Rescue, Princeton Property Partners, The Bank of Princeton, Princeton HealthCare System, Princeton Fitness & Wellness, PowerCrunch, Bracco Diagnostics, JAG Physical Therapy, Arbonne, Adapt Performance & Rehab, Breathing Dragon Yoga, IRUNLIKEAGIRL, PrimaLife Health Group, Hampton Inn Princeton, Holiday Inn Princeton, Princeton Marriott.
HiTOPS is working to help young people become the best versions of themselves, and wants them to be a part of a caring and supportive community. When we train and empower adults and peer leaders, adolescents become less likely to engage in risk behaviors. By engaging youth around topics of their own health, they develop habits of making decisions that support their health and future goals.
The interventions that HiTOPS provides—resources, information, support—are proven to help teens and emerging young adults navigate their way through the developmental behaviors of risk-taking and experimentation so integral to growing and becoming independent adults.
For more information about HiTOPS, visit the web at hitops.org