To the Editor:
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff team of HiTOPS Adolescent Health, I want to thank you, all of you, the entirety of greater Princeton for an amazing day on Sunday, November 6. The fourth running of the HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon is now in the books, and the incredible outpouring of support from the community was central to making this record-setting year particularly special.
The HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon (PHM) has become a marquee event in the region, the proceeds of which go toward helping HiTOPS reach over 13,000 youth with age-appropriate information about how to make positive choices and decisions about their health and relationships.
This was a record year, with 1,750 registered runners! More than 5,000 spectators and friends were on hand to support and encourage each runner as they made their way around the 13.1 mile course. Area businesses were bustling with peak activity during the typically slow early hours of a Sunday. The weather and fall foliage both cooperated to present historic Princeton in spectacular form.
Race sponsorships fuel the engine enabling HiTOPS to reach adolescents where they are, and with the information they need. This year’s major sponsors are: Orange Theory Fitness of Princeton, Trojan Brands, WPST, Coloplast, Specialized Physical Therapy, NRG, Novo Nordisk, and Fairleigh Dickenson University — School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. THANK YOU!!
The HiTOPS PHM is a private, charitable event, conducted in the public domain. HiTOPS takes very seriously the responsibility of well-representing the municipality of Princeton. We are grateful to the Princeton Council and Mayor Lempert for their continued support. It is a sincere pleasure to work with them and many others, such as the Department of Public Works, and the Princeton Police Department.
With further regard to the police, they deserve special thanks. Our main points of contact, Lt. Geoff Maurer, and Sgt. Tom Murray, who have been with the race from the start, employed incredible skill and experience creating a public safety “ballet” of sorts, keeping the roads open, the runners running, and everyone safe.
We are also grateful to the Princeton Clergy Association for working closely with us in planning, and helping us communicate with their respective congregations. We realize this event has the potential to impact the normal routines of a Sunday morning, and we made it a priority to make sure residents could get to and from their places of worship with as little inconvenience as possible.
While this is a serious, USATF Certified race, it’s first and foremost a charitable event with the goal of increasing awareness of HiTOPS and the importance of adolescent health education. The race also raises much-needed funds that makes a big difference in young people’s lives. We couldn’t possibly do it effectively without the help of over 250 volunteers. They pack and unpack boxes, they haul water and food, they set up, break down and clean up. They are the ones offering water and nutrition with a smile and encouraging word. They are the fabric of the race and we are eternally grateful.
HiTOPS Board President
Interim Executive Director
Princeton Half Marathon Race Director