November 19, 2014

Princeton Half Marathon Brings 1250 Runners Through Unique Neighborhoods of Princeton

To the Editor:

On November 2, 1,250 runners ran a 13.1 mile course through neighborhoods and sites of Princeton. On roads and trails framed by trees of all colors, runners were treated with unique experiences of Princeton Battlefield, Rogers Wildlife Preserve and Herrontown Woods, and the campuses for the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, Westminster Choir College, and the Princeton Theological Seminary.

An event of this scope requires the hands, hearts, and minds of so many people, we want to thank those who helped to make Princeton Half Marathon a success. First, Princeton Half Marathon is a coordinated effort between HiTOPS and the Princeton Police Department. In particular we want to thank Lt. Currier and Sgt. Murray who, from the beginning, helped to translate our idea into an event fit for the community, i.e., ensuring the safety of all participants, and minimizing impact to residents and churches. Their efforts, from planning to execution, are earning Princeton Half Marathon the reputation of “professionally managed and friendly.” Their care and concern for all sectors of this community are evident through both their interactions with individuals and their overall presence at intersections along the course.

We thank the runners, who by their commitment to their own health and fitness, helped HiTOPS take its message of healthy adolescents/healthy community to the streets. While more than half of the runners are from the greater Princeton area — some live right on the course — runners represented 17 countries and 28 states. Thank you for choosing Princeton Half Marathon. Your every step (especially up those hills!) is an inspiration to us all.

We also thank the 250 volunteers who helped to make the event a reality. From the days leading up to race day, you provided the hands to get things done. Your enthusiasm and energy helped to re-charge the batteries of the small staff. We are deeply grateful for your participation.

When the Princeton Half Marathon course was presented to the public in 2012, it was immediately endorsed as a destination event and an exciting way to attract thousands of visitors to the area by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Princeton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau. After just an informal survey of downtown businesses, we are delighted that so many benefitted from the event.

Our sponsors helped to elevate this event and the cause. In particular we want to thank Arm & Hammer, which has been a lead sponsor from the beginning. Each year there is a growing corporate involvement — from employee running teams to lead sponsorships — and we are honored by your participation.

In spite of its size, Princeton Half Marathon has a unique, rather intimate aspect to it. As it winds into neighborhoods, residents hosted water stations, held traffic posts or cheered from the edge of their driveways. For your participation, the event is taking on a life of its own. Your signs and cheering made the news and helped the runners along the way.

Catharine Vaucher

Race Director and HiTOPS

Director of Development and Marketing

Elizabeth Casparian, PhD

HiTOPS Executive Director