With temperatures expected to feel a little more like spring this weekend, runners in the area will hit the pavement to begin the 2016 season as Race 13.1 Wilmington returns for its second year on Sunday, Feb. 21.
The half marathon, 10K and 5K series saw more than 600 runners during its inaugural race, which starts and ends at Lumina Station on Eastwood Road. The course features portions of the Cross City Trail, as well as the UNCW campus.
Former UNCW men’s basketball player Dan Mercer serves as Regional Vice President for Race 13.1, a series of road races, extending from the southeast to as far west as St. Louis, Missouri. The series has extended to 18 different races from Sunday’s race in the Port City to Dec. 3, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Similar events under Race 13.1 are also scheduled for Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Fayetteville.
“Having played basketball at UNCW, and owing so much to the school and the community, overseeing this event meant a lot to me,” said Mercer, a Raleigh native, who played two seasons for the Seahawks from 2009-10. “I am so thankful for my experience at UNCW. It gave me a new start in my life and led me to live the healthy lifestyle that I do today.
“I hope that promoting the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle, supporting local economy and charity, and delivering an event that exceeds the expectations of our participants will be a good way to give a little back to a community that gave so much to me.”
Charlotte resident Bill Shires highlighted a successful inaugural Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Race 13.1 Half Marathon, 10K and 5K event in Wilmington. He was the top half marathon finisher and set a new North Carolina state record in the men’s 50-55 age group. His time of 1:18:57 surpassed the previous record of 1:20:07.
Click here for more information on Race 13.1 Wilmington. The organization will also hold the Oak Island Lighthouse Half Marathon on April 16, 2016, and the Port City Orthopaedics Battleship NC Half Marathon on September 26, 2016, as part of the group’s Coastal Carolina Challenge.