WILMINGTON — Over 2,500 athletes and spectators are registered in this year’s annual Parkway Subaru Battleship Half Marathon on Nov. 12.
2023 marks the 25th anniversary of one of the oldest half-marathons in the South. The event encompasses a 10k and 5k races, an event expo on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with more than 20 vendors at the Aloft Wilmington, and a post-race celebration Sunday evening with live music and beer provided by sponsor Wicked Weed.
“You can go and find half marathons all over the place, but we want to make something that feels like a big city race, but with more of a small personal feel,” Tom Clifford, a co-owner of the event, told Port City Daily.
He said the post-celebration should go until 11 p.m., hosted by Feet Fleet. It takes place in the Athlete Village adjacent to the finish line at Princess and Water Streets.
Clifford said this year’s 2,500 registered participants is an increase from last year, which brought in 2,100
“But probably less than 2,000 actually raced,” he said. “We have some people who just don’t make it or they sign up and decide not to do it or defer. Right now, we’re already at that number and we still have this week and next week for registration.”
Clifford is a coach at Without Limits, an endurance training, events, nutrition and apparel company. Colin Hackman, his partner for the event, is the founder of It’s Go Time — an event management company specializing in race management and race day timing.
Parkway and Subaru are the title sponsors for the half-marathon, while Green for Life is the sponsor for the event’s 5K and 10K races. Other sponsors listed on the event’s website include Port City Java, Aloft at the Coastline Center, the U.S. Navy and Coastal Carrier.
Clifford believes this year’s event’s start-and-finish point at Water Street Park in downtown Wilmington offers “the perfect spot to see the Battleship across the river.” Previous years saw the race’s start-and-finish point at the Battleship and on Front Street.
“The intention was to start and finish in front of the federal courthouse, which we’ll be able to do this year, finally,” he said. “We haven’t been able to do that yet because it’s been under construction since Hurricane Florence in 2018.”
Clifford believed the event will be a tourism boost to Wilmington and inspire residents in the local community to get involved with long-distance running. He noted that if an individual didn’t feel ready for a half marathon, they could start with a 5K or 10K.
Further information about the event is provided on the Battleship Half Marathon website.
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