Running

Hilton Head Half Marathon, 10K & 5K set for Saturday morning

sports@islandpacket.comFebruary 7, 2013 

According to Bear Foot Sports' Mark Weisner, the weather is supposed to be beautiful Saturday for the running of the 11th annual Publix Hilton Head Island Half Marathon 10K and 5K at Jarvis Creek Park.

The high for Saturday is projected to be 63 degrees, while the low the night before should be 48.

"It shouldn't be too cold," Weisner said of the 8 a.m. start time. "The perfect weather for running."

Weisner said he expects around 1,200 people to participate in the race.

"(The participation) is about the same as last year," Weisner said. "There's room to grow it, and we work toward that. But typically, a race will grow for three or four years and then hit a peak and then grow again. But let me tell you, getting 1,200 people to do anything in February on Hilton Head is an accomplishment, plain and simple."

Registration has closed online, but interested runners can still register from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Westin Hilton Head Resort and from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the race site.

Weisner said he expects at least 100 or so more but is prepared for more.

The Half Marathon features a fast course that takes runners through two parks and over the Broad Creek. It will feature all standard male and female divisions.

Gift cards and awards will be presented to the top finishers. All pre-registered participants will receive a long-sleeved tech shirt, and medals will be presented to the first 800 finishers.

The 10K and 5K events also start and finish at Jarvis Creek Park. Prizes will be awarded for the top finishers, and participants will receive a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt.

Walkers off all ages and ability are also encouraged to participate in the 10K or 5K. There will also be a free Toddler Trot for kids 8 and younger.

After the races, there will be fresh fruit, hot and cold beverages, live music, door prizes and other refreshments. In addition, the event will also feature a Craft Beer Garden with more then 20 unique American craft beers.

Weisner said race organizers try to make the experience better.

"We're always trying to improve it, to do what we can from one year to the next," Weisner said. "This year we added the beer garden after the race. It's little things. This is the second year with this course. We try to take 10 to 12 things each year and try to improve each year."

A percentage of proceeds will benefit three local charities: Hilton Head Rotary Club, Hilton Head Island High School Athletics and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Over the first 10 years, the event has donated more than $25,000 to area charities.

"We add up all the money raised from donations and race registration," Weisner said. "I don't know what it is yet, but it'll be in the neighborhood of $3,500 to $5,000. I don't know until it's over. And that's just the money we raise. If those groups do anything else in conjunction with the race, that's something else."

Publix Hilton Head Island Half Marathon 10K & 5K

8 a.m. Saturday, Jarvis Creek Park

Cost: $75

Registration: From 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Westin Hilton Head Resort; From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the race site.

For kids: Toddler Trot for kids 8 and younger, free

Details: Call Bear Foot Sports at 843-757-8520

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