More than 900 participants are expected to compete in the Hilton Head Island Half Marathon and 10K/5K on Saturday, and one of the registered runners has her sights set on a world record.
Rae Baymiller of Santa Fe, N.M., is registered for the half marathon and hopes to add another world record to her impressive running resume. Baymiller, 67, holds the marathon world record in the women's 55-59 age division with a time of 2 hours, 52 minutes, 14 seconds set at the 1998 Chicago Marathon, and she previously held the half marathon record in the women's 50-54 division (1:19:40) but that mark has been beaten seven times since she set it in the 1993 Philadelphia Marathon.
The current half marathon world record in the women's 65-69 division is 1:32:56, set in 2009 by Emmi Luthi of Switzerland.
Four USC Beaufort runners will compete in the half marathon in hopes of qualifying for the marathon event in the NAIA Track and Field National Championships. Selena Hutson and Caitlyn Howe will compete in the women's race, and John Stanas and Ian Evans will compete in the men's race.
The women's qualifying targets are 1:33:00 for the A-standard and 1:36:00 for the B-standard. Hutson's training has been aimed at beating the A-standard, while Howe is shooting for the B-standard, Sand Sharks coach Larry Kimball said. Stanas and Evans are aiming for the men's B-standard of 1:16:40.
Four Sand Sharks qualified for nationals at the Bluffton Half Marathon in November. Marshall Meyer, John Critchlow and Frank Tinsley made the mark on the men's side, and Katie Mock qualified on the women's side.
Race organzier Mark Weisner, who runs the event through Bear Foot Sports, said 840 runners had registered as of Thursday afternoon, with up to 100 more expected before Saturday's 8 a.m. race.
The race will follow the same course as last year, starting and ending in Jarvis Creek Park and following a mostly fast, flat course -- though runners will cross the bridge over Broad Creek twice.
What: Hilton Head Island Half Marathon and 10K/5K
Where: Jarvis Creek Park
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.
Entry fee: $55 for half marathon; $35 for 10K or 5K
Late registration: Late registration and packet pick-up is from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the Westin Resort in Port Royal Plantation and from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Jarvis Creek Park.
Notes: Traffic will be affected on Nature's Way, Pembroke Road, the Cross Island Parkway, Arrow Road and Marshland Road from 7 to 11 a.m. The Cross Island Parkway and all toll booths will remain open throughout the races, but the westbound portion of the parkway will be reduced to one lane. ... Free parking at Hilton Head schools campus off U.S. 278 at Wilborn Road. ... No strollers, baby joggers or pets are permitted. ... An awards ceremony featuring refreshments, live music, food and door prizes will follow the race. ... A portion of proceeds will benefit Strive to Excel and the Hilton Head Island Children's Memorial Garden.