On The Run

Hit the trails to ring in the New Year

Wilma 0121 Scenemain

Looking to leave 2020 behind and start 2021 in a fun, safe, and healthy way? Then, the Carolina Beach State Park Half Marathon and 5K on January 2 can offer just that.

The race winds through the state park, and organizers say it is the only trail half-marathon in the area.

The event, hosted by Go Time, will launch the new year with running and exercise but will have a lot of added COVID-precautionary guidelines.

“We are grateful to be able to continue to hold events and keep everyone who loves to race involved and active,” says MICHELLE HACKMAN, who owns Go Time with her husband, Colin.

They say that extra precautions have been taken to ensure safety for all involved in the half-marathon and 5K.

“We have guidelines set by the state of North Carolina and New Hanover County officials,” says COLIN HACKMAN.

He adds that Go Time took an extra step by asking New Hanover Regional Medical Center officials to provide input on how to keep race participants and attendees safe during the pandemic.

“We want anyone involved to feel safe and be safe during this but still be able to enjoy the event,” he says.

To do that is no easy feat, but Go Time will have some major checkpoints such as social distancing as well as temperature checks and hand-sanitizing stations. There will also be spread-out running times. One obvious difference this year is the number of participants allowed in the race. Usually, the race has about 700 participants. For safety purposes, the January event will only allow 400 people – 200 for the half-marathon and 200 for the 5K – and there will be no in-person awards ceremony.

Also, the opportunity to participate virtually is available. Organizers say it is a way to keep runners who still want to be part of the racing community involved and active but at their own comfort level.

Carolina Beach will be Go Time’s eighth race since the pandemic broke out last spring.

“We are passionate about running, and our community of runners want to be able to continue as well,” Colin Hackman says.

“We encourage any first-time participants to go on to the website and look at what is happening so they will be prepared ahead of time,” Michelle Hackman adds.

In addition to the benefits to runners and community spirit, many of the races support the community including nonprofits that need assistance in carrying out their organizations’ missions.

“We could have stopped holding these events, but we look at it as continuing on in a safe way,” Colin Hackman says. “We want to support these organizations that are the backbone of our community and keep some sense of normalcy for everyone.”

Carolina Beach State Park Trail Half-Marathon and 5K

Saturday, January 2

Start Times:

  • 8-8:40 a.m. waves for half-marathon;
  • 9-9:40 a.m. waves for 5K

Info: its-go-time.com/carolina-beach-park-half-and-5k

Categories: Culture