Below is a list of frequently asked questions from runners. If your question is not listed below, please reach out to email@example.com, HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon Race Director.
What is the race day schedule?
5:30 AM – Race Day Packet Pickup Opens (Available for a donation to HiTOPS)
6:00 AM – Runners Assemble at HiTOPS’ Victory Village @ Princeton YMCA (59 Paul Robeson Place)
6:00 AM – Bag Drop Opens @ Princeton YMCA (59 Paul Robeson Place)
6:30 AM – First Call for Runners to Start Line
7:00 AM – Race Begins
9:15 AM – Award Ceremony at Victory Village @ Princeton YMCA (59 Paul Robeson Place)
9:00 AM – Post-Race Celebration “Kegs & Eggs” starts at Alchemist & Barrister. (Note: Palmer Square entrance closed for construction!)
10:30 AM – Bag Drop Closes
When is Packet Pickup?
More @ https://runsignup.com/Race/PrincetonHalfMarathon/Page/packetpickup
Is there any recommended lodging for runners and spectators?
There are many hotels in the Princeton area. If you are looking to walk to start/finish, The Nassau Inn or The Peacock Inn would be your best options.
Where should I park?
Please visit Princeton Parking Authority’s website for available parking places. Parking garages tend to fill up quickly, and access from the garages closest to the Start/Finish area may be delayed as sections of town are still closed for the event. There are parking garages located in downtown Princeton; however please be aware that because of their location along the race course there may be extended exit times from the garages due to road closures. We encourage those who have to leave immediately after finishing to consider parking somewhere outside of the center of Princeton. If you do park in the garages, we encourage you to enjoy Princeton and refuel after your finish, it might be easier to exit after the roadway closures are removed. There will not be parking at the YMCA.
Chambers Street Parking Garage will have some restricted access after 6:00am so we ask all runners and their families to arrive prior to 6:00am to park
Spring Street Parking Lot will remain open
Hulfish Parking Lot will remain open to incoming and outgoing parking
For people looking for race parking in Downtown Princeton after the race begins, please park in the lots listed above. Be aware of downtown traffic delays – especially between 7:00 and 8:30 AM, when runners will be crossing some of the major entry roads into Princeton – Route 206, Alexander Street, and Washington Road.
Are there pacers?
The RACE DAY PACE TEAM is provided by Fleet Feet. There will be 2 pacers for every 5-minute increment between 1:35 and 2:20.
What are my options if I registered but can no longer run?
The only way to defer to the 2025 race is to volunteer as a traffic marshal on race day until our maximum number of volunteers are reached.
Should you wish to transfer your registration to another runner, you can do so until 10/1. Please email Courtney Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, the email address that you used to register for the race, AND the name and email address of the person who will be running in your spot. Upon receipt a “gift transfer” will be created and the person running in your place will be invited via email to register free of charge.
Where does the race start and finish? Is there a finisher’s expo area?
The race will start and finish on Paul Robeson Place in Princeton between Witherspoon and Chambers Street. Race morning, we will setup our HiTOPS’ Victory Village at the Princeton YMCA.
Is this a USATF Certified Course?
Yes, this course is a USATF Certified Grand Prix Event. Click here to see course.
Can I participate virtually?
Yes, we have a virtual event that starts November 10th.
Is there a maximum time to finish the course?
Competitors must maintain a minimum 14-minute/mile pace. The maximum time to finish the 13.1 mile course is 3 hours, 4 minutes. Participants that are proceeding at a slower pace will be escorted off the course due to the roads being fully open to traffic at scheduled times.
Roads will be opening to traffic at specific times so any runner going slower than that pace will be informed that they are disqualified. Please keep in mind that at 8:26 at mile 6 and at 9:08 at mile 9, there will be staff to take bibs from runners not meeting the pace requirement. Those reaching mile 11 at 9:25 or after will be directed to the sidewalk to finish.
Participants not meeting the pace at mile 6 and 9 will hear “You are now behind the 14 minute mile pace and you’ve been disqualified. The roads are now open to traffic. For your own safety we ask that you get on the bus. We can’t make you but we would appreciate your cooperation. There is water in the bus. If you choose to continue, you are on your own. The roads are open to traffic and there is no police protection or course marshals to direct you. If you choose to continue running, please understand that the police must resume the flow of traffic and may stop disqualified runners at various intersections. A finish line medal will not be available for you today but you are welcome to come by HiTOPS next week and pick up your medal.”
This policy is strictly enforced for the safety of our runners.
Who are the race organizers and what does the race support?
The Princeton Half Marathon is organized by and support HiTOPS. HiTOPS is a Princeton, NJ based 501(c)(3) organization that provides adolescent sexual health education and support. For over 30 years, HiTOPS’ services have reduced health risks, promoted healthy relationships, and built inclusive communities. The programs of HiTOPS include age-appropriate sexual health education, professional trainings, and LGBTQ Youth Groups and mentoring. For more information about HiTOPS, please visit hitops.org.
Are walkers allowed to register and run in the Princeton Half Marathon?
Yes, as long as walkers maintain the minimum 14-minute/mile pace.
Are runners allowed to take strollers and/or dogs on the course?
Are wheelchair-competitors allowed to compete?
Because the course contains an off-road dirt section, wheelchair competitors are not allowed to compete.
Is Princeton Half Marathon a road course?
This course is primarily a road run. Less than 10% of the course is on paved/unpaved trails and non-maintained roads. These areas may present challenges such as mud, rocks, uneven surfaces and holes. Please remain alert for these types of obstacles, as well as for other runners around you in narrow trail conditions.
Will cars be on the road as runners run?
We will make every effort to prevent cars from being on the course through holding up traffic at points on the course. However, participants must be aware of local traffic. There is always the possibility of cars pulling out of driveways and making it on to the course. Please follow the directions of all public safety officials, course marshals, and markers. Additionally, runners must remain to the right of the road to avoid accidents. When making left hand turns, runners must make them sharp.
Can runners wear headphones?
Runners are strongly advised not to wear headphones while racing. With unpredictable trail conditions and the importance of remaining alert for other runners and traffic, it is important for runners to hear all activity around them.
Will there be an area to drop off clothing?
We will have a bag drop in our Victory Village at the Princeton YMCA.
Will every runner receive a medal?
Yes, every finisher receives a medal. The top three overall male, female and non-binary runners receive awards, as well as the top three finishers in each age group for male and female. Awards are in 5-year increments from 14 and under to 85+.
If the race is cancelled due to weather or an Act of God, how will I be notified? Will I receive a refund?
Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon is a rain or shine event. If the event is cancelled, HiTOPS will make every effort to notify all registered runners via the email address provided during registration. Due to reasons beyond the control of the Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon and HiTOPS, the Princeton Police or Town of Princeton may cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances, severe weather or other reason. If the event is cancelled, there will be no reimbursement or deferment of registration fees.
Where are the water stops? Will there be anything on the course besides water?
We STRONGLY encourage race participants to carry their own hydration and nutrition to reduce our environmental impact.
Runners will find water at 7 locations along the course.
• Mile 2.75 Einstein & Olden (Bathroom)
• Mile 5.25 Boathouse (Bathroom)
• Mile 6.5 Wiggins Street
• Mile 8 Rollingmead Street (Bathroom)
• Mile 9 Smoyer Park
• Mile 10 Stone Hill Church (Bathroom)
• Mile 12 Mt. Lucas & Jefferson
Where are the bathrooms located? Are there any on the course?
All bathrooms in the start / finish area will be at the Princeton YMCA.
There are 4 locations on the course with 2 units each. See above FAQ about water stations.
Will there be post-race massage?
When will I receive my swag for fundraising?
Our fundraising incentives can be found here.
Fundraising runs through November 30th. Registration refunds will be handled immediately upon request by emailing Judy Walker. Fundraising swag will be ordered on December 1st and mailed directly to your home. Judy Walker will reach out to you to confirm your prizes, sizes and shipping address. JWalker@hitops.org
What is Kegs & Eggs?
Back by popular demand, the HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon Runners Fest "Kegs & Eggs" will take place at The Alchemist & Barrister. All runners and race spectators are welcome to come and enjoy the best post-race celebration in the industry!
Muscles starving for protein? We’ve got that covered with eggs, sausage, and bacon. Need to restore all those carbs you burned? Nothing beats breakfast potatoes. Combine that with celebratory drink specials, music, and giveaways, The Alchemist & Barrister is the place to be!
All runners received discounted entry with their race bib. $12 for runners, $15 for spectators. CASH ONLY!
Do I need to be a registered runner to participate in the race?
Yes. We require all runners to be registered through RunSignUp.com, and to have completed all waivers prior to participation. Registered runners are required to wear the race bibs in the interest of safety. If you are not registered, you will be asked to leave the course. You must wear your bib throughout the race. The bib is a confirmation of race registration and gives you access to the entry chute, finisher’s medal and food, and can identify you in case of an emergency.
What’s the race etiquette?
If you are running in a group, please do not run more than two across.
Show appreciation to the volunteers. They are an integral part of the event and it wouldn’t happen without them!
If you need to stop either to tie a shoelace, please watch for other runners and move to the side of the road before stopping.
When approaching a water table, move to the side, grab your drink then KEEP MOVING. Do you best to put all waste in the cans provided.
When finishing the race, be sure to keep moving through the finish chute. There will likely be lots of runners coming up behind you and we don’t want to block their way!