Black Bear Half Marathon & 8k

The 2nd Annual Black Bear Half Marathon presented by Hunter Subaru is a boutique style, 13.1 mile running race happening near Asheville in Hendersonville, NC. The BRAND NEW Morris Broadband 8k powered by Optimum joins our most popular fall half marathon event on the same day. Both races take place simultaneously in Hendersonville, NC on Saturday, October 9, 2021 and on downtown Hendersonville city streets, park pathways and the Oklawaha Greenway.  

Bearer of Good News

The Inaugural Black Bear Half Marathon was designed and produced for the first time in 2020 during the pandemic and was wildly popular for a first time event.  “The race was created to fill the need of providing a safe endurance running event for our community of local and regional runners during a pandemic. We implemented rolling starts, safe racing protocols and social distance measures throughout the race and it was an absolute success and a blast,” said Race Director, Daphne Kirkwood. The race quickly gained traction and excitement during the first year and the momentum has continued into the planning of the 2nd annual event. Kirkwood said, “A lot of runners not wanting to run a half marathon distance have asked for an addition to this race weekend with a shorter race distance. The advice we received from our community is that they didn’t just want another 5k race, so we went to work on finding a beautiful, scenic fall route that was compatible with the existing half marathon route. The 8k distance matched up perfectly,  prompting the addition of the new 8k to meet even more of our community of runners and walkers that want to take part in this popular fall event weekend.”

Optimum and Morris BroadbandBring the Speed

Both races are primarily run on very scenic, mostly flat courses along the Oklawaha Greenway. They are both spectator friendly allowing family and friends to cheer participants on throughout the race. We expect the 8k race to be very fast with some of the fastest times for this distance and lots of personal records (PR’s) for all runners of varying abilities. Morris Broadband powered by Optimum strives for speed records too, making this partnership with them a perfect match. Overall male and female winners of the 8k will win $100 each in cash prize money. Not in contention to win overall? Don’t fret, we want you to Race your Own Speed! Five finishers in the 8k will be picked at random at the Awards Ceremony and each receive $50 cash. 

General Event Info

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 8k - 8am mass start, half marathon - 8am-8:30am rolling start. Both start and finish are at Jackson Park, Hendersonville, North Carolina just outside of Asheville. For info regarding both the events and to sign up - Visit idaph.net or email support@idaph.net.

Black Bear Half Marathon Medal

Swag, Awards and more… 

Half marathon runners will furever love their commemorative finisher medal, custom-designed with the Black Bear Half logo, making it a truly one-of-a-kind keepsake. Both races have cozy shirts available for free during online registration through September 19th. Half Marathoners get the participant’s favorite long sleeve, comfy t-shirt, sure to be worn all fall season! 8k runners receive a beary cool blue, short sleeve comfy tee included with their registration. Both races will get a Hunter Subaru goody bag filled with goodies. 

Overall and Age Group award winners will receive ‘Black Bear’ colored pencil prints, which are made by Amy Cocanour a local artist who specializes in life-like, animal portraits. “These prints are a true masterpiece and we are so excited for our runners to enjoy locally-made and unique prizes,” says Kirkwood.

Charity Partners

We are pleased to announce our selection of two community non-profits to benefit from this event. The Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway continues to keep the Oklawaha Greenway beautiful, clean and maintained. Funds donated will benefit the upkeep and projects of the Greenway. The Jackson Park Greenway Flooding Clean-up fund directly benefits the project to improve the Jackson Park connector path to 7th Avenue that floods frequently during intense rain storms.