Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

Black Bear Half Marathon Pre-Event Information

2020 Black Bear Half Marathon on Saturday, October 10, 2020. logo

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Black Bear Half Marathon on  Saturday, October 10th at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. Please check here for updates as we get closer to race day!


Transferring to Virtual

If you are interested in transferring your in-person running event to Virtual, here’s how!

Visit our registration page in Race Roster by clicking HERE. You can transfer up until 7am on race day. There are instructions on the Race Roster page AND at the link below.


Hot Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and more! 

Bare Bones Coffee House will be at the Black Bear Half event this Saturday selling their delicious brew and other hot beverages! Check out their website for more info. They do accept cash or card! BARE BONES BREW HAUS WEBSITE

Interactive Digital Event Guide

Click here to access our Digital Interactive Event Guide! This guide will tell you everything you need to know for the Black Bear Half, such as packet pick-up information, the course, what to expect, and more!

Black Bear Half Hub Map

Click here to access the Black Bear Half Hub Map. This guide will tell you everything you need to know for the Black Bear Half, such as packet pick-up information, the course, what to expect, and more

Black Bear Half Marathon map


Listen to our iDaph Events Podcast for pre-event information about the Black Bear Half. Download on Apple iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

More iDaph Events Blog Posts

Wave Starts for Light Up the Night 5K

Wave Starts for Light Up the Night 5K

Light Up the Night 5K photo of woman and daughter

The 2nd Annual Light Up the Night 5K looks quite different from last year’s 5K. Due to COVID-19 and the guidelines we are putting in place in order to adhere to the current NC guidelines AND encourage social distancing, PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THE RULES AND CHANGES TO THIS YEAR’S EVENT IN OUR EVENT GUIDE. THE EVENT GUIDE HAS BEEN EMAILED TO ALL REGISTERED IN-PERSON PARTICIPANTS! 

Over the past few months, iDaph Events has put together event safety plans for our event to move forward in a new format to ensure social distancing measures that are set forth by the CDC are adhered to. We will aim to have a ‘contactless’ event to provide a safe event for all! Please keep in mind that there is no gathering or hanging out before, during or after the event. It is a ‘show up’ and run/walk style event and then leave the event after you are done!



New for 2020! Socially-distanced event with a rolling, pre-assigned wave start from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. There will NOT be a mass start, and we will not allow any congregating at the start or finish line. Everyone must stay 6-feet apart at all times. Warming up before the event is permitted. However, we ask that you do not warm up near the start line area or the finish.  



Every runner has an assigned Wave start time based on your selection when you registered. This will allow all our participants to practice social distancing from start to finish. Only show up at the start line when you are ready to start. This can be ANYTIME during the wave duration. There will be no hanging out or gathering at the start line, as soon as you arrive at the start line, you will need to start.  

There are 3 waves:

6:30-6:55pm- Wave 1: Competitive Participants

7:00-7:25pm - Wave 2: Middle of the Pack

7:30-8:00pm - Wave 3: Casual Fun Runners/Walkers

How it works: So, if you are placed in Wave 1, you will be able to show up and start whenever you like between 6:30 PM and 6:55 PM. Once Wave 1 ends, we’ll use that same method for waves 2 and 3.  There is no pressure to be at the start line right at the beginning of the wave. We are using timing mats/chip timing and are practicing social distancing so there is no reason to all try to come at the start of the wave. 

Please note: THE COURSE IS CLOSED AT 8:40 PM. If you are in the final wave group and plan to take about an hour to complete the event, please arrive and be prepared to start promptly at 7:30 PM.

Good luck runners and walkers and have a fun and safe event! 


We have created a podcast called the iDaph Events Podcast that goes over all the fine details for our upcoming events! Listen to the Light Up the Night 5K Podcast for details about the event while you’re in your car, going to work or on your way to packet-pickup. You can listen to our Podcasts HERE


Past iDaph Blogs

Pop Up 5K at Fletcher Park

Pop Up 5K at Fletcher Park

New Event: Pop Up 5K & Virtual Challenge

No frills - just run! Come join us at Fletcher Park for our Pop-up 5k in the Park Series!

You can also participate in the Pop Up 5K Virtual Challenge at any park, anytime!

by Stephanie Buss

What is a Pop Up 5K? Basically, it’s a fun spin on a regular 5k. Just show up, pay $10 for a chipped bib (or $50 for the series), and you can start anytime between 6-8pm and run a timed 5K all by yourself (or with a close family member/partner). No water stations. No beer at the finish line. But does it matter?

Well, yeah. But these are COVID-19 times! And we know you just want to get your ‘run’ on and enjoy a challenge again at a (somewhat) real event! We will still be cheering you on while you run - but from a safe, 6 feet away! We want to motivate you to run and stay healthy, offer some stress relief and have a whole lot of fun.

Here are the deets

This is iDaph’s newest, creative and socially distant event. Our iDaph Team will be at Fletcher Park every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from July through September to offer you a bib and a chip timed 5K event for $10. Sign up for all 6 races for just $50 to receive a super comfy, awesome t-shirt and a commemorative series medal, and to be included in our series scoring and win prizes!

Don’t fee comfortable showing up for an in-person event? We totally understand. You can still have fun and show your support by signing up for the Pop Up in the 5K Park Virtual Challenge and run at any park of your choosing, at any time. Your results will be easily submitted from your electronic device through our online registration.

$1 from every registration will go to the Fletcher Park Development Fund for enhancing and adding sitting and shaded areas within the park.

Let’s have some fun running together safely this summer. Just show up, sign up from your smart phone, and RUN!

OMG there’s SWAG too?

Everyone who signs up and participates in the Wedneday, July 8th pop up event gets a free iDaph buff, vintage style.

Want a free t-shirt and medal? Sign up for series and be eligible to win both PLUS prizes.  In-Person and Virtual series/challenge scoring will be based on the 4 fastest times from each participant. For that reason, in-person participants must show up to at least four races, and virtual participants must submit at least four times to be eligible for awards. Other awards will be given out to the following finishers:

• The 5 most improved participants from the first event to the last event (male and female)

• The top 10 best series/challenge scores (male and female). These scores will be based on each participant’s four fastest runs.

• More awards categories will be announced as we go along!

Here’s what we are doing to keep our in-person events as safe as possible for everyone:

• There will be no mass gathering at the start line. The rolling start will be from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

• The start and finish lines will be separate to avoid having too many people together at once.

• All staff/volunteers will be required to wear a face covering during the event.

• Participants are encouraged to wear a face covering until the event starts and then put it back on after they are finished running/walking in the event.

• Unfortunately, with social distancing measures in place, we will not have a finish line ‘experience’ of music, hanging out and waiting on the results or an awards ceremony. After you are finished with your race, we ask that participants head out of the finish/venue area.

• We will provide hand sanitizer stations, and will continually wipe down frequently used surfaces.

• Increased portajons with hand sanitizer at the park.

• Participants will not be permitted to form in groups. They must maintain 6 foot distancing while in the start/finish area, in the event hub.

Think you’re ready to run a 5K? We know you’ve been running — A LOT! Come and join this fun 5K and help support a great cause. We hope to see you there!


Miles aren’t long with friends by your side

Miles aren’t long with friends by your side

by Stephanie Miller

If you’ve run a 5K in the Asheville area, chances are you’ve seen two ladies dressed in matching outfits with smiles on their faces looking like they’re having the time of their lives. They may be wearing tu-tus and tiaras, glow-in-the-dark running skirts, or the traditional dirndl.

Wherever you see them running, you can bet that Kim Walker, 64, and Melissa Drennan, 49, are bringing the fun. 

“You can pretty much run in anything, even a coconut bra,” said Melissa. “Just make sure the costume doesn’t chafe.”

This comment is followed by laughter from both ladies, who have been running together in various costumes since 2014. I myself have seen them at various running events in the Asheville area, and my curiosity about their story has grown with every new costume I’ve seen. Recently,  I had the pleasure of meeting both Kim and Melissa at the YMCA to hear all about it. Their smiles are infectious as we talked about their ongoing friendship, running, and their love for costumes (and beer). 

“I love the camaraderie,” said Kim. “I’ve met so many wonderful women through running that I wouldn’t necessarily have met. I thank Melissa for getting me back into running.” 

Melissa convinced Kim to sign up for the Highland Night Flight about five years ago. Kim was a mountain biker and hadn’t been running much, but she loved the idea of a glow-in-the-dark type run …and also the beer at the end. 

“We loved the glow in the dark idea,” Kim said, then adds: “What can I say? Beer, darkness, glow in the dark… we’re in!” 

After that race, they kept the running and beer theme going and joined Race to the Taps. Then, it was on to the Cooper River Bridge Run, the Trick or Trail 5K, Thomas Wolfe 8K, the Resolution Run, the downtown Turkey Trot, Light Up the Night 5K…They estimate they’ve run about 24 races together.

“About two cases of beer-ish,” added Kim, and they laugh again. 

I’m starting to think that I want to dress up in costume and run with these ladies. 

“Everyone is so encouraging,” said Melissa. “When you’re in costume, so many people want to talk to you. It’s very supportive and fun. And so encouraging.”

From Couch to 5K

Melissa didn’t start running until she was in her 30s. A former verified couch potato, she started running on her own and signed up for 5ks to stay motivated. The support from others made her realize that not everyone needs to run a 6 minute mile to be viewed as a “runner.”

“Everyone is so supportive no matter what your skill level is,” Melissa said. Kim smiled and nodded.

“The running community is a great community,” she agreed. 

Melissa remembers the first time she ran a mile without stopping, and what a big deal that was at the time. Now, her goal is to run one half marathon a year. She has already completed a few, including one full marathon. 

Not bad for a couch potato. 

“I have come a long way since then,” she admitted.

What’s her advice for a beginner?

“Just do it!” Melissa said enthusiastically. “Sign up. Find a friend. There are so many great running groups around here. So many breweries that do run clubs…”

Ok, so….

  1. Sign up for a race
  2. Use the Buddy System

“And don’t skimp on shoes!” Melissa added. “My whole world opened up when I bought new shoes. It was like night and day!”

      3. Buy GOOD new running shoes.

Got it! 

Keeping it fun

The main reason these two ladies run, however, is because they keep it fun. Kim started running in the 1980s and ran the Chicago marathon in 1985. She completed it in 4 hours, 10 minutes and 6 seconds. 

“I was proud of that!” Kim said.  

That kind of running burnt her out though, she admitted, and with two little kids and working full time, she took a break from running and rode her bike instead. Thanks to Melissa, she is back in her running sneakers and having a great time. 

“It just kept being fun,” she said.

Now, running is more about having a good time and costume planning. Both friends sometimes travel together, and their trips often lead to “vacation races,” allowing them to see the sights while enjoying their favorite sport. 

Vacation races are a great way to explore a new city or destination, but both ladies know that running in Asheville is hard to beat. With so many beautiful places to run outdoors, it’s no wonder we have such a strong running community. 

Plus the costumes.

“Oh, the costumes make it really fun,”, Kim added, smiling. 

“Everyone thinks we’re nuts!”

No, not nuts at all. Just totally inspiring. 

Kim will be joining us at the 2020 Frostbite event! Her costume will probably be “warm,” but if you see her be sure to cheer her on! Melissa will be traveling for work at that time, but we expect to see her at another future event. 

Advice for Running in Costume

“You can’t just throw a costume on willy-nilly. You might have to wear it around the house, run down to the mailbox. Your neighbors might wonder…but it’s worth it.” ~ Kim

“Make sure the costume doesn’t chafe. And wear good shoes!” ~ Melissa

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