The Battleship NC Half Marathon will now be organized by Without Limits and It's Go Time, who purchased the race from 5 Star Race Productions, officials announced Tuesday.
The half-marathon, which has been running in Wilmington for 20 years with an average of 1,500 participants per race, will be co-directed by the Wilmington-based race management companies.
Clifford was contacted by Ed Fore, owner of 5 Star Race Productions, who started the half-marathon in 1999, and the purchase was finalized last week for an undisclosed amount, Clifford said.
“I really just kind of felt connected to that race, it was the first half-marathon I ever did, and I love the name,” said Tom Clifford, founder of Without Limits. “We were always sort of thinking about what we can do in the fall, but never really wanted to step on any toes.”
Colin Hackman, owner and president of It’s Go Time, said he wanted to co-purchase the race because it takes place during a good time of the year where the weather is cool, and hotels and businesses have the space to accommodate participants.
With the race under new leadership, officials are determining what changes will be made to the half-marathon.
“We think that by making a couple of adjustments we can further the positive impact on economic development by using the infrastructure that the city has built up, including the parking decks and trolley system that are easy to walk to and from all of these new hotels,” Hackman said.
Some changes could also include changing the start and finish venues, but that is yet to be determined, Clifford said.
“We're working out a lot of logistics right now on exactly what changes we are going to make,” Clifford said. “We have to talk to the city. We want to make sure that we're doing what's best for the longevity of the race itself and to grow the race.”
The 21st NC Battleship Half Marathon will take place Nov. 3. The race traditionally includes 10K and 5K runs and the half-marathon course goes through the three bridges, downtown Wilmington and Greenfield Lake.
Without Limits also manages and runs the NHRMC Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness, Southern Tour Ultra and Swim the Loop and directs the YMCA Wrightsville Beach Triathlon and Copperhead 20K Beer Relay. The company also has a coaching and apparel division and sells a nutritional supplement.
It’s Go Time is an event management company that also provides race-timing technology. Hackman said the new owners are excited to expose the half-marathon to a wider audience.
“It's an honor really for us to get the opportunity to take on what's been arguably Wilmington's most notable athletic event for two decades and get to continue to move it forward in the future,” Hackman said.