Hendersonville’s Black Bear Half-Marathon & 8k - TribPapers

Hendersonville’s Black Bear Half-Marathon & 8k

Black Bear Half Marathon & 8K.

Hendersonville – Gear up for a day at the races in Hendersonville.

The Black Bear Half is set during peak leaf season through gorgeous downtown Hendersonville. The 2nd annual half marathon, presented by Hunter Subaru, is a boutique-style race. For the first time, Morris Broadband 8k powered by Omnium is joining the half marathon event on the same day. Both races take place simultaneously through Hendersonville city streets, path parkways and the Oklawaha Greenway. The route features a river, a bustling cityscape and mountain scenery. 

The inaugural Black Bear Half commenced for the first time in 2020. The pandemic race was wildly popular for a first-time event, said organizers from iDaph Events.  

“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 in a press release.

The momentum gained fueled planning for the second annual race. 

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.”

Both races traverse across mostly flat course along the Oklahawa Greenway. The spectator-friendly events allow friends and family to cheer participants on throughout the race. Event coordinators expect the 8k race to be very fast, with many runners setting personal records. Runners of varying abilities are expected to race. First place male and female winners of the 8k will win $100 each in a cash prize. In addition, five finishers will be picked at random at the Awards Ceremony and receive $50 cash.

The race commences on 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. For info regarding both the events and to sign up – Visit idaph.net or email support@idaph.net.


Half marathon runners will enjoy their commemorative finisher medal, custom-designed with the Black Bear Half logo. Participants will receive a free cozy shirt during online registration through Sept. 19. Half marathoners receive a long sleeve, comfy t-shirt. 8k runners receive a cool blue short-sleeve comfy tee with registration. Both races will get a Hunter Subaru goody bag. 

Overall and age group winners receive ‘Black Bear’ colored pencil prints created by local artist Amy Cocanour 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,” said Kirkwood in a release.

Charity Partners

 Two community non-profits are benefitting from the event. The Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway works to preserve the 3.5-mile greenway through wetlands, meadows and forests and that connects four parks. Its name comes from the Cherokee word meaning “slowly moving muddy waters” because much of the greenway runs along Mud Creek. The Audubon Society also recently named the greenway a birding “hot spot” because of the diversity of birds it attracts. Runners will enjoy the greenway’s breathtaking beauty during the race and, with the racing fee, will contribute to its preservation. Funds donated will benefit the upkeep and projects of the greenway.

The second charity partner, the Jackson Park Greenway Flooding Clean-up fund directly benefits the improvement of the Jackson Park connector path to 7th Avenue that floods frequently during
intense rainstorms.

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