For runners looking to race a half-marathon on the Coastside, the opportunity will come during the city of Half Moon Bay’s biggest festival of the year.
The 41st annual Pumpkin Run is adding a distance of 13.1 miles to its lineup of other, shorter distance races on the final day of the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival.
Last year, Half Moon Bay hosted a half-marathon race in August through a company called ThePureRun. But race director Jennifer Dill decided not to host the race again this year.
“We are absorbing that half-marathon and taking that distance over, with a slightly different course than that race,” said Pumpkin Run race director Hope Atmore, volunteer coordinator for Senior Coastsiders, which uses the run as a fundraiser.
Atmore said she is working with Dill on adjusting the course for the Oct. 20 race.
“It will still be a mixed terrain course,” Atmore said.
The Pumpkin Run is a favorite tradition for many festival attendees. It features a Kids Fun Run, a 5K and 10K with first- and second-place prizes for each age division for male and female participants and a grand prize for the top male and female in each race.
Atmore said she does not anticipate that the addition of the half-marathon will impact festival traffic because the race starts early in the morning.
“Usually we are off the street by about 9 or 10 a.m.,” Atmore said.
Pumpkin Festival spokesman and CEO of Miramar Events Tim Beeman said he first learned the Pumpkin Run was adding a half-marathon distance this week.
“Managing traffic is job No. 1 for us, because it is a huge part of the festival experience,” Beeman said. “So, anything that is added is very carefully considered.”
Beeman said he spoke to Atmore, about the potential for traffic issues.
“They feel like it will have limited impact because it is earlier in the day,” Beeman said. “They plan to write us a letter to the board so we can know what to expect.”
Beeman said Atmore explained there may be a cap on how many runners can register for the half-marathon, and bib pickup will not be on the day of the race to help further alleviate traffic concerns.
“This is part of the festival experience, so it needs to be planned well and everyone needs to be on the same page.”
Registration for the Pumpkin Run, with the new distance, opened this week. Atmore reported she already has her first runner registered for the halfmarathon.
“People want to run a half- marathon on the Coastside and this is the only one in such a wonderful place,” Atmore said.