Battleship Half Marathon Race Tips and Overview

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At anchor across the river from downtown Wilmington, the battleship NORTH CAROLINA stands in quiet dignity and majesty, inviting visitors to stroll her decks for free entry with race bib.

Participants will not only receive free shirts but will also get to witness an unforgettable event on board ship – commemorative flags will fly from its main mast. Don’t miss this must-attend Marine event!

Start & Finish Line

The Parkway Subaru Battleship Half Marathon, 10K & 5K returns to Wilmington without COVID interference for the first time since 2019. Starting from Wilmington’s historic waterfront on Princess Street and leading runners all the way to Battleship NC; this run features minimal turns with predominantly flat terrain with some small inclines to stimulate muscle groups while keeping things fast.

On this race, runners will cross two bridges while enjoying breathtaking sights along Cape Fear River and in this waterfront city along the Greenfield Lake area. Participants also pass by historic neighborhoods of city before finishing in front of U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial which sits anchored quietly and proudly across its harbor.

This race provides something for all runners, from casual joggers to elite athletes. The half-marathon course provides plenty of challenges and provides ample opportunity for personal bests – top male and female finishers in each age group will receive awards.

After your race, celebrate with your fellow runners at the post-race party near the Battleship! Exhibitors, vendors and delicious food including Papa John’s pizza are on offer as you participate in Team Challenge to see which team can put together the fastest team (2-deep award; all fastest individual member times count). Or create an Honor Team running as tributes to someone serving or who has passed on from our Military.

At the conclusion of their half-marathon race, participants will receive a short sleeve race shirt and medal, with special awards given out for male and female finishers in each age category. Established in 1998 and one of North Carolina’s oldest half-marathons, it draws thousands of athletes, active-duty service members, veterans, Department of Defense civilians as well as high school runners and community members each year to participate.


The Battleship Half Marathon is an exhilarating, fast, destination-to-destination race that will take runners on a tour through Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach’s most picturesque and historic areas. This USATF-certified half marathon, 10K and 5K course features mostly flat terrain with some minor inclines to help train muscles properly; runners will cross two bridges, stroll charming historic downtown streets, circle the magnificent Battleship North Carolina shipwreck, tour picturesque Greenfield Lake.

There will be enthusiastic cheering along the course and our outstanding volunteers will assist in your travels around Wilmington’s stunning beauty. At mile 4.4 you’ll reach our second water stop & restroom facility and as you cross Memorial Bridge at mile 12 you will be encouraged by UNCW Dance Team’s dance moves to make it all the way across! It is a tough but rewarding course that has set 8 state records over 18 years of running it!

Half Marathon, 10K and 5K runners each receive a long-sleeve race shirt and finisher medal; 5K runners get short-sleeve race shirts. Half Marathon winners in each age group will also receive special custom trophies during a post-race ceremony near the Battleship, along with pizza from Papa Johns and adult beverages provided to runners, plus vendors and exhibitors selling running-related gear – you could even form your own Honor Team to have the chance at extra prizes!


The Battleship Half Marathon attracts runners and walkers from around the country and beyond, beginning and ending at the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington, NC. Participants follow a course through historic downtown Wilmington, around Greenfield Lake and over two bridges near Cape Fear River.

Participants not only enjoy an incredible view of the river and cityscape, but they can also get in an intense workout! The course is mostly flat with some inclines to target different muscle groups. There will be plenty of water stations and energy drink kiosks along the route as well as vendors and booths offering merchandise or services.

Since 1998, this UST certified Half Marathon has offered runners something a bit “biting”, says race director Ed Fore. With several bridge crossings and its highest point at mile 12, Fore notes it remains accessible for most fitness levels.

3 Races

There are three races — half marathon, 10K and 5K — on offer here at USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial and any runner who completes one will receive a finisher’s medal for their efforts. In addition, each race begins and finishes here as well; prior to each one there will be a moment of silence to honor service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial will host a post-race party featuring pizza and adult beverages as a free event open to runners, walkers and spectators alike. Along with this celebration there will also be vendors and exhibitors present on its deck.

Online registration for races is also available; prices depend on distance. Registering early offers discounted pricing as well as guaranteeing you’ll get a t-shirt.

Run Register on race day starting at 6 a.m. at either Coastline Conference Center at 501 Nutt Street or Battleship Park and run this prestigious race that opens its registration to only the first 2,000 registrants; water taxis and trolleys will provide free shuttle service from these two locations directly to the starting line.


All participants in the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races will receive a finisher medal when crossing the finish line, along with awards for Overall Male and Female runners as well as Masters Overall runners, Age Group awards for teams of five or more runners and Honor Teams (two deep with fastest individual times counted for Honor Teams) will also be recognized at each race. After each race has ended all racers are welcome to celebrate afterwards on board Battleship North Carolina for a post-race party featuring beer and pizza from Papa John’s; an historic landmark moored quietly along Cape Fear River’s shores since 1775.

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