October 8, 2023  •  Hendersonville, NC

Western North Carolina’s most popular, scenic, fall half marathon & 8k, mostly flat, lots of fun, and spectator-friendly!

The 4th Annual Black Bear Half Marathon & 8k presented by Hunter Subaru, both wind through Hendersonville, NC (near Asheville) on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023. A Virtual Half Marathon and 8k running option is also available for runners who want to be part of the race weekend experience, but are not able to attend the in-person event.

The Black Bear Half & 8k both offer a scenic, mostly flat course along the Oklawaha Greenway during peak leaf season in the fall. The Half Marathon has less than 400 feet of elevation gain and you won’t want to miss it! We’d like to give a huge thanks to our 2023 Half Marathon & 8k presenting sponsor: Hunter Subaru, for all that they do to help create this amazing event.

Both races finish at the same location in Hendersonville, North Carolina at Jackson Park.


The Black Bear Half Marathon & 8k presented by Hunter Subaru is USATF sanctioned and certified! 

Sanction Number: #142774

Half Marathon USATF Certification Number – NC22016DF 

8k USATF Certification Number – NC22015DF

Race date & course subject to change.


Start Time, NEW FOR 2023: 8:20 am

Course Type: Paved Road, Paths & Greenway 2 Loop Course. 

Dogs & Strollers: Due to limited space on the Greenway and because the roads utilized will be open to traffic, dogs and strollers will not be permitted.

Course cutoff is 12:30pm

Half Marathon USATF Certification Number – NC22016DF 


For runners not able to attend in person, the virtual race is a good option to achieve a goal, and run the miles on your own, wherever and whenever you want. All virtual runners will receive a commemorative race shirt (until deadline) and finisher medal.

8K Race Details

Start Time: 8:00 am

Course Type: Paved Road, Paths & Greenway

Course cutoff is 12:30pm

USATF Certification Number – NC22015DF


Super Early: December 8, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Early: January 9 – June 25
Regular: June 26 – August 6
Late: August 7- October 1

Race Week: October 2 – Race Day

All participants will receive a commemorative medal after the race!

Register for the half marathon and get a custom, long sleeve, Brooks dri-fit race shirt, available in men’s and women’s sizes FREE with your registration. Register for the 8k and get a custom, short sleeve, Bella Canvas shirt FREE with your registration! Want both shirts? You’ll have the option to purchase one during registration or in the Race Store!

Register by September 17th to guarantee your size! After that date, shirts will be available for purchase in limited quantities and sizes.

 Virtual participants will receive a free shirt (until September 17th deadline) and medal in the mail.

Ship Swag Deadline: Sunday, September 24th at midnight

“I absolutely loved the Black Bear Half Marathon! I received my medal in the mail and it is adorable, definitely one of my favorites! And the t-shirt is super soft, love it! Thank you so much for putting on this event!” 

-Jill Hopper Cedar Rapids, Iowa

What Your Race Entry Includes

  • Long sleeve, dri-fit race shirt, available in men’s & women’s sizes FREE (until Sunday, September 17th) for Half Marathoners
  • Short sleeve, Bella Canvas shirt FREE (until Sunday, September 17th) for 8k participants
  • Free finisher medal for all participants
  • Hunter Subaru goody bag
  • Chip-timing for accurate results
  • Very well-marked (and mostly flat) course on a beautiful greenway!
  • Spectator friendly course
  • One-of-a-kind prizes for overall and age group winners

“I found the Black Bear Half Marathon to be an inspiring experience that brought people together with a wonderful positive energy. It was refreshing and uplifting. Thanks to all who put the time and energy into organizing the event. And thanks for the black bear print! It’s a lovely and thoughtful “medal”. Appreciation for that as well. It was a fun experience to be a part of and I’m looking forward to some of your future races”. 

-Dan Johnson

Register to Race!

Charity Partners

2023 Charity Partners

These local non-profit organizations are dedicated to a variety of causes and needs across western North Carolina and will be providing volunteer support before, during, and after the 2023 event in exchange for a variety of fundraising opportunities! These are the people who help drive our race participants to the finish line with a SMILE!

Friends of Ecusta Trail


We are raising funds to help build the Ecusta Trail. The Ecusta Trail, when complete, will be a 19.4 mile, multi-use greenway along an unused railway corridor (‘rail-trail’) connecting Hendersonville and Brevard. This ‘linear park’ will beckon people of all ages and abilities to reach destinations by walking, running, biking and wheelchair.

Donate now through your registration or our fundraising page.

Our Mission is to protect, restore, and inspire appreciation of the natural world. We serve part of Western North Carolina and a portion of Upstate South Carolina, and we have protected over 48,000 acres in this region! We want to connect more people with the land and we’re doing this by:

Spearheading the 100+ mile Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail, with 38 miles of stunning hiking trails already open to the public.

Leading the way on two ambitious new rail trails -- the 19-mile Ecusta Trail and the 31-mile Saluda Grade Trail.

Restoring wetlands, streams, and natural floodplains along the Upper French Broad River, bringing back a thriving natural corridor along the river.

Your gifts protect truly extraordinary places—mountains, waterfalls, rivers, farms, parks, trails, greenways, and more. You are helping make this part of the Carolinas a wonderful place to live or visit. We are deeply grateful for your support.

It is the mission, duty and purpose of iDream Athletes Foundation to provide opportunities for Western North Carolina youth and adults who are unable to pay for sporting event fees, coaching, travel expenses and/or equipment to train for and/or participate in our WNC sporting events. This tax-exempt non-profit provides needs-based scholarships. The amounts to be gifted are determined on a case-by-case basis through a criteria-selection process. In addition, we will assist in fueling the growth for local running, cycling and multi-sport champions, teams, clubs, locally owned stores and communities in Western North Carolina by providing resource and financial support when conducting our key activities.


Thank You To Our Race Partners

If you or your business are interested in sponsoring or partnering
with the Black Bear Half Marathon & 8K email us at support@idaph.net.