A place’s history, the very infrastructure that gave it form and buttressed its basic foundation, prevents it from becoming just that, history.
Now mounting a history of its own, the Race for Preservation is laying the groundwork for its 12th iteration. Held by the Historic Wilmington Foundation to support its efforts, the Race for Preservation is a 5k and mile walk that will happen Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
The course begins at Best Western Plus Coastline Inn, follows the Cape Fear River, passes under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and turns back around.
The HWF’s mission is “to protect and preserve the irreplaceable historic resources of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear Region,” said special events and marketing director, Laura Trivett. She stated that it is a nonprofit organization that focuses its efforts toward preserving the architectural heritage of the Lower Cape Fear Region. Since its formation in 1966, it has successfully saved more than 100 historic properties from demolition.
“Our mission is to continue promoting historic preservation in the community through educational programs, exhibits, community involvement and revolving fund activities,” she said.
A total of 376 people ran for the Race for Preservation last year, generating $11,116. Trivett hopes for 400 runners this year and mentioned some fun race features to attract new participants, like the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Public History Program’s plan for its students to create costumes representing famous buildings or structures around the world and run — or walk — the race.
“Kudos to them, I think it brings a lot of attention to the cause and I think that’s pretty exciting,” Trivett said. “We were thrilled to hear that they were going to do that, we work closely with the public history department and provide them with internships from time to time.”
The Race for Preservation is just one of many ways HWF executes its mission.
“We do something called Tar Heels go walking, where we educate fifth graders about Wilmington. We are giving tours of the Carolina Heights and Carolina Place districts. We are doing things to teach people how to take care of historic houses,” Trivett said. “We have a revolving fund to save and protect buildings through purchase, short term loans and loan guarantees. When the foundation purchases or lends to a property, the goal is to acquire an easement before the loan is made or the building is sold. Most recently a loan was made to the Wilmington Children’s Museum.”
Trivett explained that an annual program called the Most Threatened Historic Places is made public during May — National Preservation Month. It compiles places that are under active threat as well as places to monitor.
“We’re pleased that many properties on the lists have been saved for preservation. But many threats to Wilmington’s architectural heritage remain,” she said.
For full information regarding race entry fees, team and individual registration, parking, age brackets, awards and the post-race party, visit www.historicwilmington.org/documents/2013-5k-v4.pdf