WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Former UNCW men’s basketball player Dan Mercer is giving back to the community by promoting Race 13.1 Wilmington, a series of road races focusing on a healthy lifestyle on Sunday, Feb. 22.
“Having played basketball at UNCW, and owing so much to the school and the community, overseeing this event means a lot to me,” said Mercer, a Raleigh native who played two seasons for the Seahawks from 2009-10. “I am so thankful for my experience at UNCW. It gave me a new start in my life and led me to live the healthy lifestyle that I do today. I hope that promoting the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle, supporting local economy and charity, and delivering an event that exceeds the expectations of our participants, will be a good way to give a little back to a community that gave so much to me.”
Race 13.1 was founded in 2012 by CEO John Kane. After producing three races in Raleigh in 2012-2013 under the name Midtown Race Series, Kane began to put together a team to create what is now Race 13.1. In 2014, its first year as Race 13.1, the company produced five races across North Carolina. Now, the group is in the process of planning and producing over 20 events across the Southeast in 2015, including the 2015 season kickoff in Wilmington.
The event starts and ends at Lumina Station near the Country Club of Landfall. The course runs throughout Wilmington, including trails along Eastwood Road, the Cross City Trail, and parts of the UNCW campus.
Every Race 13.1 event includes a 5k, 10k, and half marathon, as well as a DJ, various food options, and a KidZone for children whose parents are participating. Race 13.1 is driven by a commitment to exceptional customer service, and strives to exceed the expectations of its participants. Race 13.1 also partners with a charity for each of its events and for Race 13.1 Wilmington the partner will be the Miracle League of Wilmington.
Since finishing his career at UNCW in 2010, Mercer has stayed busy. After a brief one-season stint as a graduate assistant coach at East Carolina, Mercer attended a trip with the Athletes in Action basketball team to Central Asia, playing tournaments in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. His trip with AIA led to Mercer accepting a contract to play pro basketball in Australia. After a season down under in 2013, Mercer went on to continue his basketball journey in China, participating on a team that traveled throughout China to play in various tournaments.
After coming back to North Carolina in December of 2013, Mercer had two options: Returning to Australia for the 2014 season or accepting a position as regional vice-president at Race 13.1.
“I really saw this as an amazing opportunity,” said Mercer. “Not only is there a lot of potential with this company and the invaluable opportunity to help build something from the ground up, but also I get to promote a healthy lifestyle and work with an amazing group of people every single day. It was the right time and right opportunity for me to hang up the sneakers and focus on the next chapter of my life. I couldn’t think of a better mission to be a part of right now than Race 13.1. When I was looking to expand to some new locations in 2015, Wilmington was a natural first thought, since I have a special allegiance and connection to the area. I just wanted to give a little back to a community that truly changed my life and had such a positive impact on me.”
Those interested in participating in Race 13.1 Wilmington may register online at https://race131.com/races/Race-13-1-Wilmington-NC.