Well it’s almost time for the big dance here in Asheville – the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (and his sidekick – the 5k). All of you have been following painstaking (and pain inflicting) training rituals guaranteed to prepare you for a successful race. With about a month to go the race is almost full and before you know it we’ll all line up on O’Henry Avenue just before 7:30 on September 18th.
Last year a new course was introduced. The intent was to make the course safer by avoiding as many busy streets as possible and to minimize the number of times the course crossed Merrimon Avenue (which I think was something like 17 times). If you’ve never run the race before (or never ran it before last year) the old course/new course discussion is irrelevant. But for those of us who had done it a few times prior to last year the new course was a mystery. No worries – the crackerjack squad of investigative reporters at The Carolina Runner Blog examined the course in detail last year, breaking it up into three pieces to evaluate the course. Those postings may be interesting to you in understanding the course. Or you may think, “this guy is crazy.”
Here is the course map (click on the image for a much larger version) …
Here is an elevation chart I downloaded from the Citizen-Times website. Don’t be too alarmed – it looks a bit more dramatic than it really is because it’s a graph that is not based at zero. Note that at mile nine, the course appears to have descended to approximately the elevation of Death Valley. That’s the result of the downhill jaunt from Woodfin to Riverside, passing under Interstate 26. Then it appears the course does something comparable to scaling Mt. Everest. That’s the long climb up Lookout Road. Make certain you’ve saved some of your “giddy up” for this part of the race. Once you’ve peaked at the top of Lookout, you’ll careen downhill all the way to Broadway. This is the second point at which you’ll need some giddy up. At this point in the race it may be sunny and warmer. And Broadway can be tough because it offers no shade.
The Half Marathon starts at 7:30 AM. The 5k starts at 7:45 AM. Online registration is at IMAthlete for the Half Marathon or the 5k. AS OF 11:49 AM ON AUGUST 15TH THERE ARE 1,419 REGISTERED RUNNERS IN THE HALF MARATHON. THE LIMIT IS 1,500.
Packet pickup …
PACKET PICK-UP/LATE REGISTRATION
All packet pickup/late registration will take place at the Double Tree Biltmore Hotel.
Thursday, September 16, 4:00-8:00 p.m. – Locals Night, pick up packets early and beat the crowds.
Friday, September 17, Noon -8:00 p.m. – The last chance to pick up your packet.
Saturday, September 18 – THERE WILL BE NO PACKET PICKUP OR LATE REGISTATION ON RACE DAY!