The name says it all. Start running at 6:01 AM and the course is predominantly downhill. This race has generated a strong following over the past few years for a great course and an opportunity to achieve a half marathon PR.
From the race organizers:
The annual 1/2 marathon will run from Ridgecrest to Old Fort. You will experience some absolutely incredible views on this Downhill @ Dawn Half Marathon. The wooded mountains are majestic. You will pass some beautiful streams and rivers and The Old Geyser park.
New for 2012 we will be offering a Team Relay, running the same course as the half-marathoners, the Team Relay consists of FOUR participants per team with each runner selecting a portion of the half-marathon course to run.
Following is a detailed description of the course and its features (see the course and the elevation at Map My Ride):
This unique ½ Marathon will wind it’s way for 13.1 miles around Black Mountain, North Carolina, down the Old Fort Mountain on Old Highway 70 and finish at First Baptist Church, Old Fort, North Carolina. The first 3 miles, on pavement, will be out and back starting from the LifeWay campus at Ridgecrest. The first 1 ½ miles will be slightly downhill. The return 1 ½ miles will be slightly back uphill to the main campus. Once back at the LifeWay Ridgecrest campus, runners will be turning to go down Old Fort Mountain, the next 10 miles, mostly downhill, will offer the runner 3 of the miles on packed dirt and gravel and 7 miles on pavement. There will be a couple of places along the course where there will be some gradual uphill grades, but it is primarily a downhill run beginning at an elevation of 2700’ and ending at an elevation of 1600’. Water stations will be at the beginning and every 2-3 miles down the mountain. Port-A-Jons will also be provided along the route.
Online registration is available at IMAthlete. For more information, visit the race website.