Race #303 – The Scream! Half Marathon – Jonas Ridge, NC – 07/18/15

2015-ScreamLogoAlthough I’ve been registered for The Scream! every year since it began five years ago, I’ve missed the past two years, once because of an injury and once because of bad weather (I’m picky like that). This year the weather was beautiful so I didn’t have an excuse, so I met up with running buddy Dianne Allen at 4 a.m. and we made our way through the crooked mountain roads to the ghost town of Mortimer and the Brown Mountain Beach resort, which was the parking area and setting for the post-race food and awards.


The logistics are about as complicated as they could possibly be for a race, but the organizers do a great job of letting you know where you should be so it works out fine. After you park you take a bus to Jonas Ridge, which is at the top of the mountain. After 2 or 3 miles of running the paved roads in the Jonas Ridge community the race course then goes downhill for the next 9 miles or so down an unpaved road. Running downhill for that distance seems like it would be easy, but it’s really not. I found myself wishing it would level off, but when it finally flattened out I felt like I was trying to run uphill.


Plenty of free photos were taken by “Almost There”…


When I finally reached the finish line I was already feeling my calves tightening up, and as I write this the following Friday morning (almost a week later) I’m still not completely recovered. I’m actually pretty happy with my time of 1:37:49 since it’s my fastest half marathon this year. It was just a year ago on a similar course (Downhill at Dawn) that I ran my fastest half marathon ever (1:29:25) but it seems like age is finally catching up with me so I try to keep reminding myself that the important thing is to keep enjoying the fact that I’m able to run at all, regardless of how fast or slow.


Race Number:  303

Race Name:
 The Scream! Half Marathon

 Jonas Ridge, North Carolina

 July 18, 2015

Race Rating:  96



  • M: Andrew Charters (Charlotte, NC) – 1:21:37
  • F: Carolyn Yang (Charlotte, NC) – 1:21:52


Course:  Point-to-point from Jonas Ridge to Mortimer. First 2 miles gently rolling hills at top of mountain on paved roads, then dirt road that is mostly downhill for about 10 miles, finishing with a mostly flat final mile (still unpaved).


Weather at Start:  72 degrees, 94% humidity, and clear.






My Stats:

  • Time:  1:37:49
  • Pace:  7:28
  • Age Group:  1 of  8
  • Overall:  28 of  270
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race:  170
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:15:19 (76.99%)


Roller derby queen Marcy passed me in the last few miles and I chased her the rest of the way (never did catch her).



3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

2 – Posted promptly online: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website: (0)no (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

10 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average) (Fantastic BBQ this year!)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  96

Dianne and I both placed in our age groups.
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