Race #314 – Tryon Half Marathon – Tryon, NC – 11/14/15

TRC_ShirtThis one went way beyond my expectations! The Town of Tryon, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a beautiful area in general. I knew in advance that the course would be about three-fourths unpaved, which I generally dislike, but the crushed gravel was packed enough to not give me any problems and there were no big chunks of gravel where I might twist an ankle. I was a little slower than I’ve been in my last few races, but that’s probably more of a personal issue on my part. The course was surprisingly flat considering the mountainous terrain of the area. There were plenty of gradual ups and downs but I don’t remember any huge hills at all during the race.


Late registration was only half the price of Thunder Road ($60 on race day versus $120 at the expo for Thunder Road) so I didn’t expect much in the way of extras. Wow, was I surprised! In the more than 300 races that I’ve run I’ve never seen so much delicious post-race food! I think I counted six large banquet tables filled with everything you could possibly imagine for breakfast. The food was provided by a local church and I believe it’s something they do for this race every year. I would hope it continues, as the meal alone puts this race in a category all its own. In my rating system, on a scale of 1 to 10 I’m giving it a 15… yep, it was that good.

This is just a small portion of the post-race breakfast. (Photo from the Tryon Running Club Facebook page)

The age group awards were hand made pottery from a local artist and were nice, and there were 5-year age groups, which is always good, but the age groups only going 2-deep was a little bit of a drawback.


I gotta admit, I kind of missed the hoopla surrounding Thunder Road since it’s one of the major racing events in North Carolina, but this was a great alternative, a different kind of racing experience but fantastic in its own right!

Lots of beautiful fall scenery along the course. (Photo from Tryon Running Club Facebook page.)

Race Number:  314

Race Name:  Tryon Half Marathon

Location:  Tryon, North Carolina

Date:  November 14, 2015

Race Rating:  98


  • M:  Ryan Courtnay (Age 28)(Canton, NC) – 1:18:13
  • F:  Jennifer Fisher (Age 35)(Columbus, NC) – 1:29:41

Course:  About 75% smooth crushed gravel and 25% pavement. No big hills but some long inclines on the out-and-back course. Surprisingly flat for a mountainous region.


  • Elevation Gain:  489 feet
  • Elevation Loss:  506 feet
  • Minimum Elevation:  856 feet
  • Maximum Elevation:  984 feet

Weather at Start:  46 degrees (felt like 41 degrees); wind NNW 13 mph; 31% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Age Group Awards Results

Click Here for Race Website


My Stats:

Time:  1:42:22
Pace:  7:48
Age Group:  1 of  12
Overall:  48 of  284
Average Heart Rate:  165
Maximum Heart Race: 172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:23 (71.74%)

Thanks for this photo goes to Chad Lenox, who had already finished the race and was taking pictures by the time I approached the finish line.


0 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – 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
5 – 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

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

2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

0 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 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
3 – 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
3 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
3 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

15 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average) (*15 = Through the roof!)
4 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

2 – 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
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes (*Asheville Track Club Grand Prix)
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)


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