Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon

Downhill At Dawn
June 03, 2017
6:01 a.m

The Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain is the start line for this downhill half marathon that takes runners on a combination of paved and forested gravel roads from Ridgecrest to Old Fort.  Starting at 6:01 AM, runners escape the heat of June and the crowds of city races.  Capped at only 550 runners, this race has sold out the past five years.  Later that day, the Downhill at Dusk 5K will take runners on a super fast course from Ridgecrest to Black Mountain.

It was a spectacular morning for a race and we thank all who came out to run at dawn.  Race results and the like to race photos are below.  See you next year!


Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon
The Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon is sold out.

Race Cap

There is a capacity of 550 runners for this event.


This unique half 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 the First Baptist Church in Old Fort. 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 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 three miles on packed dirt and gravel and and seven 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 located every two miles down the course. Port-A-Jons will also be provided along the route.

RRCA and USA Track and Field Certification code for our half marathon is: NC-08044-PH.

Click HERE for the half marathon course map.

Packet Pickup/Late Registration

Friday, June 2, 3-8 pm – ARC on the Ridgecrest Campus

Saturday, June 3, 4:30-5:45 am – ARC on the Ridgecrest Campus

Everyone must pick up their own packet and provide a picture ID to do so.  Parents may pick up the packets of minor children but must also present a picture ID.  No ID, No Race, No Exceptions!


All participants will receive a long-sleeve, tech shirt. All finishers will receive a special finisher award at the finish line.

Those who complete both the half marathon and 5K will receive a special award at the finish line of the 5K.  This was the award in 2016.



Post race activities, including the award ceremony, will take place at Old Fort Baptist Church. There will be food, chocolate milk from Pet Dairy, bottled water, and Gatorade. Shuttles back to Ridgecrest will leave from the funeral home across the street from the church.


Awards will be presented at the finish area in Old Fort at approximately 9:00 am.

Overall Male & Female – 1st-3rd
Masters Male & Female – 1st

Age group Male & Female in the following age brackets:

12 and under, 13-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70-74, 75 and over.  No double dipping of awards.

Awards will not be mailed.  If you cannot stay for the awards ceremony, please have someone pick it up for you.


The race will utilize chip timing. Chips must be worn on your shoe in order for you to receive a time.


The simplest parking is near Woodland (building on campus), the ARC and parking near the start of the race in Royal Gorge. Please follow the directions of our parking volunteers.  Shuttles will provide transportation back to Ridgecrest after the race every 15-30 minutes as needed.


The Ridgecrest Conference Center has a NO REFUND policy. However, we do offer partial discounts for those canceling during our cancellation periods.

If the event is NOT sold out, a discount code for 50% of your race registration fee will be offered until 7 days days prior to the race date. No discounts codes will be given within 5 days days before the event, if the event is not sold out.

If the event IS sold out, a discount code for 100% of your race registration fee will be offered until 5 days days prior to the race date. No discounts codes will be given within 5 days days before the event, if the event is sold out.

Partial discount codes are only available for cancellations of completed registrations.  Discount codes can be used to register for another Ridgecrest Conference Center race and will be valid for 12 months after the event date.

You may transfer your entry to another person by submitting the TRANSFER FORM. The deadline to transfer an entry is Monday, May 29.


On-site Accommodations – $79-$89 per room, per night.  To make reservations for Ridgecrest accommodations please call 1.800.588.7222 or click HERE.


Unofficial results will be posted near the finish area.  Official results will be posted at this site by Sunday, June 4.

2017 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2017 Downhill at Dawn Age Group

2016 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2016 Downhill at Dawn Age Group

2015 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2015 Downhill at Dawn Age Group


Please click HERE to see pictures from the 2017 race.


All of the volunteers are from the Ridgecrest Conference Center. Please thank them as you make your way through the course.


Please email general race questions to