Downhill@Dawn Half Marathon 2022

Ridgecrest Downhill@Dawn Half Marathon 2022

May 28, 2022
 - May 28, 2022

The Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, NC is the start line for this revered downhill half marathon that takes runners on a scenic combination of paved and forested gravel roads from Ridgecrest to the Town of Old Fort.  Starting at 6:01 AM, runners escape the heat of late May and the crowds of city races.  Capped at only 500 runners, this race always sells out and has become one of the more popular half marathons in the region.  

Race Day – Saturday, May 28 – 6:01 AM

Online registration for the 2022 race will open on Monday, November 15 at 9:00 AM EST.  Online registration will end on Wednesday, May 25 at 9:00 PM.

Entry Fee:

November 15-December 31, 2021 – $70
January 1-Race Day – $80

Race Cap: 350



On-site accommodations are available at Ridgecrest at the following rates:

Mountain Laurel West (Queen/Queen) – $100 per night
Walnut (1 Queen, 2 sets of bunk beds) – $99 per night
Maple (3 sets of bunk beds) – $89 per night

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Packet Pickup/Late Registration

Friday, May 27, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Ridgecrest Conference Center- ARC
Saturday, May 28, 4:30 AM – 5:45 AM – Ridgecrest Conference Center- ARC

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.  


This unique half Marathon will wind its way for 13.1 miles to Black Mountain, North Carolina, back to Ridgecrest and down 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 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’.

Aid stations will be located every two miles down the course. Port-A-Jons will also be provided along the route. 

The course is USA Track and Field certified (USATF Certificate Number NC19010BDS).

Downhill At Dawn Half Marathon Course Map

Time Limit:

All half marathon runners have 3;30 hours to complete the course in order to be provided full police protection and aid station support

Additional Informaion:

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

Bag Check

We will offer bag check at this year’s race.  Simply bring a small bag with your race number attached to the Bag Check area (look for the green flag) near the start line and we will have it waiting for you in Old Fort.


Post race activities, including the award ceremony, will take place at Old Fort Baptist Church. There will be bottled water, other beverages and light snacks. Shuttles back to Ridgecrest will leave from the funeral home across the street from the church.

Award Categories

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

Award categories include:

1-3 Male & Female
1-3 Masters Male & Female
1, 2, 3 male and female in the following age brackets:
15 and under, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70 and over.


The race will utilize chip timing. Your chips are on your race bib so don’t crinkle them up.


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.


To transfer your registration to another person please follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘My Account’ when logged into EnMotive
  2. Go to your “Registrations” view and find the Registration you’d like to Transfer
  3. Click on the action icon in the top right corner of the registration field
  4. Select ‘Transfer Registration’
  5. Enter the email address of the person you want to transfer the registration to
  6. That individual will receive an email notifying them of the transfer, and they’ll be instructed on how to accept it
  • The transfer will only be valid for 48 hours, so be sure they accept quickly!

Transfers may be made up to the end of online registration but please allow time for the other person to accept it.

This is the only way transfers or the selling of bibs between participants will be allowed. Anyone who is discovered to have purchased or accepted another person’s bib without submitting this form will be disqualified and banned from future races.


Live, unofficial results will be available throughout the day.  We will provide a link to these here and in the information emailed to runner during race week as well as a QR code on your race bib label.  Official results will be posted at this site by Saturday afternoon.

2021 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2021 Downhill at Dawn Age Group

2019 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2019 Downhill at Dawn Age Group

2018 Downhill at Dawn Overall
2018 Downhill at Dawn Age Group 

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


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

Event Schedule

Packet Pickup: Friday, May 27 – 4:00-6:00 PM – ARC on Ridgecrest Campus
Packet Pickup: Saturday, May 28 – 4:30-6:00 AM – ARC
You may pick up for another person but you will be required to know their date of birth and sign for their packet.

Race Start: Saturday, May 28 – 6:01 AM SHARP – East side of Ridgecrest – Follow the signs to the start and look for the green START flags
Upon arriving at the Ridgecrest campus, the staff at the front gate will direct you to the ARC.

Please do not park vehicles at the church or funeral home in Old Fort.  If you want to leave a vehicle in Old Fort, there is an old mill three blocks to the south and two blocks to the west of the church you may use.
There will be buses and/or mini-buses to take you back to Ridgecrest after your race.  Buses will leave for Ridgecrest as they fill and will make as many trips as necessary to get everyone back.  The shuttle location is at the Westmoreland Funeral Home – across the street from the finish area (be careful crossing the road).

Course Markings/Etiquette

All roads are open to vehicular traffic but there are traffic controls at all key intersections.  All turns will be marked with signs with green on white arrows and, when possible, white chalk arrows on the pavement.  Please no dogs on the course!

Stay to the right side of the road unless otherwise instructed and avoid running anything more than two people wide.  You will run on the left side of the road on Old US 70 between miles 2 and 3 going toward Black Mountain and on the sidewalk going into Old Fort.

Bag Drop

There will be a U-Haul van near the start line to take small bags to the finish line for you.  Attach the Gear Check stub on the bottom of your race bib to identify your bag.  There will be safety pins at the van.

Upon finishing the race, go to the van located next to the church by the food and drink area and show your race bib to claim your bag.

Aid Stations

There are six aid stations on the course serving the following:
Mile 2 – Water only
Mile 4 – Water only
Mile 6 – Water, Gatorade
Mile 8 – Water, Gatorade, Bananas, Pretzels
Mile 10 – Water, Gatorade, Bananas, Pretzels
Mile 12 – Water, Gatorade

There will be a portajohn at each aid station.

Medical Issues
Should you experience medical issues on the course or witness that of a fellow runner, please report it to the nearest aid station volunteer or public safety officer at an intersection.  We have EMS on the course and at the finish line.

Please do not leave any trash or extra clothing on the course.  This is a beautiful area in which we run and we want to keep it that way.

Public restrooms are available inside the ARC with portajohns behind it.   There are portajohns at each aid station.  At the finish area at Old Fort Baptist Church, restrooms are in the lower level of the church.


Live results will be available HERE during the event.  We will have QR codes posted around the finish areas also taking you to the live results.

The final results will be posted at the Race Page at Glory Hound Events by Saturday evening.

We will have an awards ceremony near the finish line at approximately 9:00 AM.  If you cannot stay for the awards and expect to receive one, please have someone pick it up for you as they will not be mailed.

Those are the highlights.  For additional information, please go to the event page.
Thank you for running with us.  Have a great race!
Downhill at Dawn poster

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