Race #500 -- The Scream! Half Marathon -- Jonas Ridge, NC -- 07/10/21

It all started with me just "seeing if I can run a 5k" back in 2008. Once I started, I didn't want it to stop, and over these past 13 or so years there have been a few speed bumps to slow me down, but overall it's been one of the best experiences of my life, and now at age 69 I'm hoping to keep running as long as my legs will carry me. Would I like to run another 500 before I quit? Sure, but it's not likely. I've learned to take one race at a time and just be thankful that I'm still able to put one foot in front of the other.

I thought about going back and breaking down how many races I've run at different distances, but that's a lot of work so I'll just be happy counting the total races along with the half marathons. This was my 118th half marathon and the 117th half marathon in a row under 2 hours. 

This was my 8th time running The Scream in the 10 years of its existence. It's always been one of my favorite races, and still is, but this year it was a little smaller because of the pandemic. There were a lot of runners who signed up last year but had their registrations shifted to this year, and many of them didn't make it to the race. The usual race capacity is 350 runners, but there were only 200 finishers this year.

The big attraction to this race is the many miles of downhill running. At least 8 miles or so of the 13 are downhill, which should result in a fast race time if you're good at running downhill. However, it's not always easy to do that much downhill running in a race. With a couple miles of downhill left in the race, I found myself having to slow down because my thighs were hurting so badly. As I write this, 36 hours after the race, my legs are as sore as they've ever been after a race. I'm pretty sure that's normal for this race in particular, and all downhill races in general, but I've got a short memory and I'm thinking I'll be back next year, pain or no pain.

Race Name:  The Scream! Half Marathon

Location:  Jonas Ridge to Mortimer, North Carolina

Date:  July 10, 2021

Race Rating:  86

Top 10 Overall:

My Age Group (65-69):


Elevation by Mile:

This is the way my Garmin measured the elevation. As you can see, there's a lot more downhill than uphill, but there are still some hills to contend with. Honestly, I don't think these Garmin numbers are actually correct, especially the 562 feet of uphill near the end, but it's all I've got to go with for now. Just know that there's plenty of downhill in the race, and don't be surprised if you find some hills to climb along the way.

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Overall Race Results

Click Here for Age Group Results

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:53:05
  • Pace:  8:38
  • Age Group (65-69): 1 of 5 
  • Overall:  64 of 200
  • Average Heart Rate:  153
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  173
  • Age Grade Percentage:  70.67%





0 - Chip & Gun Timing: (3 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

7 - 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 online within 24 hours:  (0)no  (2)yes

1 - Easy to find results:  (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; (1) 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


5 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent

2 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent

0 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)

5 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals


8 - Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)

7 - Venue (Entertainment, Race Setting, etc.): (1-9)

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

3 - Design: (1-5)

3 - Material Quality: (1-3)

2 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes


0 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes

0 - Prices: (1)expensive  (3)reasonable  (5)cheap

0 - 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:  86


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