Friday, July 6, 2012

Scream Half Marathon Preview

The course mostly looks like this
Well, "The Scream" is a week away, and I am somewhat terrified.

When I signed up, I had this delusion that I was a "good" downhill runner and this race would play to my strengths. But after a few weeks of trying to train for it, I have to say this:
Whoops! I was really wrong. Not good at downhills. No sir.

Any downhill running skill I had went into the garbage can when I threw away my cushioned shoes 4 months ago. More on that in my next post.

The Course
The course is mostly on gravel roads winding through the Pisgah National Forest. It is twisty, curvy, and somewhat gravel-ly. See the photo above that Shannon took last year.

It is almost all downhill:

Total Elevation Change: -2300 Feet
Average Grade: -3.3%

Now -3.3% isn't too bad, and I might find that run-able. But that is the average.
Here is the profile:

Compared to Umstead
Now these numbers are kind of hard grasp for those of us who live in relatively flat Eastern North Carolina.
Around here, we call Umstead State Park "hilly", and think a 3% grade is steep.

To give you Raleigh based runners some idea, here is The Scream compared to the NCRC Half Marathon that is run on the Reedy Creek bridle trail through Umstead:

Yikes. That makes Umstead look like a pancake, and The Scream a... a... I don't know, maybe a giant cranberry walnut muffin. OK, now I am scared... and hungry.

NEXT: Training for "The Scream"