High Country Half Marathon

Half Marathon Mile 1

8.10.20 Update

After developing careful public health modification plans, the hopes were high that the High Country Triple Crown series would be able to happen this summer. Because of the continuing public health crisis and Governor Cooper’s recent announcement that North Carolina must stay in Phase 2 of the Safer at Home plan, we now feel that is necessary to cancel the 2020 High Country Triple Crown Series. We are incredibly disappointed, and we know you are too, but recognize our collective responsibility to ensure a safer and healthier community for all. 

All registered participants have received an email outlining their options for refund, deferral, participation in the "Informal High Country Half Marathon", or donation.  Please contact Mary Sheryl Horine at horinems@appstate.edu if you need this information to be sent again. 


Date and Logistics

Saturday, August 22, 2020  -  Cancelled

7:30am start for all runners; 11:00am cut-off for participants if they have not completed the course.

The 13.1 mile race starts at the Peacock Parking Lot on Appalachian's main campus (the physical address of the Peacock Parking lot is 461 River Street, Boone, NC 28607) and finishes in Davant Park in Blowing Rock. For safety reasons, we no longer allow early starting times for walkers.  Organizers caution participants that this race is challenging and should not be considered for first-time half marathoners.  There will not be an in-person award's ceremony this year and all  awards (overall and age-category) will either be mailed or available for pick-up at Leon Levine Hall of Health Science. 

Packet Pick-Up will be at Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences on 8/20/20 and 8/21/20 from 4:30-6:30pm. Day of packet pick up will be at the Peacock Parking Lot from 6:00am-7:00am. Online registration will remain open until 6:30am on August 22. No in-person paper registration will take place. 

Parking is free at all Appalachian Student, Faculty and Visitor lots.

Because of Covid19, we will not be able to offer  shuttle transportation for runners or spectators.  We will still offer a dedicated gear shuttle to transport particpant's belongings to the finish line.

MORE FUN FOR THE HALF MARATHON-- a 2.5 mile downhill finish to again end in Davant Park in downtown Blowing Rock! 

Route Description

"Half the distance but just as hard." The High Country Half Marathon is roughly the first half of the Grandfather Marathon which is considered one of the toughest marathons in the United States. We've added some incredibly scenic views and a nice downhill at the end, which varies from the marathon, but make no mistake, the course is challenging! If you can complete the High Country Half Marathon, you've got something to brag about!

The Half Marathon will begin in Boone at Peacock Parking Lot.  The course will follow a flat River's St. onto Blowing Rock Road (mile 1 @ IHOP). Taking a right onto Winkler's Creek Rd. at Bojangles, the route begins it's curves and gradual uphill following along the picturesque Winkler's Creek.  The route will then take a right onto Russ Cornett Road (mile 3) with more curves and gradual uphills and downhills.  At mile 4.4, the route will take a right onto Diamond Ranch. Next turn is a left onto Poplar Grove Road then a left onto Shulls Mill Road at mile 7.5. At Highway 221 the course turns left into Blowing Rock.  Taking the first road on the right, the course turns onto Laurel Lane looping around the Equestrian Center. Taking another right onto Wonderland Trail and the finest views in the south, the course continues to wind downhill and to the  right on Wonderland Trail until a left turn back onto Laurel Lane (near Bistro Roca). The route is completed with a right turn onto Clark Street and a short jaunt to finish at Davant Field.

Water/Aid Stations -  (all stations will offer water in pre-filled cups available for self pick-up)
Mile 1.8           
Mile 4.5           
Mile 6               
Mile 8               
Mile 10            

Race Fees and Registration for The High Country Half Marathon

Register Now

On-line registration closes at 6:30am on August 22. Only participants registered by 8/2/19 are guaranteed t-shirts.

***Now until 8/2/20: $65.00***

***8/3/20 until raceday: $75.00***

 Discounted Race Fees and Registration for all three races of the Triple Crown:

Register for all three Triple Crown races for a discounted rate of $110.00 (this special offer good until 8/22/20)

Register Now

***Now until 8/22/20: $110.00***

Triple Crown T shirt


The High Country Triple Crown adheres to the standard running industry policy that refunds are not allowed. Unlike the industry standard, however, we do allow registration transfers provided the person to which the registration is being transferred checks in at the registration table to update information prior to the race start. The new person must also complete a participation waiver.  Recipients of transferred registrations are not guaranteed a t-shirt or specific t-shirt size.  The entry fee for this year’s event will NOT transfer to next year’s event, no exceptions.

*COVID-19 Exception: If any HCTC race needs to be canceled for public health reasons, registrations will be refunded automatically.


All participants registered by 8/2/20 are guaranteed to receive moisture wicking shirts. The top three male and female finishers for The Half Marathon in seven different age categories will receive awards. The overall* top three male and female finishers as well as the overall grandmaster  (age 50+)  top three male and female finishers will also receive awards. Special prizes from our sponsors will be given away throughout the Triple Crown Events. Half Marathon finisher's medals will be awarded. 

Triple Crown Winners: Runners who complete all three Triple Crown races (The Cub, The Half Marathon and The Knob) will receive special awards. The top three overall* male and female runners as well as the top three overall* female and male grandmasters (age 50+) will split $1,500.00 in cash awards following The Knob on October 10.

*It is the policy of the HCTC that overall winners are displaced from age group categories for awards.  This policy also applies to cash awards in the Overall and Grandmaster categories. All awards need to be claimed within 7 days of the race date.


2019 Overall           2019 By Age group

2018 Overall           2018 By Age group

2017 Overall           2017 By Age group

2016 Overall           2016 By Age group

2015 Overall           2015 By Age group

2014 Overall           2014 By Age group

2013 Overall           2013 By Agegroup

2012 Overall           2012 By Agegroup

2011 Overall           2011 By Agegroup


Half Marathon Policies

Runners are reminded that the Half Marathon course is on open road.  Because of the winding and hilly nature of this course, the following policies have been adopted for the safety of all our particpants.

Strollers: Not allowed

Dogs: Not allowed

Children:  Any participant under the age of 14 needs to be accompanied by an adult