“Kingsport was a good home for us. They were very supportive of us for eight years,” said race director Hank Brown.
The course will be a double-loop course entirely within the city limits of Jonesborough. The start line will be close to the Eureka Inn in downtown and the finish will be in front of the old courthouse steps in downtown. Runners will be met with a challenging course, unlike the flatness of Kingsport.
“We felt like the move from Kingsport to Jonesborough was a good move when Kingsport didn’t approve our courses. We wanted it to be mostly on the Greenbelt to cut down on road closures in the city,” said Brown. “We saw a decrease in numbers and a lot of one-time runners in Kingsport mostly because of the smell down by Industry Drive and the exposure of the course with no shade.”
The race will also be moved to the morning with a new start time of 9:30 a.m. and it will be held in conjunction with Jonesborough’s already existing Halloween Haunts and Happenings festival that is the same date, October 28. The festival itself draws nearly 10,000 people annually and will have events such as ghost story-telling, trunk-or-treating, and “Scary-oke.” The festival is completely free and the half marathon will kick off the Saturday morning full of activities.
“The town of Jonesborough really rolled out the red carpet for us and we feel like that the Halloween atmosphere will already be there when you enter the town,” said Brown.
With Jonesborough being Tennessee’s oldest town, the ghost stories and history of the town will be on full display during the festival. This will add to an already existing great Halloween vibe that surrounds the Haunted Half.