Running of the Bulls 8K Race Recap

Two years ago and a few months after we moved to Raleigh, Mike and I noticed a couple at a coffee shop we were at wearing very cool Nike race shirts. Since we often choose races to run based on swag, we were disappointed that we missed out on the Running of the Bulls 8K in Durham. Last year we couldn’t run it because I was 9 months pregnant. So we were excited to run the 8K this year, hosted by local running store Bull City Running, and get the cool shirt! The design looks like it stays the same year after year – the colors change though, and there are men and women’s fits (and colors). Many people running the race wore shirts from previous years. The colors this year aren’t the best but I do like the design and fit.
William’s double ear infection two weeks before the race led to a week of very little sleep for us three. And then I got a bad cold the week before the race. So we hadn’t run at all for two weeks. Not ideal.

As I was debating whether I could even run it, my mom reminded me of how Mike and I both ran half marathons in Aprilran half marathons in April while sick. We could handle an 8K. Thanks, Mom 🙂 Plus, we were running for fun, not trying to PR, just to enjoy the race (and get the shirt, of course!).

The night before the race we went out for burgers and fries at Chuck’s in downtown Raleigh. Not the best pre-race fuel but it was delicious!

Having a baby makes early race mornings not so bad since it’s our new norm. So I made pancakes! Kodiak powercakes, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, provide sustained energy, fill me up just enough and are delicious. These are the chocolate. I always have coffee before races and used my new pourover.

We drove about a half hour to Durham and the race start area near the old Durham Bulls ballpark. Volunteers directed us to a parking spot in a lot very close to the race start. With just 20 minutes until the start of the race, I debated whether or not to wait in the long portapotty line. Instead, I followed the lead of others and jogged about 1/4 mile to the finish line and used the indoor restrooms at the ballpark. Highly recommend – clean and no line!
I got back to Mike and William just in time. Runners really just started to line up a few minutes before race start. I like the casual-ness of this race. Very organized but not an intense race atmosphere. However, I do wish I started farther up in the pack. I wasn’t too far back but the first couple of miles were very congested due to the volume of runners and narrowness of course at first, and I couldn’t settle into a comfortable race pace.

I loved the course! There was a lot of variety from running in downtown Durham, through beautiful residential areas, through up-and-coming areas, which all provided a lot to look at. In addition, although there weren’t a lot of spectators, the course didn’t thin out a whole lot so there was a lot of energy amongst runners. Around mile 3, we ran by the finish line in the ballpark – ugh that was rough. I was very ready to stop at the 5K mark – probably due to my cold and not feeling close to 100%. Because I really just wanted to be done, I think I picked up the pace a bit. The course narrowed after we ran by the ballpark as we were pushed to one side of the road for and out and back to the finish!

Mile 1: 7:44
Mile 2: 7:22
Mile 3: 7:24
Mile 4: 7:52
Mile 5: 7:41

The finish was downhill – thank goodness! This was a hilly course. And the final lap was around the warning track in the ballpark – very cool! Usually I am able to push really hard to the finish. This was a struggle. It was really hot and the last few miles didn’t offer much shade.

The finish area was right in the ballpark offering good views of the finishers. I thought for sure I’d see Mike and William but they were too fast for me! Mike finished in 39:36! My time was 38:08 – really happy with that especially considering I wasn’t feeling well!
The finish area was pretty small given the number of runners so we camped out at a spot near the ballpark fence. Beer was provided by local Fullsteam Brewery. There were quite a few vendors set up including Big Spoon giving samples of their nut butters, La Liberte giving out full size yogurts (the Tahitian Vanilla Bean was amazing!), Brooks with shoes and free iced coffees, and I’m probably missing some. Also, great DJ music! William loved dancing and meeting Wool E. Bull when we made a special appearance.

This race was very family friendly. Lots of kids participated in the fun run around the warning track and got their own medals. I think this will probably be an annual tradition for us!

post run croissants!


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