Bull City Race Fest: A Review

I think today actually feels like the first day of fall I’ve felt since fall started almost a month ago.  I write to you from my apartment, zipped into a jacket, toes freezing, with that weird burny smell coming from the heat because I’ve barely used it yet.

Today, I participated in the Bull City Race Fest, Endurance Magazine’s race festival.  It was a fun way to get in a few miles in before next week’s 26.2 (eek) which looms at just about 5 days away now.

I was terrified.  I haven’t raced since the spring, and even though this was a 5-miler, nothing scary, and nothing I haven’ t done before, but getting back into it felt kind of like I was running a first race all over again.


The race featured a 1-miler, a 5-miler, and a 13.1, all winding through Durham, about 25 minutes from where I live in Raleigh.

  • The Improvements:  I don’t want to say “the bad” because there was really nothing bad about this race, especially for an inaugural year, which usually is a mess.  The only thing that kind of caught me off-guard, which could have been my fault, was that I was not 100% clear that the 5-miler didn’t finish where we started.  So, when I finished, I wasn’t aware to tell friends that I’d finished and I was on Duke University’s campus.  No big deal.
  • The traffic.  Almost 6,000 folks ran, and it created some congestion on the course.  I’m a little concerned for next year, which I’m sure will be bigger, especially if they keep it up with all the food trucks.

The Awesome:

  • The race was extremely well-organized.  The expo, the refreshments, the buses to transport us from the 5-miler line back to the start, everything seemed to come together pretty well.
  • The food trucks.  The race ended with a food truck rodeo that was pretty cool.  By the time we got to the trucks, literally every single truck was out of coffee, which would have been nice, especially considering the cold, but my breakfast biscuit and hash brown patty was tasting so right to my senses.
  • Packet pick-up.  Nice.  No complaints here.
  • And unrelated, it was good to see a ton of friends at the race from Raleigh and Durham, and I felt super lucky to run into some coworkers, one of whom won the whole dang thing, and two of whom were running their first half-marathons. How cool to witness that experience for someone else!

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