Last Sunday was a super fun day because I got to be a part of the Bull City Racefest as a spectator (I prefer cheerleader) and coach. My girls I’ve been coaching for the past 11 weeks completed the 1/2 Marathon and we had another group coached by my friend Karen who did the 8k. Our groups did amazing and let me tell you if you are ever in a fitness rut or need inspiring be a part of helping someone else reach their goal. Amazing! Last year we did the City of Oaks as our goal race which was also super fun, but it’s always nice try a new race and I knew this one wouldn’t disappoint….I mean any race that’s centered around FOOD TRUCKS has to be great! We also liked the timing of the Bull City race. The City of Oaks happened to fall the day after a Saturday night Halloween and I didn’t want any of us to have to watch our candy intake the night before a big race. Being a spectator in a race is different for me, but was so much fun. It was also HARD work! I usually just show up at a race and run, but spectating and trying to find the best locations to see all my girls the most took some serious planning. I couldn’t have done any of this without my friend Abby! She is a Bull City Race expert since she has ran it many times and she lived in Durham, too. So, this will be a different kind of race recap in where I can tell you the best place to see your runners as well as the course information as relayed to me by my awesome girls!
Race Info….Expo, parking, Meeting
The Bull City 8k and 1/2 marathon was Sunday October 18th at 7:30 am this year. Both the 8k and 1/2 start together which was great since we had groups doing both. The Expo was Saturday at the Durham Convention Center. One thing I think is important to mention is you MUST pickup your race bib at the Expo. There is limited race day packet pickup, but it is an additional $15. They do allow for anyone to pickup your bib as long as you have their race number so that is good. They don’t even require ID which was nice because organization is not my thing so I can’t imagine having to keep up with copies of several ID’s! Race day my group planned to meet at 6:30am. I wouldn’t plan to arrive any later than this. It was already getting pretty busy by then! I also have a parking tip (thanks Abby)! Instead of going to the first parking garage off the exit which had quite a line to get into, I would recommend heading to the parking garage off Pettigrew St. We were able to park there immediately and it was a short walk to the start line. Our group met at the American Tobacco sign near Mellow Mushroom. This is a great meeting spot…right next the potties and around the corner from the start line.
The Course…Running and Spectating
I didn’t actually run the race, but I got great feedback from my girls. I know this will be shocking, but Bull City is a hilly course. Of course I’m kidding….it’s pretty much a given that most races around the Peak are hilly. One girl mentioned a hill around mile 12 that was tough, but around here you just learn to embrace the hills! Another friend mentioned liking the scenery…..the old houses and downtown. Now on to spectating! I ended up finding a great spot at Buchanan and Main Street. It was great because as I was walking to that spot I saw tons of 8k girls who I think were around mile 2.5. There was also a DJ around this spot which is always fun. He was playing Whip Nae Nae as I walked by and telling everyone they would have a better time if they Whipped and Nae Naed down the hill. I think there’s something to that as Whip Nae Nae makes anything better😉. I finally settled into my spot at Buchanan and Main St and was just in time to see the faster runners come up the hill around mile 7. I was able to see everyone I knew racing at this spot and when my last runners came through I hustled back to the finish in time to see everyone finish. Spectating success!
The post race festivities and Food Trucks are a big part of the Bull City Racefest and they did not disappoint. Food and beer trucks lined the grassy quad as families gathered to celebrate. There is a kids zone with bounce houses here too which is always great since races can be long mornings for little ones. I had to get home so didn’t stick around to enjoy the festivities, but this is just the kind of post race atmosphere I would enjoy with friends and family! I might just have to put this on my race schedule in the future. If you have any race tips or race feedback for the Bull City Racefest we would love to hear it!!