Race Report - Running of the Bulls 8K, Durham, NC

Durham race swag will make you want to shout, "More cow bell!"

I've always wanted to run with bulls. And while the dangerous event in Pamplona may not be the sort of adrenaline rush I've been craving, I still had the chance to run with the bulls of Bull City, my hometown Durham, NC.

Travis, Kristen and I caught up with some other Fleet Feet runners at the start line of the race, all us bulls eager for the scenic and slightly hilly race.

"We haven't run in a month. What could possibly go wrong?!" Kristen asked as we took a pre-race selfie.

Famous last words, right? But sometimes you just get lucky.

Sunny and chipper for the start of the race

That moment we realized we hadn't run in a month!

This was the first 8K I've raced, though at 4.97 miles it's not a far cry from the one 5-miler I've raced, also through historic Durham as part of the Bull City Race Fest. Durham is a bit hilly, but I find these hills enjoyable compared to the long agonizing strugglefest of Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

The race is a loop through scenic parts of Durham, with a nice little hill to start the course past Rise doughnuts that early on a Saturday morning sounded like a better idea than running. But off we went like a herd of cows taking the scenic route home in the morning.

You wouldn't think a few 50 or 100 foot climbs would be that big of a deal on a short race course, but I'm telling you, they'll make you work for your race medal! There were two hills where I had to question my sanity a couple times. To cope, I started singing "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me!" (Okay, I might still be questioning my sanity, but my excuse is I saw the phrase on someone's shirt along the race course. THAT'S MY EXCUSE!)

I rounded the "cowbell corner" where a bunch of Oiselle Volee teammates cheered me on and headed into the old Durham Bulls stadium where I sprinted around the field and through the finish line to grab my medal.

And what a cool medal it is - a cowbell! Because I've got a running fever, and what do I need? MORE COWBELL! And is anything more appropriate than a cowbell for running bulls? Nope. Perfect race medal.

But let's face it, the real reason I ran the race is because I wanted a cool Running of the Bulls 8K shirt. I always see other Durham runners out running with this shirt and I've always wanted one. Plus I keep ruining all my other sleeved running shirts with hiking, painting, whatever, so it's good to have another shirt for...well, everything!

If you haven't run this race before, it's well worth running it, especially if you're local. And while June is always hot and muggy, I lucked out that it wasn't crazy humid this year. I love my new medal and shirt, even if Ryder was less than impressed with my medal; he yowled at me when I clanged the bell and photobombed my victory pose. Ah well, he's cute, so we'll let him keep around.


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