One more event please, pacing the Durham 13.1 Happy Holidays

Wishing you a Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year!

Durham 13.1 starting area Carlos Candelaria and Jay. Pacing the 2:30After completing Derby 50k, I was feeling great and did not have any other event until 2020. On Tuesday I received an email that they needed pacers for the Durham 13.1 event. I quickly responded that I could help with the 2:30 pacer group. In the morning the usual latte with hot cereal and banana. The event coordinators changed the location closer to my house which was great. I like this event location, close to home and flat course at the American Tobacco Trail. There I met with few a friends from previous events, Jay was able to sign up to run the event. I walked around a bit, answered a few questions and met a runner that did the City of Oaks Marathon earlier this year and she ran in my 5:00 pacing group. It was really good to see that she was really happy with her performance and that our pacing group was able to help her reach her goal.

It was fun to see the start of the Kids fun mile. Seeing them toeing the starting line and giving their best during their run.Race 13.1 Durham 2019 fun mile start line

No warm-up today, since my goal today was to help to pace the 2:30 group. I met with Jay and walked just behind the 2:00 pacers, after a few announcements, the National Anthem and off we went.

Durham 13.1 Half, 2:30 pacing group, Carlos CandelariaMile 1-6: Very uneventful miles, temperatures were awesome. The Sun was out and by mile 2, I took gloves off. The course was very flat with a few long rolling hills. Nothing challenging or anything requiring much effort. We held a pace withing the target for most miles, perhaps banking a total of 15 seconds by the end of the 6th mile, close to the turnaround. We were all talking with the runners meeting them and learning about their goals.

Durham 13.1 Half, 2:30 pacing groupMiles 7-12:  After the turnaround we continued at a steady pace. There was a father with us, we saw his son pass by and we all cheered for him and he was well ahead of the 2:00 hour mark. There was Christine, that although she had run the distance before, this was her 1st official Half. Similar to Christine, Sanjee running his 1st Half and he was rocking a great solid pace. Also with us couple runners that even though this was not their 1st half, they were having issues earlier in the race, one with cramps and the other battling knee pain. We encourage them to hang with us and they did. We slowed down a bit since we had those few seconds in the bank, allowing runners to take a breather before we encounter the last hill before the final downhill portion to end the finish line.

Mile 13 to finish: The final stretch, now it is all downhill, we pressed on as we were just the right mark for the 2:30. The last 150 meters were fully downhill so, we encourage everyone around us to give their best to finish well below the 2:30 mark. They did increase their pace and finished strong and within the 2:30 target.

We hang around at the finish line area, talked to the runners and other pacers and cheered for the ones just arriving at the finish line. It was a great event.

Durham 13.1 Runners village, planter's peanuts wagon
Dec-19Race13.1 Durham HalfNCHalf2:29:46

Event Highlights

Course: Great ample trail/greenway right of the start, long rolling hills. With the ample road, there is no problem starting and finding a comfortable pace.

Venue: At a parking lot area near a Big Shopping Center, plenty of bathrooms and food for before and after the event.

Expo: No Expo.

Weather: Some clouds but mostly sunny skies, 41º with 84% humidity.

T1D: Sugars within running range and stable throughout the event.


Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal, latte, and banana.

Race: Gatorade at third and fourth station, water at others.

Post: Protein Shake within an hour of the event.

Learning Points:

  • Taking it easy makes it feel like you can run forever.
Durham 13.1 Half, bib and medal