Race 13.1 Charleston (1:48:35)

On Saturday, I ran the inaugural Race 13.1 Charleston at Middleton Place, home to some of the most beautiful (and only) trails in Charleston.


About Race 13.1 Charleston

Race 13.1 is an organization that travels around the Southeast and hosts half marathons. It’s popular with Half Fanatics and they offer some sort of season pass where you can run as many races as you’d like for $200. Because of that, this race had a TON of non-local runners. The running scene isn’t huge in Charleston, and while I love seeing my friends at races, it was fun to see new faces, different people winning awards, etc.

I have to give it to Race 13.1- they did a GREAT job with the race and taking care of the runners. They had enough volunteers, aid stations, course marshals, and signage. The post-race refreshments were good (Papa Johns Pizza) and we all got 2 free beers.

The beer was craft beer, and I had a shandy that tasted like lemonade. You know it’s a good beer if I brag on it- I never drink beer.



The Course

Middleton Place Woodlands is a trail, so Race 13.1 could only control so many variables on the course. This WAS NOT an easy or fast course. It was flat. Race 13.1 marked the trail well, including trouble spots where someone could slip in the mud. I’ve run a few local races that did not do that, as if the race director found joy in runners falling or getting lost.

In general, the trail was in great shape considering the rain we’ve had.


The course had motivational signs, and you could hear the Black Girls Run volunteers from miles away. Those ladies were the most enthusiastic volunteers I’ve ever seen at a race, and I got a big boost running through their aid stations.

The only issue all day was the traffic backup near Middleton Place. Ashley River Rd. is a two-lane road and has heavy traffic even on days without races, so this isn’t something Race 13.1 (or any race) can control. They anticipated this and advised everyone to arrive early via e-mail.

I arrived about 20 minutes before the start, and tons of cars were backed up trying to turn in. For this reason, the organizers postponed all the start times 15 minutes. That was a great idea, as the weather was gorgeous and as far as I know, no one missed the start.


My Race Experience

The Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Half Marathon is in 2 weeks, and since they were so close, I hadn’t planned to run Race 13.1.

The week before, I was fortunate enough to snag two entries from Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina, who sponsored the race. Clay and I have BCBS insurance, and it’s one of the better insurance companies we’ve had coverage with.


Since I had multiple entries, I graciously offered one to Virginia. She’s training for a trail ultra in January, and running trail races is one of the only ways to train on a trail in Charleston. She too used it as a training run and ended up running 17 miles total. Sean and Stella came out to celebrate.


I looked at Race 13.1 as a good chance to get a long run in while enjoying the festivities, not having to carry my own water, and maybe build some confidence for Nov. 14. I was already planning to run 12 on Sunday, so I figured I could add an extra mile, receive a t-shirt and finisher’s medal, and celebrate Halloween.

I went out fairly easily in the first few miles and enjoyed the trails. I talked to a few costumed runners- this was my way of making sure I wasn’t running too fast. After about 2 miles, the crowd thinned out, and I did pick up the pace a little.

Since I started slower, no one passed me after mile 3. I passed a TON of people who went out too fast or couldn’t deal with the Charleston humidity/heat (understandable- this is one hot and humid area).

My friend calls passing people who went out too fast “rabbit hunting” and I like that term.

I spoke to everyone I passed, complimented runners on their costumes and talked to them, waved, high-fived and thanked volunteers… it was so much fun. This was a different attitude for me going into the race, since I used it as a long, fun, run. With the staggered start, I passed some 10Kers toward the end and tried to encourage them too. This race was great for all levels of walkers and runners and the course had a very generous time limit.

I finished in 1:48:35, placing 3rd in my age group (30-34). I got a great Halloween finisher’s medal, Halloween tech shirt (they had ladies cut! hooray!), and a medal for placing. A group that ran as Pac-Man was in the costume contest and it was hilarious. If you’ve never run a costumed race, you should. You’ll smile and laugh a lot.



In a trail run, you have to race the course, not the clock, but I ran a negative split race.

My splits were 8:20, 8:36, 8:08, 8:15, 8:13, 8:16, 8:21, 8:16, 7:58, 8:07, 8:14, 8:11, 8:16, 7:23 (for .2)

Final Thoughts

From what I’ve heard, Race 13.1 doesn’t do many trail races, but I’m thankful they brought one to Charleston. Charleston is lacking in trail runs in general, and this one was beautiful. The event itself was top-notch, and I would run Race 13.1 Charleston again- or a Race 13.1 in another city.

All in all, Race 13.1 Charleston was a great race-out and confidence builder for my goal half. Thanks Blue Cross Blue Shield for giving me the opportunity to run!


Race Name: Race 13.1 Charleston

Location: Charleston County, SC (Middleton Place)

Date and Time: October 31, 2015, 8 AM

Terrain: Flat trail. Muddy or slippery areas marked and easy to run around. Aid stations at every other mile with both water and Gatorade.

Entry fee: 5K: $25-35, 10K: $35-45, Half: $50-89

Swag: Halloween-themed tech shirt, BCBS drawstring bag, Halloween finisher’s medal for half marathoners.

Post-race Food: Papa John’s Pizza, trail mix bars, various fruit, tons of candy, water, and free beer for all runners. The beer truck did not have tickets.

Weather: 55 degrees, 88% humidity. Gorgeous, sunny, cool, day for a run in Charleston!

I received a complimentary race entry from Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

This entry was posted in Charleston Running, Charleston SC, Half Marathon, Race Recaps, Race Reviews, Rural West Ashley, Summerville, Trail running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Race 13.1 Charleston (1:48:35)

  1. runner1313 says:

    Well, I was curious to read someone’s recap on this event since I knew about five people who ran it but don’t blog. Glad you enjoyed it, and I did hear that it was not easy. Great time for the course!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Most road runners would consider the course hard, but I think many trail runners would consider it easy- just depends on what you’re used to. It was much slower than a road course, and I think Race 13.1 mostly does road courses.

  2. Hollie says:

    I really like that saying “you have to race the course not the clock”. It sounds like for an inaugural race everything went smoothly. Congrats on placing too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks for the congrats! Race 13.1 went *very* smoothly for an inaugural. Only issue was the traffic backup and that’s not the races fault (I did pick up my packet the day before for that reason).

      The Charleston area had 2 races that day and both were inaugurals, and I’m a bit scared of inaugurals sometimes (especially an inaugural HALF!). However, Race 13.1 has a good reputation in NC, GA, and VA, and many out-of-state runners I talked to on Saturday had good things to say about their other events.

  3. What a fantastic time, and a great race review! I loved the Mrs. Pacman costumes.

  4. thisrunnersrecipes says:

    Congrats on placing! It sounds like a fun race – I imagine a trail half would be hard but fun in that challenge. I love it when races have women’s sized shirts!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      A lot of people said it was the nicest race shirt they’ve gotten. Also the shirt is a black tech shirt, and most race shirts are white… it has the same logo as the finisher’s medal.

  5. Congratulations on such an awesome race and placing! Wow! Your medals are so cool. That event looks like a super fun one. I really think you have set yourself up nicely for your half on the 14th! Your splits are so consistent, and look at that kick you had at the end. Seriously impressive. I also am loving the rabbit hunting term that your friend coined! Awesome!! Although, I’m usually the one that went out too fast 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Sometimes I’m that person too, but I’m getting much better about it. I really try to hold back in the beginning and have a better race. You’re pretty speedy so maybe going out a little fast is working for you (I think some runners are just “front runners” like that).

  6. Laura says:

    Congrats on a great race, sounds like it really was a well done event. Super nice of you to give your other entry to a friend! I like the thought of a race Company that offers a ‘pass’ for unlimited entries but that the races aren’t all over the country- Rock n Roll does a race pass but it’s a lot harder to travel around the country than it is one region (southeast like you said).

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Their season pass is a great deal if you A.) Like half marathons B.) live in NC/GA/SC/VA/FL and C.) Like to take weekend getaways. In 2015, it was $199 to run as many halfs as you wanted, so after 3 half marathons it paid for itself. In 2016, it will be $150 and each race is $15. Still a savings, but will take 4 races to pay for itself.

      You’re right that it’s a better deal than R&R because so many of the races are within driving distance. They only have a few dates firmly set for 2016, but I hear they hope to have 25 races and 4 in SC. They already have 4 in NC, so for runners there, the pass can easily pay for itself if you’re okay with driving a couple hours for a race.

      They also give runners medals for completing 3 Race 13.1 events in a year or 7 events in a year- another fun incentive.

  7. Congratulations on finishing in such a great time! Sounds like a great event.

  8. Sound like it was well planned event that Race 13.1 put on! Loved the pacman costume,loved the swag and bling, and you did GREAT on the trails! (so right about having to race the course and not the clock!) Sometimes I prefer the trails over the roads when I need a change up from the hard pavement-but as you mentioned,trails here in this part of SC are far and few between…
    your mile splits were awesome, and no doubts you will have a stellar half on the 14th! (or in January at the Charleston 1/2-which will be flat!)
    hope your feeling better today btw!!!!!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m feeling much better! The soup last night helped, although I wasn’t impressed with Triangle and actually feel like Panera has better butternut squash soup (it’s trendy to support local, but still… Panera is yummy!). I ran this morning and am finally 100%.

      The trails were a nice change. This was my first trail run/race since Peyton’s 5K in March, so it had been way too long!

  9. Congrats! It’s really cool that you’ve reached the point where you can place in your age group even when you are treating the race like a hard training run. That’s awesome and must be really fun! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It is a nice feeling. I do most 5Ks as “race-outs”- meaning I never taper or cut back the week before, I just run them as speedwork. I feel like placing just depends on who shows up more than times, so I never count on it and just run my best that day to meet my own goals :).

  10. I would love to try this some year. Thanks so much for the review.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You would have really enjoyed it because you like trails. I hope you can run it next year. They are planning to have 4 in SC in 2016. Race 13.1 is all over NC and GA.

  11. Wow, you never cease to amaze me, placing in a race that was just a training run. Your splits were really good and this should give you a huge confidence boost going into big race weekend in a couple weeks. The 13.1 certainly provides nice race swag for the runners and the awards of both a medal and gift card seem very generous. I have only seen one or the other but not both for a half marathon race. Congrats and enjoy your taper as you get ready for the Georgetown Bridge to Bridge Half.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Well, placing is all about who shows up more than ability. I happened to be the 3rd fastest 30-34 year old female who showed up. Plenty of ladies can outrun me.

      I do recommend Race 13.1. I knew about the gift cards but not the medals for age group awards, and it was fun to leave with 2 medals. They have a few events in NC and VA so if you get the chance to run one, you really should!

  12. Cool medal. Congrats on placing in your age group! Sounds like a great race!

  13. Elizabeth C. says:

    Oooh, I was excited to see you did a Race 13.1. I registered for their Roanoake half last winter, but wasn’t able to run it due to icy conditions. They seem to have their act together, and your blog just confirms that they do. It’s great that you were able to run this one relaxed and having fun! Congrats!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on the half (and AG) and I am always impressed when an event runs smoothly for its inaugural year. The pac man costume is hilarious. Speaking of costumes (and since I just caught up on your other blog posts) – I loved your friends costume with the skeleton baby – very clever!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yep! This was a very impressive race.

      BTW, Skeleton baby is now real baby, as Michelle had her little girl on Nov. 1. I am still in awe of her running that 10K pregnant :).

  15. supereli23 says:

    Great job placing in your AG on a what was a training run! I love trail runs, I find them to be far less stressful than a road race. Those costumes were too cute, I am a huge fan of Halloween races.

  16. Pingback: Race 13.1 Charleston Preview- October 29, 2016 | The Tiny Terror

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