Race 13.1 Charleston (1:46:37)

On Saturday, I ran Race 13.1 Charleston, a great addition to Charleston’s Fall running scene. I ran the inaugural half marathon last Fall and was excited to see it return. Race 13.1 hosts half marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks in cities all over the Southeast, and the organization is expanding to other areas of the US as well.


Whether you are a local elite, mid-packer, or BOPer (back of the packer), Race 13.1 has something for you and makes you feel like a winner. That’s the kind of race I like to run and in my opinion, that’s the attitude the running community should have.

Race 13.1 hosted a Halloween themed race with a costume contest. I don’t run in costumes for anything longer than a 5K, but you can’t help but smile when you see costumed runners on a course. I have a few friends who run in costume- one who runs every marathon in a different themed costume- and it does take work to think of a costume and run in it for 13.1 miles (especially figuring out where to store fuels).

Like a good Halloween race, the medal and shirt were also themed. The street lights do a great job of representing Charleston, and I love that the holiday theme ties in with our city.


The Course

Middleton Place Woodlands is a trail, so it was harder than a road course, but easier than a lot of trail races. Charleston hasn’t had any rain since Hurricane Matthew, so the course was in great shape. It was dirt road with some grass and sand.


Half marathoners ran three loops, and I liked that because that meant the aid stations were frequent and after the first loop, you knew what to expect. The Black Girls Run and Charleston Girls On the Run volunteers at the aid stations were great about ringing cowbells, cheering for runners, and doing the proper water cup handoff!

Race Day

Since I was planning on a 16 mile day, I got to the race early to log 3.2 miles BEFORE my race. I knew that once I crossed the finish and got my medal, pizza, and beer, I would be done running for the day. After my 3.2 easy miles, I met up with some friends at the start to chat and say hello. It was great seeing David from DoomBuggyRunner and some of his MUSC friends, Becky, and Charleston Beer Runners.


The DJ at the start did a great job of getting everyone pumped up, and the race started right on time.


I had *zero* time goals since this was a trail race- I just wanted to enjoy the event and celebrate Halloween. After the first two miles, I got into a groove and spoke to the costumed runners, told runners they were doing a good job, and thanked the aid station volunteers. I ran comfortably and made sure I could talk to keep my heart rate within an aerobic range. This strategy worked for me, and I also practiced race-day fueling and hydration.

The Halloween costumes were amazing! I spotted zombies, a pair of shoes, astronauts, and tons of superheroes. The costume contest winner was dressed as a thunderstorm and she wore a huge “cloud” wig with raindrops hanging from it along with a shirt that had a great big lightening bolt on the front. No race director or runner wants to see a real thunderstorm on race day, but her costume was creative and original and deserved the win.

The last lap was tough, as my legs could tell I was running much faster than my usual long run pace. Near the Mile 13 split, I saw Melissa- who ran the 5K and won first female overall. She ran through the finish with me and it was a big boost. You can’t beat good friends and training partners who will run you in- thanks Melissa!


I finished the race with a chip time of 1:46:37, two minutes faster than last year. I was 9th female overall, 2nd in my age group, and received a nice medal for placing.

Race 13.1 has an area set up to print your race time and for age group finishers to claim their medals. This works if you have to leave early, or if you’re like me and want to wear your medal ASAP.


Post Race

After the race, I chatted with friends and just hung out. Melissa and I cheered for everyone coming through the finish, and the DJ did a great job of making everyone feel like a winner no matter when they came in. O2 Fitness set up stretching and foam rolling stations for the runners, which was a great idea because everyone’s legs were a little beat up after the half. I also drank some Natalie’s Juices Orange Beet Juice– beets are supposedly good for post-run recovery, but I was mostly happy to have a cold drink with the rising temperatures.

We had plenty of Papa John’s Pizza, beer from Palmetto Brewing (local to Charleston!), and tons of Halloween candy! The volunteers had a great idea to put the chocolate candy on ice so it wouldn’t melt. Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina gave out drawstring bags that were perfect for holding candy, and everyone went “trick or treating” at each sponsor’s booth- I felt like a kid again.


I would highly recommend Race 13.1 Charleston and hope to run this each year. It’s only 15 minutes from my house so the location is convenient, and the race is a premier event. I’d love to run more of their events and hope they continue expanding. I’d also recommend this race to anyone in Charleston who wants to celebrate Halloween with a race.


8:13, 8:24, 8:10, 8:11, 8:03, 8:08, 7:49, 8:01, 8:04, 7:51, 8:06, 7:50, 7:58, 1:46 (last .26)

Race Name: Race 13.1 Charleston

Location: Charleston County, SC (Middleton Place)

Date and Time: October 29, 2016, 8 AM

Terrain: Flat trail, grass, dirt road. Only one hazard spot, which was marked on the three-loop course. Two aid stations with both water and Gatorade (ran by each aid station 3 times).

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

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

Post-race Food: Papa John’s Pizza, granola bars, various fruits, tons of candy, water, and free beer for all runners. The beer was not ticketed.

Weather: 63 degrees, 100% humidity at start. Foggy but sunny later.

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 Half Marathon, Race 13.1, Race Recaps, Race Reviews, Rural West Ashley, Summerville, Trail running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Race 13.1 Charleston (1:46:37)

  1. I’m so jealous of the shirt! I have a thing for googly-eyed spiders.

    Congrats on your medal! It sounds like a super fun race.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you, it was SOOOO much fun! The shirts from Race 13.1 are the best and I like that it is blue. Too many races give white shirts that are see-through, and this one is a nice tech shirt, gender specific, and a fun color. Love it!

  2. I love cheering for runners as they finish! I did that at the Harrisburg Half a couple weeks ago and it was so good for the soul. If I had to run 3 miles on top of a half I would have done it first too! Congrats on placing!

  3. Kara says:

    Woohoo! Congrats girl, AWESOME job. I’m a fan of loop courses too – it’s nice to know exactly what to expect and to break it up into little segments. OH and I love the little lampposts on the shirt and medal! Something about lampposts reminds me of cozy fall and the holidays 🙂

    Also I totally agree on the costume thing – anything longer than a 5K seems like a lot of extra effort, haha. I saw a guy at my recent race dressed like Michael Jackson and carrying a stereo! Love it, I just don’t know how he got through 13.1 miles like that!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      My friend Charlotte is a marathon maniac and runs each marathon in a different costume that represents that city or race. I can’t imagine running that long in a costume, but I guess if you do it often, you are used to it and you know the hacks like where to store fuel, how to make sure you don’t chafe, etc.

      We have a lot of lamp posts like that in Charleston, and it also kind of represents Halloween and looking spooky. Not to mention, there are lots of ghosts and hauntings rumored in Charleston as well!

  4. This would be one I would be interested in doing some year if it isn’t during taper time. Amazing job.

  5. supereli23 says:

    Great time for a trail race! Those shirts are super cute and it sounds like a great value for your race entry fee. Free beer after any race makes me say yay, although not currently 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You have a good excuse with the beer! At least this race has good, local beer from Palmetto (I also like that Race 13.1 has a local beer sponsor). I’m not really a beer drinker, but when I do, I don’t drink Michelob Ultra or Bud Light which is what some races offer.

  6. Great job at the race Chica!!! Thank you for giving me the discount code and letting me know about this gem of an event. I can’t wait to do it again next year!
    Also,great way to incorporate a long run with a race. I’m glad your were able to get in the extra miles and still be 2 minutes faster than last year!!!
    You’re awesome.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Melissa! I’m glad you got in your miles as well. I loved using this race as a long run and think it’s a fun idea to use races as workouts (as I do often, haha). You can’t beat getting a medal at the end of a long run. Sometimes a race is the only way to get me to do a tempo run!

  7. WOW look at how you got faster and faster as the miles clicked by! What a great race! I would do the same thing as you, logging the miles before the race. It would be so hard to finish a race and then start back up again while everyone else enjoyed their post race bevvies and snacks. Congrats!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Suzy… I tend to get a little faster on my runs which is a good thing. It always takes my legs a few miles to wake up, I guess. There were plenty of people still running when I finished, but it would be weird to finish and then go back out there with so many people. I got my 3 in early without many people noticing or asking what I was doing (when you cool down after a race here, people give you weird looks for still running… it’s crazy).

  8. Pingback: Race Recap: Race 13.1 Charleston 10/29/2016 | DoomBuggy Runner

  9. Elizabeth C. says:

    I love your approach to this one! It’s so true that after racing a half, there is like zero desire to run any more. And you went in, ran really strong, got a course record, and also had a blast doing it. It’s great that you had such a nice option that close to your house, too. I really love races where people wear costumes because it’s a nice distraction from the hurt. 🙂

  10. Pam says:

    You have such a great perspective on racing. And even when you are not going all out, you are still very speedy! Congrats on the AG medal, those are always my favorites!

  11. I love that Charleston’s half marathon is a trail race! Nice work, Amy!!

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