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Running Start FAQ


Frequently asked questions . . .

Click on a question to reveal the answer.
Do I need special equipment or clothing?

While running requires little equipment, we do expect participants to have a well fitted pair of running shoes. Several running specialty and some general sporting goods stores in the area can help to assess your needs and properly fit your shoes. We find that wicking running clothes can keep you more comfortable during your runs, particularly as the weather warms. Many stores carry inexpensive wicking running gear; you don't need brand name clothes.

What is expected of Running Start participants?

We expect that you come prepared to do your timed workout for the day. We expect that you will be on time and dressed accordingly, with suitable, well fitting running shoes. We expect that you will be well rested and hydrated. If you need to carry water with you, please do so.

Please be respectful of our all-volunteer staff, who give freely of their time to make this program possible.

Are there any program restrictions?

Please consult with your health care provider before beginning this exercise program. The program director reserves the right to stop anyone from doing his or her timed run due to apparent medical complications or potential danger to the individual.

An adult must accompany participants under the age of 18. The adult must be registered as a Running Start participant and must have a CGTC membership.

Participants must be at least 10 years of age.

Why do I have to join Carolina Godiva Track Club in order to enroll in Running Start?

From its beginning, Running Start has been an important Godiva Track Club project that relies heavily on club's leadership team, volunteers, media resources, and equipment. We continue the program because it engages our members both new and old in ways that encourage long term commitment to running in our community. The benefits of membership -- including club discounts at area running stores, and our monthly newsletter -- will help you to stay involved in running long after you've finished Running Start, and your dues help to support the non-profit organization that makes Running Start possible.

What is the training schedule?

This training schedule shows the progression of timed walk/run intervals from the program's first session on Saturday, March 4th through the final workout on May 13th. Race day -- the 5k timed run on the Al Buehler Cross Country Trail -- is Saturday, May 20th.

Where are the training venues for the weekday runs? What about parking?

We're offering these weekday venues, depending on enrollment.


  • Al Buehler Cross Country Trail at Duke University- Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 pm ( park at 3001 Cameron Blvd., Durham 27705)
  • Research Triangle Park - Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 pm (near Davis Drive and NC 54)

Here are venue maps showing parking options.

What is the inclement weather policy?

Weekly runs take place in many weather conditions. If it is raining, we still run. If it is cold, we still run. If there is distant thunder, we still run. If there is lightening in the area, however, we cancel our runs. There are absolutely NO refunds for any training run cancellations due to inclement weather. Participants are welcome to do workouts on their own, but the program does not schedule make-up runs.

What do I get for completing the program? Is there a t-shirt?

In addition to a well-earned sense of accomplishment, participants who complete the 11 week program receive a Running Start commemorative graduation shirt. These technical shirts are awarded only to those who complete the program.

Who are the pacers, and what do they do?

Our pacers are members of the Carolina Godiva Track Club, and most all of them are former Running Start participants who've continued in the sport and wish to give back to the program. We do not have individual pacers, but we do match pacer-mentors with groups of trainees who run at or near the same pace. Their role is to offer support and encouragement. Please be respectful of our pacers. All pacers are volunteers; Running Start has no paid staff.

The goal is to complete a 5k. What race does Running Start target?

Godiva Track Club puts on a 5k timed race just for RS participants on the last weekend of the program, which this year is Saturday, May 20th. The race takes place on Duke University's Al Buehler Cross Country Trail. Participants may complete a different 5k within two weeks of the program’s end to earn a graduation shirt.

What is the history of Running Start?

For over a decade, Carolina Godiva Track Club has made Running Start an annual spring event. The late Bruce Koenig developed the program to encourage people to take up running. Affectionately known as "Coach Bubba," Bruce also became director of Godiva's Marathon Training Program. Other Godiva members have led the program since Bruce's passing in 2002, and hundreds have completed the training.

Who's in charge of Running Start?

Halle Amick and Shauna Griffin are the Co-Directors of Running Start 2017.

Halle is a Running Start graduate (class of 2006). She had never dreamed she would become a runner, but since graduating from Running Start, she has completed numerous running events, including 13 marathons and 3 ultra marathons. Her running motto is, “No need for speed!” and she’s been called the “Energizer Bunny” for her ability to keep herself and others going and going, no matter what. Outside of running, Halle is a public health researcher who enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and hanging out with her hound dogs and the cat who puts up with them.

Shauna is also a Running Start graduate (2010), and still shocked to be the runner in the family. She completed her first half-marathon in the fall of the year she finished Running Start, but it wasn't until 2016 that she set a new PR for the distance; while she applauds ultra-runners, 13.1 is plenty long enough for her. She likes pacing for Running Start because it provides her with motivation too. Shauna is a librarian (find her for reading suggestions!) who will likely talk your ear off about her dog.

More questions?

Email Halle and Shauna at runningstart@carolinagodiva.org