DURHAM, North Carolina - The Tobacco Road rivalry between UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke is one of the fiercest in college sports. But fans of both teams came together in Durham on Saturday morning for a 5K called The Blue Blood Rivalry Road Race.
Some of the runners wore gear that featured both shades of blue, an intentional design choice.
"I'm a Carolina grad however, I'm also the organizer of the Blue Blood Rivalry road race," said Hassan Pinto. "And my heart bleeds Carolina blue and Duke blue!"
The game and the 5K attracted hoops fans and alumni from as far away as New York. Leigh Schull, Duke '05 lives there now with her husband Zach, Both are happy to escape the extreme weather that's causing headaches in the Northeast.
"Yeah, we escaped it by way of wheels. And here we are, Enjoying the sun! It's windy, but it's great," said Zach Schull.
The gusty winds might have affected cornhole players on Durham's American Tobacco Campus, where the runners and supporters relaxed after the race. Carolina cornhole targets outnumbered Duke's 3 to 1 on this day, the first time for the 5K in Durham.
"We're constructing these runs to happen in the city where the final game is," said Pinto, adding that the next one will happen in the fall when the rivals clash on the gridiron.
That plan gives runner like Duke students Chris Molthrop and Kathryn Benson a second chance to participate. They missed Saturday's 5K.
"Yeah, that's awesome to hear! We're training right now for a half marathon," Benson said, "so it would have been part of our training for a half marathon."
Organizers tell us the Blue Blood Rivalry 5K benefits Durham County Special Olympics and Duke Children's Hospital.