I just wrapped my second Gate River Run 15K. It’s a beautiful 9.3 mile jog through some of the prettier parts of Jacksonville, including the downtown area. The weather today is awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to run.
The Gate isn’t so much of a race for us normal folks, as there are roughly 14 thousand other people swarming around you through the downtown streets and across bridges. You’d have trouble finding enough room to put out your arms in any direction without touching someone else. But everyone is good natured about it, so you mostly don’t notice.
The best part? They have live bands set up at each mile mark, jamming or rocking out to keep you moving along. Can’t beat that.
The second best part is the Hart Bridge—a 141-foot-high span that starts just after mile 8. It chews up and spits out the runners who haven’t trained enough, while a few crazy people like me break into a run when they hit it.
I was a little slower than last year, I think. I don’t have my official time yet (because I’m a dolt and left my Nike+ chip in my hotel room), but I think I was in the 97 or 98 minute range. Last year my time was 95:24, which I’m sure was helped by the friend I had dragging me along behind him. But, I honestly thought my time would be closer to 105 minutes, so 98 is just fine by me.
Update: My 2009 official time was 97:29. Not bad at all.