The 31st Annual Gate River Run was held today here in Jacksonville. The Gate River Run is the USA 15k Championship and is now the largest 15k (9.3 miles) race in terms of participants. This year's participants numbered over 13,000. In addition, there were another 2,000 runners who ran the Times-Union 5k (3.1 mile) Race for Charity. There was also a 1-mile fun run for children.
15k finishers this year were privileged to a few changes from previous years. The first mile or so of this year's race ran north from the Jacksonville Fairgrounds into East Jacksonville. From there, the race course was much the same as previous years (winding into San Marco and St Nicholas and then up the Hart Bridge) until the finish. Finishers this year ran across the finish line inside of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Two words... harsh winds. While temperatures were ideal for a fast race this morning (mid-50s), the high winds were not. Gusts exceeded 50 mph with steady winds in the 30 mph range. It was so bad at mile 3 that waves from the St Johns River were crashing against the bulkheads in San Marco and drenching runners.
25-year-old Andrew Carlson from Bloomington, MN took home the first place prize for the men, finishing in 44 minutes and 12 seconds. Deena Kasto from Colorado took home her second straight River Run win for the women, placing at 44 minutes and 35 seconds.
Was this your first river run? How did you push through the high winds and the "Green Monster"? Scroll to the bottom of the images below and leave your thoughts on the 2008 Gate River Run!
Full 2008 Gate River Run Photo Gallery