2012 Gate River Run 15k

2012 Gate River Run 15k
March 1o, 2011

Previous Gate River Runs:
2008 – Chip Time: 3 hours, 6 minutes, 27 seconds
2009 – Chip Time: 1 hour 40 minutes, 35 seconds
2010 – Chip Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes, 20 seconds
2011 – Chip Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes, 0 seconds

Chip Time: 2 hour, 10 minutes, 11 seconds

I am always really excited for the Gate River Run.  It’s always a validation of how far I’ve come fitness-wise when I look where I started in 2008 to where I am now.   This year was definitely “have a good time” type-run.  I knew it would be my worst finish time yet, because of my lack of being able to train. (I’m sure you’re bored with hearing me whine about it by now).  Anyways, we checked out the Race Expo Friday at Noon.  It was packed and utter madness!  Thankfully the lines went surprisingly quick.

We woke up Saturday morning ready to go. I was so amazed, I tweeted this:

It was bizarre to wake up able to breathe. I haven’t had that happen in over a month..

Our traditional pre-race photo.

Before the race we met up with a couple of friends to snap a few quick photos:

Devon, Mike, Cat, Lisa, me, and Adam

Adam, me, Becky & Tom White
I see these guys almost every race. They even snapped a few pics of us at the Rugged Maniac.  They are a local photographer couple.  Many have seen Tom running various races with his camera!

I lined up in the beginning with Devon.  I was hesitant to line up w/ Devon at first.  I’m never up to her speed, so I always end up feeling like I’m making her hold back.  (Although, whenever we start out together, she always seems to end up having an awesome race, so… pat myself on my back! lol) The really good thing was she said she was running a 4:1.  She explained this means she was running for 4 minutes, then walking for 1.  I asked if she was going to keep time for us, and she said “sure!”. She then explained it was easy because that meant you walked on the 4’s and the 9’s. How easy could that be?  Pretty much decided right then and there, that’s how I was going to conquer this race.

From there.. we waited…. and waited..

There were a TON of people lined up.  We could barely see the starting line….

…or the END!  I give 1st Place Sports HUGE props though.  A few years ago they started running corrals.  You would pre-qualify for one of the first 5,000 running spots based on a previous race time.  If you ran a 5k, 10k, half, or full marathon under a specific time, you could qualify for a starting corral closer to the starting line.   From there, they divided these sections up.  I can’t recall exactly how things used to get started, but I’m pretty sure everyone just started running when the gun went off.  This year, 1st Place Sports officially brought staggered starts to the race.  I REALLY thought this helped cut down on some of the congestion we typically face in the first few miles.  Considering they started something new, everything seemed to go pretty seamless!

It’s another race that started downtown next to EverBank Field.

Finally after THIRTEEN minutes, we crossed the starting line!

About a mile into the race, we faced our first bridge. (Secretly my favorite bridge of the 7 in Jacksonville).  The Main Street Bridge which is actually named the John T Alsop Jr. Bridge.

I heard a funny conversation between two runners while running over the bridge.

First Runner “Hey, look over there, it’s the Green Monster!”
Second Runner “Uh, what? Where?”
First Runner “That big green bridge in the distance.”
Second Runner “That big bridge? Oh my god. That makes this bridge look like nothing”

Yup. That’s about right.

I always find it funny running over the Main Street bridge because it’s a draw bridge.  The part that slides up and down is actually metal grating, and people generally freak out when they start running over this.  I always hold on tighter to anything I have in my hands.

As I ran down the bridge, I saw my first Streaker.  A Streaker is someone that has run EVERY year since the race started. For this race, this means they’ve run the Gate River Run for 35 years in a row!  Wow!!

I ran past this band around mile 3 or 4.  I was really pumped up because the female lead singer was belting out Jimmy Eat World “In The Middle”.  I like to think of this song as my “theme song” so it gave me a little burst of energy.

About a mile later, we were running down San Marco Ave. and I was thrilled when we took a right and headed towards River Road!  Last year, due to road construction in San Marco, we were unable to run this road.

It’s a super short strip of road that runs literally right along the St. Johns River for just about a block. The other side of the road is lined with apartment homes.

Around mile 4-5, I saw the first Mimosa tailgate sighting!  (There’s always one!) 

I was consistently running past these two – which were really three.  Their shirts say “Three Generations, One Race”.  Where’s the third one?  Well, the girl on the right was probably about 5-6 months preggo.  Shortly after this point, she grabbed her belly (while running) and said to her mom, running like this is fine except he keeps moving! (Guess she’s having a boy!).  I told Adam this, and he said “It’s probably because he’s on a little mini treadmill in there!”  What a crazy mental image!

I tried to get a good picture here, but it just didn’t happen.  I find this funny because it’s two Streakers passing each other.  You can see the guy on the right by the curb that I posted a pic of earlier, but then the other one is just left of the girl with the pink long-sleeve shirt.  I wonder who won? 🙂

Right about mile 7, I saw these crazy people.  My friends Jason, Erin, Harrah (I think) and Curry!  Pretty darn awesome they come out almost every year to cheer everyone on!

Of course, always see the firemen running in full gear.

I was thrilled to see myself actually PASS them!

I give this sign a Gold Star of the race signs I saw during the race.  “Suck It Up! Cupcake!!!” totally fitting.  Too bad there’s a little Michigan gnome in front of it. (Boiler up!)

And then there was this guy.  He skated up to this girl and proceeded to skate backwards in front of her.  “Wanna dance? ” She was less than amused.

I’m not sure if she was unimpressed because he was in front of her.. or if it was his hair.. or stache.. who knows.

Finally made it to mile 7 where I got to say hi to the giant banana-man, my friend Joe!  He and his friends always have a huge party for Gate River Run. He was handing out jello shots to the runners.

Ahhh F for creativity because I’ve seen this sign so many times, it’s not that funny anymore. She still get’s an A just for being out though.

The start of the Green Monster (Hart Bridge)..

A look towards the Main Street bridge & downtown..

There were a few military helicopters that flew over when we were running the bridge.  There were a lot of cheers, waves and fist pumps as the helicopters flew over.

Finally going downhill.  Right about here was when I started getting calf cramps. Must. Press. On.

About half a mile out, I saw Adam on the sidelines.  He’d ran back to cheer me on for the last part!

Finally, the finish line!!

Fifth Gate River Run complete!  Whew.

(…and in case you’re curious… about an hour later my nose was back to its usual sniffling, sneezing and non-breathing)

Did you run the Gate River Run this year?  What were some of the memorable things you remember seeing??


7 thoughts on “2012 Gate River Run 15k

  1. This was my first GRR I enjoyed all the crowds never seen anything like that before

    My fovorite sign was great sranima call me

        1. I totally missed it! I was definitely struggling at that point, so a little distracted!!

          Thank you for the kind words regarding my blog. That means a lot.

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