With all the issues I’ve had lately (Surgery in December, hip pain at Ragnar, back pain at Wolfson 55 etc), I really had no clue what to expect performance-wise for the Gate River Run. I showed up with that race with just one goal in mind: Beat last years time. I won’t hold you in suspense… I didn’t beat it. In fact, I missed last year’s time by a whole six minutes finishing with my second slowest Gate River Run time to date. (The walked the first Gate River Run I ever did which took 3 hours!) Regardless, I felt so much better after the race, so I will accept this as a success and improvement, even if the time doesn’t show it.
We lucked out with a gorgeous morning. I had no time goals for this race, so I just jumped the fence and started wherever I could. Yes, apparently I missed some signage that instructed where to actually enter the corral?
Roxie was my partner in crime for the fence-jumping.
I was a little jealous of those in the seeded corrals. (There was a time when I actually qualified for a seeded corral! I will do it again!) Look at that looooong row of portalets!
Ryan Gosling showed up to wish me good luck as we started. We started out by the stadium on Gator Bowl Blvd. and headed towards downtown.
Zigged and zagged a few streets until we were by Burro Bar headed towards the Main Street Bridge.
You can see the Green Monster in the distance. That’ll be coming up between miles 7 & 8.
Don’t look down!
I love kids holding race signs. How awesome is it that both their mom and dad are running the race?
BEAKER! I was neck and neck with him previously in a Gate River Run, so it was cool to see someone running in that getup again!
In San Marco, I made my first Streaker kill. (Kill = passing someone)
My favorite part of the race is when we run on River Road. The water is so close to the road! The water & sky look different every year.
Further into San Marco, I had my first mimosa sighting of the morning. There were also people handing out a wide variety of snacks like oranges, frozen grapes, vodka soaked gummy bears, and jello shots. I do not have a stomach of steel, so I always pass these up.
I just don’t know how they do it. Maybe there’s just cotton balls in there or a balloon filling the pack up?
Funny, I was JUST thinking how I could go for a good grilled sausage and “BAM!” that sign appeared…
I ran into a few friends cheering along the way! Thanks Ryan, Jennifer, Erin, and crew for coming out another year to cheer us fools on!
Caron was cheering this year too!
Finally, I made it to the Mile 7 Banana!
Who needs Disney Princesses? We have Bananas and Monkeys!
Headed along Atlantic Blvd. towards the Green Monster & mile 7/8.
Surprised to see my friend, Joe, cheering everyone on!
Finally found Chris from WJXT at the foot of the Green Monster!
Started the ascent..
One nice part of the Green Monster is the view of downtown. Another view which seems fairly different every year.
You would think the descent would be really easy, but honestly, it’s a bit tiring. You can’t just let go and tumble down the bridge or you’ll end up out of control. (I saw someone bite it and break their arm her previously) You need to actually hold back a bit.
The end is near!! At this time last year, I literally thought I was going to yak. Not too bad this year!
I made it! I completed my sixth gate river run and headed straight to the post-race party. Health Source Magazine had spoiled me with a few passes to the VIP party for Adam and I. This was definitely worth it. While I never found my way to the beer, I did enjoy a few frozen treats and a flavored beverage. It had bubbles, so I was happy.
What made it all worth it though was the CHAIRS!! I could finally sit down.
And just like that, my SIXTH Gate River Run IN A ROW is completed!!
I tweeted something similar to what I’m about to say immediately after the race as I wandered aimlessly from the finish line to the post race celebration at the fairgrounds, but I gotta say it here.
Huge, huge hat tip to 1st Place Sports for this year’s race. They clearly put a lot of effort into trying to improve race operations this year and streamline the starting line and finish line and it definitely paned out.
This year, they introduced a staggered start for everyone. I thought this really helped prevent the initial mad dash and over crowding that’s usually experienced for the first two miles. It was still crowded, but I wasn’t bumping elbows with the runner next to me or having someone step on the heel of my shoe (both of which have happened in previous years).
What I was MOST impressed and thankful for was the finish line. True, I felt a bazillion times better at the finish this year than I had the previous two years, but their improvements also helped significantly. The past two years, once you crossed the finish line, you were forced through fences that funneled you to a narrow row where you would get your water, race towel, and finishers medal. This created a crazy bottleneck. Last year I was totally wiped, and was honestly even afraid I was going to faint. Being crowded into a bottleneck just to get out was almost terrifying (at least if I HAD passed out, I probably would have just fallen on someone next to me instead of the ground).
Regardless, THIS year, after I crossed the finish line, there was tons of open space. I was able to walk freely at a hobble of my liking and grab a water and towel from volunteers before I exited the corralled area and grabbed my finishers medal. It’s a good thing they use the bike racks to corral the area off, because it keeps the spectators out of that space.
So a “Great job!” to 1st Place Sports and team for the excellent coordination of this year’s race. I can’t wait to see what next year’s race brings!