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2010 Gate River Run

2010 Gate River Run winner Mo Trafeh.

2010 Gate River Run winner Mo Trafeh.

March 13, 2010 has been a date circled on approximately 17,000 calendars for some time now. This is one of those events that it is not wise to show up for without undergoing at least a few months of preparation.

The River Run, or “The Gate” as some folks like to call it is the USA 15K Championship in road racing. For those not familiar with distance, that is 9.3 miles through downtown, San Marco, St. Nicholas, along Atlantic Boulevard and across Jacksonville’s own “Green Monster”, the Hart Bridge. The race finishes near Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

From the elite athlete to those who simply walk the distance, the event is one that many look forward to each year.

Forrest makes his appearance.

Forrest makes his appearance.

For some the event is their chance to shine. The course is a test of mind and body in hopes of setting a PR or for some, simply finishing the event. The race draws a field from across the USA with the majority from right here in Jacksonville. For many, it is a chance to return home and see friends and family after having moved away from the city.

For other competitors, it is a chance to show their inner self. Along with many firefighters in full gear, you are likely see a soldier in camo with flak jacket, Forrest Gump or any other variety of characters. From looks of pain and determination to laughter and a joyful time for the runners, the race has it all.

These are just some of the reasons I also enjoy getting out to shoot this event. The Gate River Run is truly a community event enjoyed by all, even if they are in pain for an hour or so.

My favorite runner this year? It had to be Beverly. She came by the six mile mark smiling and exclaiming to anyone who would listen, “It’s my first River Run! It’s my first River Run!” Ah yes, the excitement of her first time. My bet is, it won’t be her last.

To see more photos from the race or to search results please visit runningjacksonville.com.

Stephen Cox, A Bishop Kenny grad returned home to run the 2010 River Run. Cox currently resides in Tallahassee.

Stephen Cox, A Bishop Kenny grad returned home to run the 2010 River Run. Cox currently resides in Tallahassee.

Beverly equals lots of enthusiasm.

Beverly equals lots of enthusiasm.

COmpleting the race in full battle gear? Wow! Ooora!

Completing the race in full battle gear? Wow! Ooora!