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Gate River Run - Run15k

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Jacksonville, Florida
United States
Jacksonville Track Club
55F / 13C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 1007/12082
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 96/740
Pre-race routine:

My 11 yo daughter woke up with a fever at 4am so I medicated her then went back to bed.
Woke up at 6am, made some coffee, ate a piece of peanut butter toast, woke up my 16 yo son. My 3 yo daughter needed meds for her fever too.

I dropped my son off for a boy scout campout. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a nature break. (the coffee kicked in)

Parked my car. walked to the starting area and waited in line for the portapotties.
  • 1h 11m 31s
  • 9.32 miles
  • 07m 40s  min/mile

Holy crap it was windy!!!!! I am talking port-a-potty blowing over windy. I managed to wiggle and squirm my way towards the front before the race started. It only took me about a minute to get to the start after the gun went off. It was good to be in the middle of the group to keep warm from the wind.

Did I mention the Wind?

My goal was to shoot for 8 minute miles or less. I was running alone (with 13K other people) so I was free to make my way through the crowd. I found my pace fairly quickly. I didn't want to burn out early but I wanted to push it throughout the race. "Steady Eddie" was my mantra.

The Ponytail factor and selection was huge. I locked on to every tail worth following. That is a strategy that usually works for me. It didn't fail me this time.

The wind was blowing so hard that hats were flying off all the time. Tree limbs were flying all over the road. There was one stretch where the waves from the river were hitting the road we were running on which was 8 - 10 ft from the river bank.

I have run this course a bunch of times so I just kept on motoring. At one point I pulled off my long sleeve shirt. That was a good thing as I was getting a little hot.

A mile before the last bridge I tried to moderate my breathing to recover a bit before the last big hill. I had been watching my splits so I knew I could afford a mile or more + 8 min miles if need be. (and still make my goal)

I turned the corner on to the bridge to the sounds of a drum line setting a nice beat to run to. As that sound faded, there were speakers lining the side of the bridge. They were blaring the Molly Hatchet tune "Gator Country". This was also a great song that helped keep my running cadence smooth. My cycling bridge work paid dividends for me here. I shortened my stride just a bit but kept my legs moving. I controlled my breating and attacked the hill.

The winds going up and over the bridge were the worst. As I was running the wind would actually blow my traling foot into my leg. I had to lean into the wind so far that when the gust slowed I would veer a few feet.

The top of the bridge was like a whorling vortex of imminent death. I stuck to the middle to avoid flying over the side. I felt like LT. Dan in Forest Gump in the hurricane scene where he was yelling at God asking if that was all he had.

Did I mention it was windy?

Once over the top it was downhill the rest of the way. I kept my pace steady on the downhill then started to stretch it out once we came to the flat and finished with a sprint into the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I kept a steady pace and finished with a personal best for a race of this distance.
Post race
Warm down:

Found my way to the beer tent and grabbed a few.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not having Kenyan legs. Not running consistently.

Event comments:

This is a well run race. The only down side of this race was the Fun Run that was later on was a total cluster F. They changed the course and nobody seemed to have a clue about what was going on. I think the kids had fun anyway but it still sucked.

Last updated: 2008-03-03 12:00 AM
01:11:31 | 9.32 miles | 07m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 96/740
Overall: 1007/12082
Performance: Good
Mile 1 8:03 144 Mile 2 7:25 167 Mile 3 7:25 169 Mile 4 7:41 171 Mile 5 7:32 172 Mile 6 7:39 174 Mile 7 7:42 174 Mile 8 7:56 174 Mile 9 7:43 174 last .3 178
Course: Mostly flat except for a couple bridges. The first isn't very tall and comes at ~mile 2. The second comes at ~ mile 8.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-03-08 10:11 PM

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Orange Park Florida
Subject: Gate River Run

2008-03-09 11:09 AM
in reply to: #1261082

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Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Gate River Run
Great description - "whorling vortex of imminent death." Glad we weren't on the other side of the bridge near the railing.

Nice race!
2008-03-11 1:37 PM
in reply to: #1261082

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Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: Gate River Run
Wow! That's a lot of wind!  I admire you for sticking it out!
2008-03-13 12:56 PM
in reply to: #1261082

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Subject: RE: Gate River Run

Ditto on the great description - way better than mine.  Can you believe that was my first river run experience - they should all be easy after that one!

Oh an at least I know you weren't following my ponytail since I'm way slower (LOL).

2008-03-13 1:19 PM
in reply to: #1261082

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Gate River Run
That was a seriously hauling time.  I can even see the Looootenant Dan resemblance.
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