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Articles tagged #Gate River Run
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Good luck to all of you trying to figure out what to do until we can go back to running as always

I’VE LOST WEIGHT! Probably a half dozen pounds since January, when we departed our Indiana home aimed at our winter hang-out in Florida. Normally, weight loss would be reason to rejoice. Drop a half dozen pounds, and you might be able to drop a half dozen minutes from your marathon time.

But that assumes the pounds lost are fat, the more of which you carry, the slower you run. I feared that the pounds lost was muscle mass. Losing muscle very definitely will not make you a faster runner.

The reasons for the weight loss were simple. Stress surrounding The coronaVirus had sent my wife Rose and I into a deep funk. We lost our appetites. We lost energy. We lost sleep.

But more the problem, we lost use of The Lodge & Club, the ocean-front hotel property owned by Gate Petroleum, sponsor of the Gate River Run. Normally, we spend a lot of time at The Lodge’s fitness center, which boasts a heated outdoor pool. Rose works out daily with an aquarobics group that includes many of our best friends. I start in the gym with a routine of a half dozen machine exercises: upper-body, lower-body, core. Then I head to the pool to both run in chest-deep water and swim laps. I finish soaking in the whirlpool.

That’s my morning workout. Afternoons, I go for a short bike ride to a favorite coffee shop. Weekends, Rose skips the pool and joins me for a long bike ride to a Panera for coffee and bearclaws.

But all that was stolen from me when early in March The Lodge closed its gym, its pool and even access to the beach. Guests quickly checked out. Security guards roamed the property. We substituted activities with little enthusiasm. Rose and I walked from our condo to a nearby marsh and stared at turtles. I continued short bike rides in the afternoon but failed to stop for coffee. Even those minimalist “work-outs” seemed to drain all the energy we possessed. And the weight loss began and with it my hard-earned fitness.

Earlier this week, Rose and I flew home to Indiana. While we have many friends in Florida, we have family in Indiana, most precisely our first son Kevin and his wife Camille. Add to that several grandkids living and working in Chicago. If something happened, they would care for us.

But, as in Florida, change has been forced on my Indiana fitness routine. In the World That Was, Rose and I would bike frequently to a coffee shop. On the way home, I would stop at a community center featuring a gym. Not as plush as The Lodge in Florida, but strength machines are strength machines. I haven’t checked, but I suspect the gym has closed. And the coffee shop.

People argue about the point when we begin to lose fitness if we stop training. I don’t want to suggest a number, but in my case I have begun to halt the decline.

The first day after arriving home, I went for a short walk. And the day after that a slightly longer walk. And the third day, still more. I am functioning like a beginning runner, a few steps at a time. A little more each day.

In the basement, I have a Health Rider, a machine that allows me to exercise my upper and lower body. Winters, Rose and I store our bikes at The Bike Stop, which caters to cyclists. I need to call and have the bikes delivered. Mostly, I need a fitness routine, one that I can follow with some regularity until the World is no longer crazy. Good luck to all of you trying to figure out what to do until we can go back to running as always.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Hal Higdon
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Ridouane Harroufi, Marielle Hall win 2020 Gate River Run

Only one second separated the top two men’s finishers in Saturday’s Gate River Run.

Ridouane Harroufi edged Frank Lara at the line in one of the closest-ever finishes to win Saturday morning’s Gate River Run through Jacksonville.

In the women’s competition, Olympian Marielle Hall won her first appearance in the race at the USA Track & Field 15-kilometer national championships. Natosha Rogers placed second with former Providence School and University of North Florida runner Eden Meyer in third.

Harroufi, who had dropped behind the front duo of Lara and Reid Buchanan along Atlantic Boulevard, caught both on the descent from the Hart Bridge.

Harroufi won in 44:42, with Lara one second behind and Biya Simbassa two seconds further back in third.

The race began at Duval Street for the first time in more than two decades as a result of the planned Hart Bridge ramp demolition.

(03/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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Couple returns for Gate River Run 25 years after mid-race wedding on Hart Bridge

Rich and Lorrie Goodwyn were married atop the Hart Bridge during the 1995 Gate River Run. Now, 25 years later, they’re coming back to Jacksonville to celebrate their anniversary at the race.

Rich Goodwyn clipped the page and took it and made it into a poster, the one with the bridge and the bright green beams.

He holds that poster still, the one with the March 12, 1995 edition of the Florida Times-Union, the caption with the three words.

“Tying the knot.”

This was a strange sort of way to tie the knot. Tank tops and aluminum, asphalt and the press. Sweat-soaked perfect strangers walking — make that running — down the aisle, the one shared by the happy couple moments before, half of those strangers wondering exactly what they were witnessing but racing past anyway.

A quarter-century has passed, and Rich Goodwyn is not going to forget that day.

Because 25 years ago, he was the man in that photo.

His wife, Lorrie, was the woman.

His son, Christopher, was the child.

Jacksonville’s Hart Bridge was the scene.

It was their picture, their day, their story.

Now, they’re coming back.

“I’m not sure I can come up with the right words,” Goodwyn said.

On Saturday, instead of just husband and wife, a much-grown family will be racing the Gate River Run through Jacksonville together and stopping once more atop the Hart Bridge, the celebrated Green Monster, a party of six celebrating the day that changed it all.

Along with Rich and Lorrie, traveling down from northern Virginia to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Christopher will be there again, along with his wife, Emily. So are the Goodwyns’ two younger children: Hannah, 23, who lives in the Space Coast area, and Drew, 21, who’s making the trip down two days after completing midterms at the University of Virginia.

“I was pushing [Christopher] in a stroller the whole time, and now he’s 30,” Rich Goodwyn said, “Times have changed.”

From that spring in the middle of the 1990s, times have changed immensely.

Rich Goodwyn was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy stationed in Jacksonville, with skills as a pilot. Lorrie Nemecek was a flight attendant for USAir. Both were looking to build a new life together.

So it always made sense that this would be a match made in the air.

Rich said he and Lorrie were looking for a unique wedding experience, and marriage atop a bridge during the USA Track and Field 15K championship surely qualifies.

“There’s a lot of special memories,” race director Doug Alred said. “We’re really thankful that people have such a warm spot in their hearts for this race.”

The only requirements: There had to be a minister present, and Christopher, his son from his first marriage, had to be able to participate.

Originally, Goodwyn said, the plan was to conduct the ceremony from a hot air balloon, but upon further review, the idea for an aerial wedding deflated quickly.

“We realized that was probably not going to be the thing for a 5-year-old,” he said.

So instead, they decided on the Gate River Run, then still in its mid-1990s configuration due to the reconstruction of the old Gator Bowl as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Both planned to run. And they even had a minister designated who was willing to accompany them and finalize the ceremony.

But Goodwyn still had questions. How would the logistics work? Would it be possible to get everyone together atop the bridge without congesting the roadway?

“I called the newspaper to find out who was running [organizing] the race and try to make a memory,” he said.

That connected Goodwyn with longtime race director Alred, who gave the thumbs-up to the mission.

Everything was in place. Until it wasn’t.

One week before the race, Goodwyn received a shock. The minister who was lined up to marry the couple had been informed of a death in his family, and had to leave for the services out of town.

Plan ruined, it seemed. There would still be a wedding coming, but the Hart Bridge wasn’t going to be the location.

Or was it?

The Times-Union had run a short note on the Goodwyns’ search for a minister, titled “Uphill climb.” Word was getting out.

And while Rich didn’t know anything about the story, he was about to find the answer to his search.

“If it wasn’t for the Times-Union,” he said, “I’m not sure we’d be doing this 25 years later.”

Goodwyn had already scrapped his race-day wedding plans when he received a call that was about to change everything.

The instruction: To return a message and contact a man he didn’t know named Tom Slater, someone who had heard about the couple — not that Slater, as Goodwyn remembers, could quite explain what prompted his decision to speak with him.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” he said.

Soon, Goodwyn realized the Hart Bridge wedding just might happen after all.

Slater, then pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, was an experienced runner — as Goodwyn remembers, “I’m about 100 times slower than that.”

But that meant Slater would be able to run ahead of them and come back to meet the couple atop the bridge.

The Thursday before the race, Goodwyn and Slater were discussing the final procedures when another thought popped up.

“The director of music [at Slater’s church] is asking, ’Do you think they would be able to play music?” he recalled. “And I went, ‘What?’ You can’t just play music on top of the Hart Bridge.”

But the recommendations were strong. Goodwyn decided to try it. After all, once you plan a wedding during a 15K run at the top of a major bridge, acquiring music suddenly doesn’t seem like such an improbable task.

Still, Rich and Lorrie had one other problem to solve, and it surrounded the ceremony’s smallest participant: How do you get a 5-year-old to the top of the Hart Bridge?

Then, a Navy colleague offered him the use of a double-wide stroller to help push Christopher along the route.

“I was living the dream, in there with some snacks and drink boxes,” recalled Christopher, who now lives in Jacksonville.

So on a March morning to remember, a day on which Todd Williams achieved the still-standing United States record of 42 minutes and 22 seconds for 15 kilometers, it was a pair of slower runners atop the bridge, 141 feet above the St. Johns River, who were writing their own story to remember.

Slater, in black running pants and white collar — “he looked like a priest,” Goodwyn recalls — was there. Christopher was there. So, too, was a small press contingent.

“The music director is sitting on the curb with this electronic organ, playing the Wedding March as we run up the bridge,” Goodwyn said.

Runners No. 6,115 and 6,116 came to a halt. Then came the vows, and a new start. Bouquet in hand. The pounding of runners’ feet behind. The kiss the camera captured, and the moment frozen in time.

They are excited to be out there again.

(03/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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There is a group of 33 runners called the Streakers who have finished every Gate River Run

Thousands of runners will lace up their running shoes this weekend for the 43rd annual Gate River Run.

Every year, there is a special group of runners called the “Streakers.” There are 33 Streakers who have run the race every year since it started in 1978.

Art Collier is a streaker. He says he has continued doing the race every year to stay healthy and in shape. He's crossed the finish line 42 times.

“I think it’s a certain exhilaration of an accomplishment, that you made it another year doing something you’ve been doing for over thirty years and I made a commitment to it," explained Collier.

The long-time runner said the running group creates a sense of community on the course.

"There's a lot of comradery, a lot of good people along the way," said Collier.

Carol Newby is also a streaker.

"I'm just very blessed because a lot goes on during the year prior to the River Run, you have injuries, you have surgeries, you have this, you have that and being a part of them, I'm blessed because I can continue to do it," said Newby.

(03/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jennifer Ready
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

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Shadrack Kipchirir, won the 42nd Gate River Run Clocking 43:41, edging Stanley Kebenei and two-time defending Gate champion Leonard Korir for his first win in the event

The redemption portion of the event was delivered by Kipchirchir, who had paid his dues in the run. He finished second twice, 2016 and ’18, beaten by the two men who he edged Saturday. 

"I mean those guys … I was sick of them," Kipchirchir said. "Three years ago. Kebenei beat me by a microsecond. Then two years ago, Lenny outkicked by microseconds. Today I wanted to come and knock them in their head. That was my main aim."

Kebenei won the 2016 run in 44:37, just 2 seconds in front of Kipchirchir. Korir (43:23) won the 2018 Gate by 1 second over Kipchirchir. Korir was trying to become just the fifth male runner to win the event three consecutive years.

Six elite runners were within two seconds of each other with a mile to go on the Hart Bridge, Martin Hehir, Frankline Tonui, Kipchirchir, Kebenei and Korir.

Six elite runners were within two seconds of each other with a mile to go on the Hart Bridge, Martin Hehir, Frankline Tonui, Kipchirchir, Kebenei and Korir.

(03/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

more...
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Olympian Leonard Korir is aiming to become only the fourth man to win the Gate River Run three years in a row

The two-time defending champion headlines the elite men’s field entering Saturday’s 42nd annual Gate River Run through downtown Jacksonville, the national 15-kilometer championship for USA Track and Field.

With one more victory, the 32-year-old Leonard Korir can join a select club as winners of three straight men’s titles. Only Todd Williams (1994-96), Meb Keflezighi (2001-04) and Ben True (2013-15) have previously accomplished the feat.

Race director Doug Alred said he’s hoping to see a tight contest, and he feels the odds this year are good.

“It’s not that exciting when one person just runs away with it,” he said. “If the leaders can just stay together onto the Hart Bridge, that would be great.”

So far, that’s been the case in Korir’s past two victories. His 2017 win was the event’s closest finish ever, edging Shadrack Kipchirchir to the finish line by a fraction of a second.

Despite his record in Jacksonville and his international achievements at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, there’s reason to believe that Korir is far from a lock to repeat Saturday.

Unlike 2017 and 2018, he did not win the USATF cross country championships, held this time in Tallahassee on Feb. 2. Instead, he took third, while Kipchirchir beat him out by five seconds.

In addition to Kipchirchir, 2016 champion Stanley Kebenei returns, coming off a fifth-place finish in the cross country finals.

(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gate River Run

Gate River Run

The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...

more...
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Is Todd Williams 15k American Record he set in 1995 unbreakable?

Todd Williams ran the Gate River Run in 1995. His crowning achievement, is a still-standing American Record of 42:22 for the win. By 5k he was at 13:47; he came through 10k at 28:07. This split — in a non-paced, solo road effort — was less than 30 second slower than his fastest track 10,000m at the time. And that was with another 5k and a monster hill to go. He finished with a new American Record 42:22, Williams was only about 8 seconds off of Paul Tergat’s world record at the time. That’s lofty company to be in. In fact, this record remains one of the more untouchable American distance records today. In 1993 he ran a 60:11 Half Marathon in Tokyo. The retired professional runner personal bests are 13:19.50 5000m and 27:31.34 10,000m. He ran his marathon best of 2:11:17 in the 1997 Chicago Marathon. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Hasay and Huddle are going after Shalane Flanagan’s national 15k Record Saturday

In the women’s race, at the Gate River Run this Saturday, the key number is 47. That’s the time, in minutes, of Shalane Flanagan’s national record 15K time from 2014 (47:03). If everything falls into place with the expected high-octane showdown of Jordan Hasay (photo) and Molly Huddle, the race director believes that mark could go down. Hasay, 25, used last year’s victory as a stepping stone to success at April’s Boston Marathon. There, she placed third with the fastest-ever time (2:23:00) for an American woman in her marathon debut. Her chief challenger is Huddle, who finished second here in 2012 and now enters in the best form of her career. The 33-year-old from Providence, R.I. broke the American half-marathon record on Jan. 16 in Houston, running 1:07:25. That surpassed Gate River Run legend Deena Kastor, whose mark of 1:07.34 had stood for 12 years. (03/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Last year's Gate River Run men's finish was the closet in race history

For the first time since 2014, both reigning champions - Leonard Korir for the men, Jordan Hasay for the women - return to defend their crowns at the Gate River Run Saturday March 10. “People always like to pull for the winners,” race director Doug Alred said. History leans against a Korir-Hasay double repeat, something that’s happened at the Gate River Run only in 1986-87 (Arturo Barrios and Grete Waitz) and 2001-03 (Meb Keflezighi and Deena Drossin). Given Korir’s current form, though, he’s the clear men’s favorite. A 31-year-old U.S. Olympian who was born in Kenya and now runs with the U.S. Army Distance Project, Korir made his First Coast debut a memorable success last year by edging Shadrack Kipchirchir last year in the closest finish in race history. (03/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Leonard Korir and Jordan Hasay going after course records at Gate River Run

The 2018 Gate River Run, which also serves as the USA Track and Field 15K National Championship, will be held on Saturday, March 10, in Jacksonville, Florida. The championship will feature $60,000 in prize money with $10,000 awards for the first place male and female finishers. The reigning men’s and women’s champions are returning to defend their titles: Olympian Leonard Korir (43:22), running for the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) and Jordan Hasay (49:28), representing The Nike Oregon Project. Other elite runners include Molly Huddle, Sam Chelanga and Ryan Vail. The course records to beat are: men’s 42:22 was set in 1995 by Todd Williams, women’s 47:03 set in 2014 by Shalane Flanagan. (03/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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