Gate River 15k
Along with almost 15,000 other runners beat the green monster today. If you haven't run the Gate River 15k you might not know what that means, but I am here to tell you all about it.
For being such a large race Gate River was extremely organized. Probably one of the most organized races I have participated in. On race day, the police did a great job of funneling cars to several different parking lots which kept the lines moving and got everyone parked pretty quick. There were tons of port a potties all around for your last minute restroom needs. Bathroom lines (when there were lines) took about 2 minutes. So short! The starting line was clearly marked with the different wave starts. With a submitted time I was able to qualify for the seeded corals. Wave 1 - Yay! I have never been so close to the start line before, it was crazy.
We took off right on time and hit our first bridge at mile 1. I was very surprised by the amount of elevation change there was on this race... I mean, this is FLORIDA!
The course wound through several "higher end" neighborhoods and the community involvement was spectacular. People lined the roads through the entire course of the race. People had their BBQ's out and were offering sausage and pancakes, donuts and pastries, several areas had sliced fruit, popsicles, even whiskey shots and ice cold beer! People had music playing in front of their houses and made signs cheering as we all ran by. It was really fun. At mile 8 we came up to the Green Monster. The 1 mile incline of a bridge (Hart Bridge), and it was very unwelcome when it arrived! Haha. I knew about the bridge and thought I was prepared but I don't think you can prepare for that until you have experienced it first hand. It was SO LONG! All of mile 8 was uphill, but then all of mile 9 was down! Yep, they had a 1 mile-timed downhill section of the course. That mile for me timed in at 7:27. Not bad considering I had just ran uphill first! The final .30 seemed to take forever, finally came across the finish-line at 1:21:16. Not what I had originally hoped for, but considering I have an abscess tooth (diagnosed Friday afternoon) and we were running "bumper to bumper" with other runners from start to finish, and it was SO WARM and humid out... I'll take it :)
I finished in the top 10% of all female runners and earned myself a "top 10% finishers hat" in addition to my metal. That was pretty cool! I feel like the finishers area was very spread out, I actually missed all of it. I walked forever and finally found some water, walked quite a bit more before finding my metal and the photo-op area... Then that was it. No muffins or bananas or Gatorade or anything. I walked through the parking lot to find the my running group to see how everyone else did. I guess there were other items in the finishers area, but I somehow missed them. I was so in need of more water and some Gatorade because it was so warm out.
FCR (Flagler County Runners) throws an amazing "after-party" with mimosas, bloody mary's, beer or all different kinds, breakfast casseroles, bacon, sausage, eggs, breads, fruit - it was awesome! We had a lot of fun just hanging out with everyone. Can't wait to run it again next year!!