Fitness: Gate River Run 2011 Recap

I forgot to post my review of the Gate River Run 15k race that I ran a couple weeks ago, so here it is.

The morning of March 12, 2011 didn’t go exactly like I had planned.  My running partner and I decided to meet at 6:45am to head over to Jacksonville Fairgrounds to line up near the starting line.  I was little anxious the night before the race and didn’t get enough sleep. Unfortunately, my lack of sleep caused me to wake up a little late.  Okay…I was more than a little late.   I was so late that I didn’t have any time to eat breakfast.  Big mistake… this will never happen again. I’m not one of those runners who can run on an empty stomach.  Anyways since I was pressed for time, I headed to our agreed meeting point with hopes that I would find some food.   But, there wasn’t any food anywhere.  As the race started, I just hoped that I would make it through the 9.3 mile race without passing out. 

WILL DICKEY/The Times-Union--03/12/11--Runners start the 34th Annual Gate River Run Saturday morning, March 12, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.   (The Florida Times-Union, Will Dickey)

I ran the first 3.1 miles with no problems, but the lack of food started to effect me greatly.  I lost my running buddy after 3.25miles, because I had to stop and try to restore some of my energy.  I tried to grab every type of food and drink I could get my hands on along the race course, but there wasn’t much food left.  I tried to maintain my speed and I motivated myself to keep running.  Besides running low on fuel, the most difficult part of the race was the last mile over the Hart Bridge.  The incline to the top of the bridge took a lot out of me, but once I got to the top I only had a half mile left mostly downhill.  The race course throughout San Marco was beautiful and the weather wasn’t too hot to run in the morning.  There were amazing local residents that handed out some food and drinks for the runners and local bands played music throughout the race.  Overall, the race was an enjoyable experience despite my rookie mistake.

I finished the Gate River Run with pretty good stats for my first time!  I finished in 1 hour and 45 minutes. I placed 499 out of 1072 in my age group and I placed 3234 overall.   I like to think that I would have done better if I ate some food in the morning, but I’m super happy with my results!  Here are some more stats about the race: there were 7377 male finishers, 7602 female finishers and 14979 total finishers. 

Here are some of my do’s based on my rookie mistakes for this year’s race:
DO eat a breakfast at least 2 hours before the race. 
DO sync your iPod and pick a playlist at least one day before the race. 
DO get to the stadium at least 30 minutes before the gun goes off.
DO stop at each water/Gatorade station or carry your own water with you. 
DO wear sunscreen/sunblock or wear a sun visor/baseball cap to block the sun.  
DO the Gate River Run again next year.
OXOX Natasha
*photo credit: Florida Times Union

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