“Fight for your right to succeed in this world and millions will fight with you. People love to join a hero on a mission.” –Daniel Miller, Business Made Simple
Gate River Run 2021 was a chance for us all to be heroes. 2020 was a harrowing year and collectively we had to grapple with the full spectrum of sickness, mortality, economic hardship, and social justice issues like no other point in our lifetime. While these issues are far from resolved (or in the case of mortality – nothing to fix - just a greater awareness of our fragility in this world) a chance to race through the streets of Jacksonville offered an opportunity to celebrate life and the human spirit and absolutely put things in perspective.
And we all had to put up a literal fight against nature – holy cow that wind on the Hart Bridge was strong! Race director Doug Alred said it perfectly when interviewed for Jacksonville.com : “The Green Monster had his teeth out today”.
For reference: my Garmin watch clocked me at 6:13/mile for an average of all 9.3 miles. The mile wherein we ran up the Hart Bridge shot up to 6:40/mile (and part of that includes some of the downhill on the other side).
Despite the wind, reduced numbers, the elimination of pre-race and post-race gatherings, the race felt like a cautious celebration. Folks ran fast and strong (winning time of 48:09 for women by Emily Sisson was top 5 ever in event's history.) This year reminded us all that nothing is guaranteed and simply having good health is our most valuable commodity.
I have competed in literally hundreds of races in my life and I hope to run for a long time to come, (starting in 1995 and doing an average of 15/year = 390 races) but the 2021 Gate River Run will probably stand as one of my most memorable.
This race reminded me just how much I love running and how thankful I am to be able to do it. I think nearly 8,000 other runners felt similarly.
Note -for those of you who like numbers and stats: I finished officially in 58:19, 48th female, (but I crossed the line in 198th place because I started in a wave that went off at 8:05😂. In other words, Gun time was 1:03:20, chip time was 58:19) 6:15/mile, 2nd in the female 35-39 age category. This wasn’t a PR (which is 56:48 from 2018?), but I am thrilled with it considering this has been my progression back to fitness: starting at Gate 2020 where I ran 59:57, and then another 15k on 1/30/21 in 59:10.
If any of you all raced Gate this past weekend (either in Jacksonville or virtually), I congratulate you on your heroic efforts - keep it up - the world needs more heroes!
If you need some shoes to help you on your hero's journey to fitness OR some mental fitness training in the form of life coaching (basically a someone to help you get the results you want in life and running) email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a personalize socially distanced shoe fitting and/or a free coaching consultation chat!
Stay well, FitFooters!