JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Running in a downpour isn't what thousands of runners had in mind when they signed up for the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. But they ran though it, not letting it stop them from finishing strong. Roughly 3,200 runners were able to run the full and half marathons, and 5K.
Runner Ann Rubocki says the day started out warm and humid, turned cool and windy, and then wet.
"The rain started and I was saying, 'Oh yeah the rain is coming,'" Rubocki remembers. "And it felt great. Then it started hitting kind of hard then it got a little bit more difficult."
But Rubocki made the best of it. She found a running partner along the course and they encouraged each other until the reached the finish line. For her husband, the rain brought a much different response.
"I think the rain actually helped me a little bit because it started off kind of warm and the rain kind of cooled me off and it helped me distract me and keep me from thinking about running and pain," says Bob Rubocki.
Race Director Doug Alred says they knew knew rain was on its way, so they prepared with tents along the course.
"We were prepared if we came out here and lightning was going when we were supposed to start we were going to delay the start maybe for an hour or so before we had to cancel the race," says Alred. "But luckily it didn't turn out too bad."
A good thing Alred says, because they wouldn't have been able to reschedule the race.
"You just have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Alred says.
"Runners came from all across the state and the country to participate in this marathon. It's a draw because it's a flat course and gives runners a chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Nicholas Maedel took home first place for the men, and says the day's weather made victory even sweeter.
"Just more rewarding," Maedel says. "Like it's just another obstacle you have to overcome throughout the race beside 26.2 miles and then the rain."
And whether its rain, heat, humidity or wind, many of the runners here say weather can be unpredictable and in Florida, rain is ofter inevitable. But it's not enough to keep them from their final goal.