'Streaker' running in 37th Gate River Run

Gil Weise
Gil Weise

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The start of the Gate River Run -- it's the moment thousands of runners wait and train for.

But for Gil Weise, the sound is a little more familiar. He's run all 36 Gate River Runs and is gearing up for the 37th.

His inspiration?

"That famous voice I heard 37 years ago, 'You are a wimp and you can't run the River Run,' and it rings in my head," Weise said. "And I said, 'Oh, yes I can, yes I can.' And the next year he said, 'I bet you can't do it again,' and I said, 'Let me tell you something. This is it. I've had it. It's over. I'm doing it again.'"

LIST: All 42 'Streakers'

Weise and the others who have run in every Gate River Run are called streakers. He offers this advice to other runners:

"Take it easy. That first mile is the roughest, and the last mile going down the bridge, be very careful. Don't worry about anything else. Get your water, take your drink, get a little power bar and put that in your mouth. You need sodium and potassium out of that power bar."

Weise will be joining more than 20,000 runners in this year's race, and there will be some changes this time around.

The finish line has been moved to the east side of EverBank Field, in front of Gate 4. Organizers say the finish line move makes it easier for spectators to cheer on the runners from both the start and finish lines.

If you want to park near the stadium, organizers say arrive before 6:30 a.m. or expect a 30-minute delay when you get downtown.

But there are plenty of good places along the routes to watch the race, including San Marco Boulevard between Prudential Drive and Lasalle Street, along River Road, and on Atlantic Boulevard around Bishop Kenny High School.

And of course, you can watch people start up the Hart Bridge.

"Watch us run and get some inspiration, give us a clap or a high-five. It's so much fun," Weise said. "If you don't want to yell, get a bell, put some rocks in a plastic thing and just shake it. Come out and be with us."

Energy and excitement are just two things Weise said makes the Gate River Run worth coming back to.