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A look at the changes in place for the Gate River Run

Race director explains changes prompted by coronavirus pandemic

In less than a week, runners will race through the River City for the annual Gate River Run. But, this year will be different because of the pandemic. News4Jax reporter Jennifer Ready breaks down the changes runners and spectators can expect.
In less than a week, runners will race through the River City for the annual Gate River Run. But, this year will be different because of the pandemic. News4Jax reporter Jennifer Ready breaks down the changes runners and spectators can expect.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 44th annual Gate River Run is less than one week away.

Race Director Doug Alred said the race will be a little different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to have a lot of social distancing guidelines in place,” Alred said.

The field is limited to 8,000 runners for the 15K. There will also be two different start lines. One start line will be at the corner of Duval and A. Phillip Randolph streets. The second start line will be at the corner of Adams and A. Phillip Randolph streets. The runners will merge just before the Main Street Bridge. Masks are required except while running.

“It’s requiring a lot more things,” explained Alred about the preparations. “We’ve been doing some smaller races and we’ve been kind of using some of the guidelines that we would use at the River Run and see how they go, so those things have worked really well.”

Despite the changes, Alred said runners will still feel a sense of tradition.

“We’re going to have hands on the course. Most of the water stations will still be there, they’ll be run a little bit differently, and the finish line is going to look exactly the same,” said Alred. “As long as people cooperate and wear their mask when they’re supposed to, I think it’ll go great. It’ll be a safe event for everybody, and most people who come will feel like this is a traditional run.”

The Gate River Run said it is expecting one of the best elite fields in recent years because of the limited number of races last year.

For more information on the event, click here.

WJXT will broadcast the Gate River Run again this year.


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