JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We’re less than 24 hours away from the start of 44th annual Gate River Run, the 15K national championship and the area’s biggest race.
Authorities inside the Regional Transportation Management Center were preparing Friday for an influx of traffic in and around the River City, even with no festival following the race.
This year’s Gate River Run has a limited field of 8,000 runners taking part in the 15K.
SPECIAL SECTION: Gate River Run
To supervise the race, the Regional Transportation Management Center coordinates with a range of agencies including the Florida Highway Patrol, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Transportation.
“We will be utilizing those sign boards that have messages right on there to put that message on to let people know, ‘Hey, there’s an event downtown, heavy traffic, you might want to detour,’” Derrick Odom, assistant manager of metric engineering for the RTMC told News4Jax.
Odom said every inch of Interstates 10, 95 and 295 along with J. Turner Butler Boulevard have surveillance thanks to a camera network that covers 18 counties across the region.
Masks are not required during the race, but runners must wear them at the start and finish line.
Perhaps the biggest change with this year’s race will be the use of two different starting lines. One will be at the corner of A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Duval Street and the second will be at the corner of A. Philip Randolph and Adams Street.
Runners will begin at the same time and be separated for approximately one mile before they merge just before the Main Street Bridge. Like years past, however, different color-coded waves will be separated by seeded times.
Some other things to keep in mind are:
- All runners and walkers should be in position by 7:30 a.m.
- Elite women will start at 7:54 a.m. from the Duval Street starting line.
- All 15K participants need to be to the Hart Bridge by 10:30 a.m.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, road closures will begin early Saturday morning. The agency said sections of the course will close at different times leading up to the start of the race at 8 a.m. The earliest closure will be the southbound lanes of the Hart Bridge at 6 a.m.
“As traffic builds in the stadium complex, start line areas will also close in preparation for the races,” JSO said. “Further out course areas will close following the start as the lead runner’s approach. All hold and release closures will open back up as the runners clear these areas.”