JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The excitement and energy were contagious Saturday morning as people ran the Gate River Run and many participants told News4Jax they were just excited to be racing again.
First-time runner Krista Roehlig was one of 8,000 who made their way through the streets of the River City in cool and windy conditions.
“It was awesome. I mean it’s everything people say it is. It’s the best race,” Roehlig said. “Just the bands out here and then the bridges are so much fun. Hard, but fun.”
Several runners said the wind was especially challenging on the Hart Bridge, somewhat affectionately dubbed the “Green Monster” by participants.
“When I woke up, I was kind of nervous because it was so windy, but I think temperature-wise it was nice for such a long race,” Hayleigh Palotti said. “It felt like you weren’t getting anywhere at some points, but at the top you could kind of see where people were turning to finish, so it was motivating once you got to the top and the downhill kind of took you.”
Runner David Farraday said the wind was trickier than in previous races.
“Last year, there was a strong wind but this year it was even stronger and gustier so you would have a few seconds where there would be no wind then you would have a huge gust of wind,” he said. “It was very tough.”
WATCH IT AGAIN: News4Jax broadcast of the 2021 Gate River Run
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Runners on the course