Gate River Run will cap entries at 8,000 for 2021 race

Runners cross the finish line at the Gate River Run last March. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Gate River Run will limit its field to 70% capacity and put numerous other safeguards in place for its 2021 event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest change is capping race entries at 8,000 for the marquee 15K event. The 5K race will be limited to 2,000. The event is March 20, 2021. Registration for that event opens on Dec. 1. The Gate River Run has been televised live on WJXT for years.

In this year’s event, a total of 12,319 runners finished the 15K race.

Ridouane Harroufi (44 minutes, 42 seconds) and Marielle Hall (48:52) won the men’s and women’s races last year. Harroufi later failed two drug tests by USADA, including one at the River Run on March 7, and his results were scrubbed from the list. Frank Lara was elevated to the men’s champ with a 44:44. Harouffi received an eight-year suspension from USADA.

Among other changes to the 2021 race:

• 15K will feature a dual start with waves from each start line beginning at 8 AM

• 5K will start at 10 a.m.

• All starts will be socially distanced.

• Expanded hours at expo / packet pickup

• Reduction in number of expo booths

• 400 visitors allowed at expo and packet pickup in two hour segments

• Temperature checks at entrance to expo for volunteers and participants

• Masks required at expo and packet pickup

• No post-race celebration

• Masks when near start and finish

• No bag check

• Volunteers will wear masks and will also wear gloves when necessary

• All participants must sign a Covid acknowledgement during registration.

• All participants and volunteers must check their temperature on race morning prior to coming to race.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.