JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The local race always crowns local champions.
The First Coast Cup of the Gate River Run annually goes to the top area finishers who don’t start with the elite runners.
On Saturday in the 45th event, Crystal Davis claimed the women’s title and Nathan Jubran took the men’s, finishing the fastest among local competitors.
Jubran, a 22-year-old Jacksonville resident, finished in 47 minutes, 3 seconds, a time that put him 37th overall. Davis, a 28-year-old from Bryceville, finished in 56:09.
There’s always prestige attached to winning the First Coast Cup, especially in a community with significant local running talent.
Jubran, a Bishop Kenny alum, competes for the University of North Florida cross country team and said his coach told him to treat the race like a training run.
“I feel blessed to run at this level. It’s all glory to God. I’m truly blessed,” Jubran said.
Davis said she used to train with her kids in the stroller. Now, they’re too big and they don’t think it’s cool anymore.
“My husband is super amazing. He works around my schedule most of the time. It’s a team effort. It’s not possible without family and support. I really thank them. It means a lot to show them that handwork does payoff,” Davis said of her efforts to train for the race. “I try not to be serious, but definitely put in the work and just hope that you’re able to perform the way you’ve been training.”