JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – First off, I would like to get this out there, I LOVE the Gate River Run. I love how Jacksonville, full of runners, comes together and celebrates all the hard work of nearly 20,000 runners, most of whom have made it their personal passion for at least the past three months.
Yes, it's about these runners putting in the miles, it is also about how these runners will be the inspiration to countless other people.
Those who run the Gate River Run are far more aware of their own personal physical and mental health that will last them a lifetime. Best part? It rubs off onto others. Whether in casual conversation of how they train, diet, or commit to running in the rain, these runners are spreading the word, that running the Gate, no matter what their running/walking time, has made a significant and life long positive impact on them personally. That in itself gets thousands of others to look within themselves and say, "next year, I am running in the Gate."
That is exactly what inspired me, it wasn't the blazing speed of Todd Williams (sorry Todd), for me it was after volunteering at a watering station.
Which means, it all gets back to the two, who, in my mind, made it all happen.
I would personally like to thank Doug and Jane Alred, you two, are and have been, an inspiration to me.
Your impact on the general health of Jacksonville can never be calculated. Without your efforts, and all the volunteers you have pulled together to make the Gate River Run, we most likely would not have all the many other great runs, including The Donna (5 km, 1/2 marathon and full marathon). which has had a tremendous impact on Jacksonville, bringing greater awareness of Breast Cancer.
OK, I had to get that off my chest, so let's get to the impact of weather on those who have won the Gate River Run. Next year, I will breakdown how weather has impacted those other 20,000 running, the calculations are far more encompassing.
When it comes to the fastest man and women, temperature plays a huge role for the fastest women's time.
The fastest women love it cold.
But here's a little weather background, there have been 41 Gate River Runs, they have been as early as March 5th and as late as April 1st (it was the very first race in 1978,)
The warmest starting temperature was 69° in 2015 and the coldest was 29° in 1996. Most importantly, the average starting temperature was 52°.
For the fastest men, their times indicate very little impact on their times.
But the fastest women's times, a different story.
And what about this year?
Looks like it will be a rather warm Gate, I expect the temperature there along the St. Johns River will be above average, "around" 60° at 8:25 a.m. when the elite women start.
Therefore, I don't expect a top ten speed by the women runners this year.
As far as the men?