The Gate River Run 15k in Jacksonville, FL is one of my favorite races. This was my seventh year in a row running it. It's not just a race, but the US national championship 15k, so there are real pros running with all of us normal people. Not just a few normal people, but up to 20,000 of us out there running together. It has that marathon feel with an expo and people lining the streets to cheer us on. However, it's only 9.3 miles and very affordable unlike many marathons.
The one thing that does scare off a few people is the bridge you have to run up at about 8 miles in. It is tough, but the way down does help you make up some time.
Everyone that finishes gets a medal. Top 10% of males and top 10% of females get a hat at the finish line. Like my new pink hat? My goal this year was to make it in the top 10%. Thanks to trying to keep up with my little brother for the first five miles, I even beat last year's time by 5 minutes!
After the main event, it's time for the kids to run. My kids love to get out there to run. Plus the medal and t-shirt they get at the finish line is definitely motivation.
This was my three year olds first time running the mile kids race. She was excited to finally be able to get out there with her sisters.
She did great and finished the whole thing, despite trying to get me to carry her. There may or may not be a picture on the race's website of her stopping in the middle of the street to pout because it was too far. But she made it through in the end, and we weren't even last (just third from last!)
Looking for a new race to try? Definitely check the River Run out. Runners of all speeds and abilities are out there running together for that common goal. I love the support of the people that live in the area that set up in their front yards to cheer people on. There are bands along the course playing music for a bit of distraction. Plus you might just be lucky enough to find generous people handing out snacks, fruit, and even beer! I think my hubby runs it just for the sausages and beer he gets along the way. Don't want to drink along the way, there's always free beer and snacks at the finish as well.
This race may have just ended, but I'm already looking forward to next year. I love that my kids are always excited as well. A fun family weekend that we can all enjoy together.