The race starts with around 21,000 other runners at EverBank Stadium where the Jaguars play. It should be cool but not cool enough when we start at 8:30 AM. They start with a cannon shot and the race is on. After several moments where the crowd ahead slowly begins to move, then finally I will begin to move too. I am not a seeded runner so I'm back a little in the crowd.
Hopefully the walkers will be back a little farther so I won't have to weave through them like I did last year. That isn't fun.
We will run a almost a mile and cross the Main Street Bridge. It is a draw bridge and has metal grates which are somewhat dangerous especially if you slip. That isn't good. It seems every year someone ahead or behind me falls on this bridge. Ouch!
Then it is on toward San Marco and we run back by the St. John's River again and through the old historic houses. Some of them are huge mansions. It is a beautiful part of the run.
Then it is back towards Atlantic Blvd. towards St. Nicholas with a turn back towards the river again. Could it be that is why it is called The River Run? After running through historic St. Nicholas, we head back toward Atlantic Blvd and on to the Hart Bridge. It is one of the largest and longest of the seven bridges of Jacksonville. On the day of the River Run they call it the "Heartbreak Bridge". Oh, does it ever feel that way. Many people are not able to make the long, upward pull to the top. It is rough!
The Hart Bridge is the last mile of the 9.3 mile run. By the time you pull yourself up the Hart Bridge, you're almost spent, but then it is all downhill. That really helps.
I am excited about this year's run. I'm hoping to beat last year's time. I'm hoping to run it in just over 90 minutes. We'll see how it goes on Saturday.