I am one of the newest members of the JTC Racing Team, not sure if you knew that. What does that mean? When I run a 1st Place Sports Race, I represent one of the oldest Track Clubs in Jacksonville(they’ve been around since the running heydays of the 1970’s). You’ll spot us at races: white headsweats visor and black tank/shirts with blue JTC Racing Team letters on it. So I’ve run two races representing, I don’t count the Gate River Run because I was so not feeling that one, St Paddy’s 10k and now Run to the Sun 8k.
Run to the Sun is put on by the Florida Striders in Orange Park FL behind the old Jacksonville Kennel Club NKA Best Bet on River Road. I got there early picked up my chip and did a warm up on the course. We were suppose to have a lot of rain so I was prepared-hat. The sunrise was brief but specatular over the St John’s River and then clouds and wind rolled in. 8 a.m. rolled around , we had the National Anthem,I was around my other team members at the start line, then a pop of a starting gun and I was alone. Not literally because I was running with at least over 200 other runners/walkers, but did I mention my JTC race team members are fast? 8:01, they are standing next to me, 8:02 they are down River Road and I can’t see them. Ok, my goal top 10 in my age group, run like zombies are chasing you. The road is pock marked and narrow but what a view! It reminded me of the road in Cocoa Beach we run down in the Space Coast Marathon-run but step carefully. The wind is wicked, so no digital mile markers instead we have volunteers telling us our time each mile-love it, old school!
1st mile, 8:25! Sun is out and there is no shade-ugh. Luckily we turn right and thankfully shade for at least 1/2 a mile then water stop,yes please, my mouth feels dry. Mile 2, 17:39! Can I hang on? Wind is whipping like crazy and pushing us this way and that. Past the start line, that’s so mean, but at least another water stop to quench my thirst and onward north up River Road. Then to the turnaround and back to the finish. 43:35! Good enough for 4th in my AG. 55 points towards Grand Prix-woohoo! Fastest was the 1st mile, slowest was the 4th mile(9:03)-I’m blaming it on the water stop.
After some water, a sample strawberry Smoothie King smoothie, and small talk with some other runners that I knew, it was time to head home. Highly recommend this run for the smooth organization, small homey race, and a gorgeous race course. If you’re chasing Grand Prix points, then this a must race. If you’re looking for a nice Spring race that won’t break the bank then be sure to add this race to your calendar.