Spring Running in Jax: Gate River Run

The nation's largest 15k returns on March 20, 2021. Find out all about the Gate River Run in Jacksonville!

When: March 20, 2021

What: More than 20,000 participants make their way to Jax every March for the Gate River Run, the nation’s largest 15K, to experience first-hand the beauty of the city and the fun of this race.
*This year's race will be capped at 8,000 participants. Due to the limited number of allowed participants, there will also be an option to run in a virtual race.

About the Gate River Run

The inaugural Gate River Run took place in 1978. In an effort to showcase Jax’s beauty, the race course starts and ends at the Sports Complex, taking participants through the historic streets of Downtown Jacksonville, San Marco, St. Nicolas and across the city’s most popular bridges.

Whether you are a competitive runner looking for your next PR, or a walker looking to take a scenic trek through Downtown Jacksonville, this race is perfect for participants of all levels. For the more competitive runner, the event happens to be the National Championship for 15K’s across the country.

The Green Monster

During the race, you’ll hear spectators and participants refer to the final two miles of the race, along the Hart Bridge, as the “Green Monster”. “Green” for the color of the Hart Bridge, and “monster” as the Hart Bridge is only accessible by car on an ordinary day, making it impossible for participants to train for the last two steep miles until race day. However, once participants make it to the final mile, they can rest assured that it will be all downhill from there, both metaphorically and literally.

Celebrations & Prizes

**There will not be a post-race celebration this year.

The race stands out among others of its kind in its pre- and post- race celebrations, prize money, Gate River Run’s popular hats for finishers in the top 10 percent, medals for each participant and convenience for spectators to participate in the event. Spectators make it easy for participants to be inspired to persevere throughout the race as thousands of onlookers line the course throughout the city, cheering on participants until the very end. There is live music at every mile marker and fresh food, fruits, drinks, popsicles, and even hamburgers and hot dogs for runners.

The race has had many noteworthy participants including Olympic athletes Deena Kastor, Shalane Flanagan, and Meb Keflezighi.

Click here to learn more about the Gate River Run. To find the best places to run before and after the race, here's our top running recommendations. Download your guide to the best places to run in Jax.

Stop by one of our 2 Visitor Centers before or after the race for some recommendations for things to do during your stay here! You can also download our app and follow us on social media for more recommendations.

About the Author