Chris Derrick, 2014 USA XC Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net
The 37th running of the GATE River Run 15K on Mar. 15 is shaping up with another record year for participation, and the men's and women's elite fields are on pace to be among the strongest ever, according to Race Director Doug Alred.
"So far 2014 is on pace with near record growth with more than 15,000 entries to date, and our elite field is star-studded with the top American distance runners," Alred said. He noted the elite field in the USA 15K Championship includes:
- 5 Olympians
- 4 past Gate River Run Champions including 2013 defending champions Ben True and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (2012 and 2013)
- Shalane Flanagan, Olympic bronze medalist and current American Record holder at 10,000 meters
- Both 2014 US Cross-Country champions Chris Derrick and Amy Van Alstine
- 6 of the top 7 men from 2013
- 6 of the top 8 women from 2013
- 15 competitive teams from 8 states vying for the TenBroeck Cup
Alred also announced a new finish line for the 2014 race due to construction at EverBank Stadium. The race will finish at the Tailgate Zone on the south end of the Stadium in parking lot D. He also announced a new Wheelchair Division.
Race day enhancements include live streaming results at jacksonville.com and on WJXT's news4jax.com, and the addition of the RaceJoy mobile app with access to key race information, instant results, and live tracking.
Last year more than 23,000 runners and walkers participated in the day's five events, making the event Jacksonville's largest participatory sporting event. This popular Jacksonville tradition starts and finishes at the Jacksonville Sports Complex. The event is hosted by JTC Running.
The top 5,000 runners will be seeded again this year to start in the front. The Equalizer Bonus will again award $5,000 to either the first male or female finisher to cross the finish line. The Gate River Run is the site of both the men's and women's 15K American records and is a Runner's World 'Top 100 Event.' A large post-race party will be held at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.
Read more: USA Running Circuit - USARunningCircuit.com - USARC Official Site - News - Flanagan, Derrick Headline USA 15 km Championships http://www.runnerspace.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=30069&do=news&news_id=225828#ixzz2udnlpCtr
(Editor's note: Chris Derrick has been running well since early January. On January 11, 2014, Chris won the Senior Men's 8k at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge. On February 15, Derrick followed that up with is USA XC win. A few words with Mr. Derrick in Edinburgh noted that Chris' training was going well, how much he thinks of Jerry Schumacher, his coach and a quiet confidence for the Stanford graduate.
Shalane Flanagan is fit, or she would not be racing, period. Also coached by Jerry Schumacher, Flanagan is focused on her marathon training. On her twitter feed, Shalane noted that she should get a 15k PB in GATE as she seldom runs the distance. Watch for Shalane to fly this season.)