As a politician, Mayor Lenny Curry is used to looking for a way to win. For the Gate River Run on Saturday he’ll have find a new definition for the word victory.
“The streets are lined with people, I remember seeing beer stands last year,” Mr. Curry told me before a training run in his neighborhood this week. “There’s a little it of something for every body. If you want to be competitive you can, if you want to just run and enjoy the day you can do that too.”
It won’t be the first time the Mayor has run the Gate but it’ll be the first time a sitting Mayor of Jacksonville has stepped into the crowd to run after some welcoming remarks. He’s been suitably fast when he’s run the race before but says the hardest part will be remembering his age (45) instead of how old he thinks he is (30).
“We sort of have a little competition going on in the house as to who can finish the fastest,” the Mayor’s wife Molly said as she prepared to join in on the training.”
“You’re just throwing that in there now,” Mr. Curry asked with a laugh. “That’s the first I’ve heard of that.”
This year the Mayor will run with his wife and his son Boyd, so he’s not going to be looking at his watch, but rather enjoying the day, the crowds and the course.
“Last year I pushed myself the first three miles out of the gate and felt like somebody had punched me in the gut,” he recalled.
As Mayor, improving the fitness of Jacksonville’s citizens is one of his goals. He’ll be rolling out a walking and running initiative in the coming months because he believes in the benefits.
“For me it’s like brushing my teeth,” he said. “It’s that important. It’s not only good for the body it’s good for the mind.”
This year is the 39th edition of the Gate River Run with a record number of participants expected. The start is at 8:30 by the stadium with live coverage on News4Jax beginning at 7 AM.