JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The records still stand, but the Gate River Run belonged to Marielle Hall on Saturday morning.
On a chilly and brutally windy day, it was the women who starred in the 43rd running of the event.
Specifically, Hall. She was uncatchable.
Hall pulled away early in the women’s field and kept a noticeable buffer between her and the pack to cruise to a victory at the River Run, running a time of 48 minutes, 52 seconds. Natosha Rogers was behind Hall in 49:50, leading a pack of seven women who used the six-minute equalizer to finish ahead of the top male.
Ridouane Harroufi, a late addition to the River Run field after cutting his marathon work in Atlanta last week short after 20K, edged Frank Lara by a second to win the men’s race in 44:42.
FULL RESULTS OF 15K | Order of finish
Hall, an elite runner who went to the University of Texas, was an Olympian in 2016 at Rio. She finished 33rd in the 10K there. On Saturday, there was no one, male or female, who could reel her in.
“I just tried to trust my instincts,” Hall said. “I feel like you always are kind of second-guessing what you should do out there just worked on trusting where I am and so I felt OK and I was just trying to maintain the rhythm I felt like we set early on, didn’t want to step off that too much.
With the equalizer, Hall stayed in front of the top male finisher, Harroufi, and crushed the women’s field.
Jacksonville native Eden Meyer (49:52) and Gwen Jorgensen (50:26) finished behind Hall and Rogers. Erika Kemp, last year’s women’s winner, finished at 50:27. Hanah Everson (50:33), Kim Conley (50:34) and Paige Stoner (50:36) were next, leading a strong women’s field.
Harroufi finished in 44:42 to win the men’s 15K. Harroufi, a late addition to the field after competing in the U.S. Olympic Team marathon trials last week in Atlanta, said he stopped that race after 20K due to issues with his hips. That opened the door for him to run in the Gate.
“I decided to run this 15K last minute … I’m glad to be here,” he said.
Shalane Flanagan still holds the women’s race record at 47:00, set in 2014. Todd Williams’ time of 42:22 set in 1995, remains untouched.
Watch it again
Entire race broadcast on Channel 4