One of the things I have found about being a trail runner is that you learn to adapt and overcome when obstacles present themselves. Whether it's a section of course that is more difficult than anticipated or there are muscle cramps or the weather turns south, we maintain we adapt and overcome. A critical part of being successful is retaining hope when things get bad.
That's what I have been doing for the last few months: retaining hope that GateGate would be able to take place safely in the age of COVID-19.
In a normal year, the permits from the Park Service would already be approved and I would have already finalized the new trucker hat designs. I would be working with the medal company and I would be reaching out to previous sponsors and looking into new ones. In June I would begin having twice monthly course tours/training runs that were free and open to anyone. And I would begin looking forward to giving every single finisher a hug at the finish line!
But this year is different, to say the least.
Park group events are limited to less that 10 people.
Social distancing protocols must be maintained.
And, most concerning, COVID-19 cases are surging to unprecedented levels in Florida.
Gate2Gate was created to benefit the community. Money raised goes to the Friends of San Felasco, the group that maintains the amazing trails in San Felasco, and to a local non-profit ( a different one is chosen each year to 'spread the love'). Together, the Gate2Gate community has donated over $13,000 in 4 years.
Holding the race, though, this year, does not appear to be the best way to serve the community.
I cannot imagine how bad I would feel if someone were to be exposed to the corona virus at Gate2Gate.
We wouldn't be able to have the beer garden at the finish.
Pizza and food trucks wouldn't be available.
Having over 100 high school volunteers out on the course cheering on runners and helping out at the aid stations wouldn't happen.
So many of the things that make Gate2Gate a community event wouldn't be able to happen.
So, I am making the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of Gate2Gate.
For everyone who has already registered, there are 4 options for you:
1. Roll over your registration to 2021.
2. Donate your entry fee to the Friends of San Felasco (allows us to make a significant donation to the group that makes sure the trails are in the best condition for us to enjoy during this crazy time)
3. Request a 50% refund (allows us to still make a donation to the Friends of San Felasco)
4. Request an 80% refund (20% covers misc processing fees like the Ultrasignup processing fee)
Those who have already registered will receive an email with a link to a Google Form that will allow you to choose what should be done with your registration fee.
I hope all of you are healthy and well and that I will get to see you at the finish line in 2021!
Gate2Gate Trail Run
The Gate2Gate Trail Run will showcase some of the best trails that North Central Florida has to offer. The race begins in the northern region of the San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park just outside of Alachua, Florida and only a few miles from I-75 or Gainesville. As the Friends of San Felasco website states, "San Felasco Hammock was purchased under Florida’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program in 1974 due to its diversity of plants and geological features. Today at over 7,000 acres, it is one of the largest protected contiguous stands of mesic hammock in Florida." (http://www.sanfelasco.org/)
The northern portion of San Felasco is home to miles of high-quality single-track mountain bike trails, open fields, and rolling hills. Our course incorporates all of these stunning characteristics. After the first 5 miles of the course, runners will transition into the double track hiking and birding trails of the southern portion of the park. The southern portion of the race will follow the yellow trail loop through to the western portion of the park with great trails, including some decent hills. Then runners will head toward the CSO area and then on a lesser known trail connecting runners back to the biking trails on the north end of the park as runners return to the start.
Runners competing in the 25k will complete the circuit once and 50k runners will complete the circuit twice.
The course will be open for 8 hours for both distances.
Please follow this link for race updates:
Aid Station Locations
Mile 5 (Old Oak Road), 9 (South Gate), 12 (CSO), 15.5 (Start/Finish) 25k runners are done/drop bags for 50k runners available
20.5 (Old Oak Road), 24.75 (South Gate), 28 (CSO) , 31.5 (Start/Finish)
Each aid station will have the following: water, electrolyte (Powerade), basic ultra foods like PB&J sandwiches, and various sweets and salty foods. We will not have any gels, S-Caps, or medications like ibuprofen at the aid stations. If you have specific dietary needs or prefer something other than Powerade, you will need to provide that for yourself.
In an effort to cut down on waste and litter, cups WILL NOT BE PROVIDED at the aid stations. You will need to carry your own bottles/hydration vests/cups.
Also, please do not use single serving gel packs during the race. Even with the best intentions, they can end up on the trail and they are not biodegradable. Please help keep San Felasco litter free!
We will be offering guided training runs at least once a month starting in June. Make sure you follow and like our Facebook page to stay up to date. The link to our Facebook page is just below the banner at the top of this page.
Did you notice that this race is on the Florida Gators football team's bye-week? While there may not be a Gators game that day, we are going to make sure you get your tailgate fix at our TailGate2Gate celebration zone!
The Gate2Gate Trail Run is a benefit event. All net profits will be donated to two local non-profits: The Friends of San Felasco (Community Support Organization): http://www.sanfelasco.org/
Grace Marketplace, a homeless service center dedicated to helping end homelessness in Alachua County. "In just a few years, GRACE has had unprecedented success in helping homeless people recover. Since we opened, we've helped reduce homelessness in Alachua County by 30%, down to less than 800 people on any given night. Our progress is encouraging, but there is always more to do."
Every finisher of either distance will receive a custom medal and a custom glass.
50k finishers will receive a custom designed trucker hat to commemorate the event!
Our race design was created by Brian Walline (http://www.brianwalline.com/) and we think he did an amazing job!
We are very lucky to have the following sponsors supporting the race:
Two Rules Running,
The Athlete's Den,
Cypress & Grove Brewery,
Lloyd Clarke Sports,
Friends of San Felasco CSO,
and Tipples Brews.
Consider spending a night either before or after the Gate2Gate Trail Run in one of the following motels or campgrounds.
* AlachuaEcono Lodge Alachua 386-462-2414Quality Inn 800-424-6423 or 386-462-2244Travelers Campground 386-462-2505
* GainesvilleBest Western Gateway Grand 877-221-0609 or 352-331-3336Country Inn & Suites by Carlson 800-596-2375 or 352 375-1550Courtyard by Marriott 800-321-2211 or 352-335-9100Days Inn 800-329-7466 or 386-462-3251Econo Lodge West 352-332-2346Hampton Inn & Suites 800-HAMPTON or 352-240-9300Hilton – University of Florida Convention Center 352-371-3600Hilton Garden Inn 352-338-1466Holiday Inn – University Center 352-376-1661Homewood Suites by Hilton 352-335-3133La Quinta 352-332-6466The Lodge at Gainesville 800-843-8735 or 352-375-2400Paramount Plaza Hotel 352-377-4000 or 877-992-9229Residence Inn 352-264-0000 or 352-371-2101Sleep Inn 352-376-4145Spring Hill Suites by Marriott 352-376-8873
* High SpringsGrady House B&B 386-454-2206High Springs Campground 386-454-1688High Springs Country Inn 386-454-1565O'Leno State Park Campground 386-454-1853Rustic Inn B&B 386-454-1223
* Oleno State Park and Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park both offer camping and are both about 20-30 minutes from the start of the race.
* Oleno: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Oleno
* Paynes Prairie: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Paynes-Prairie
Shamelessly stolen from Luis Escobar:
Local time: 6:08 AM
“Finally – please remember that there will be NO refunds – NO transfers – NO exceptions. Do not ask for a refund or a transfer to another date or event – the answer is a polite, no. There will be no refunds even if your cat ate your homework or your dog ate your cat or your grandmother ran over your dog or your grandfather ran over your grandmother or you can’t find a babysitter or your girlfriend is cheating on you or you are cheating on your girlfriend or you get shot in the head during an unfortunate piñata incident, or if you become injured or if you don’t have time to train or if you contract poison oak, syphilis, herpes simplex, chapped lips, the heart break of psoriasis or any other communicable decease or you get bit by a lizard, you have a hangover or you got shot in the neck with a poison dart or your trailer gets destroyed by a tornado or you get deported or your daughter gets married, or any other reason – your registration will not, under any circumstances, no way, no how, ain’t gonna happen, be refunded. Comprende? Don’t like that idea? Don’t register.”