Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

By Dan Scanlan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

By Dan Scanlan

Article excerpt

Byline: dscanlan@jacksonville.com

Two of Northeast Florida's largest and oldest spectator events kick off this weekend. With them come traffic jams as people merge into multiple parts of Jacksonville to see runners in the streets Saturday or visit Amelia Island for one of the nation's most prestigious car events.

Saturday morning will see very heavy traffic in the EverBank Field section of Jacksonville before the 41st annual Gate River Run fills downtown, San Marco and the Southside with runners. Begun in 1978, the run will mean 20,000 people heading to the starting line on Gator Bowl Boulevard between EverBank Field and Metropolitan Park.

Gator Bowl Boulevard between Georgia and Duval streets will be closed noon Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday. Organizers suggest runners start arriving by 6:30 a.m. Saturday and line up by 7:30 a.m. for this year's earlier start. The $5,000 Equalizer Bonus runners launch at 7:54 a.m., the rest at 8 a.m. Then police shut down roads as Saturday's race progresses.

Bay Street to the Main Street bridge is closed from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m., then closures move south as the runners do -- Main Street bridge from 7:45 to 9 a.m., then on through San Marco, Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard to the Hart Bridge. Organizers expect all 15K participants to be at the Hart Bridge (Mile 7.5) by 10:30 a.m., then the last runners end around noon back on Gator Bowl Boulevard. Full information is at 1stplacesports.com/grr_eventinfo.html.

The other traffic magnet is about 38 miles north, where an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people will flow into Nassau County for the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and events that surround it all weekend.

Due to predicted rain, the Sunday concours with 300 classic, sports and custom cars has been moved to 9:30 a.m. …

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