Saturday began early with everyone trying to get to the sports complex on time.
The elite women get a 6-minute, 45-second head start to see if they can cross the finish line before the fastest man. Channel 4's Sam Kouvaris and 15K USA record holder Todd Williams host WJXT's live coverage of the race.
The starting gun sounded at 8:30 a.m. and the first of four waves of runners took off on the 9.3-mile coures.
It takes about 15 minutes for the last of the runners to cross the starting line, but thanks to a computer chip tied to the lances of their shoes, everyone's clock starts running at the beginning the the course.
Channel 4 chief meteorologist John Gaughan's self-portrait as he brings up the end of the third wave of runners approaching the starting line.
The elite women come off the Main Street Bridge and enter San Marco before the last of the runners have crossed the starting line.
The elite men follow close behind, with last year's champion, Mo Trafeh, near the front of the pack.
Janet Cherobon is in the lead by a half step as the elite woman head north on Hendricks Avenue.
No one had emerged as one to beat among the elite men running through San Marco.
The fastest of the non-seeded runners was now filling two lanes of the Main Street Bridge.
River Road is one of about the half-way point of the 15K.
Every year some Jacksonville Fire-Rescue personnel run the entire course in full bunker gear.
There are flags, banners...
... outrageous head gear ...
... and costumes.
At 9:13 a.m., the Janet Cherobon, 34, of Flagstaff, Ariz., crossed the finish line first for the second year in a row -- thanks to the 6:35 "equalizer" head start over the men.
With an unofficial time of 49:44, she'll win a $5,000 bonus in addition to her share of the $53,000 in prize money available in the USA 15K Championships.
A few seconds later, Ben True, 27, of Hanover, N.H., crossed the finish line at 43:38 -- 34 seconds and seven places ahead of last year's winner, Mo Trafeh.
True finished three seconds ahead of 26-year-old Bobby Curtis in a sprint to the finish. "I was hoping I had enough to get past Bobby because I know Bobby is a fast finisher," True said. "I ran here two years ago and became runner up, and it was nice to come back here now and be able to win it."
After the elite runners were well into their cool-down routines, most runners were still on the course, coming up Atlantic Boulevard.
... and turning on the ramp to the "Green Monster" -- the Hart Bridge.
Channel 4 meteorologist Richard Nunn is an avid runner and one of a dozen WJXT employees running "The Gate."
Nunn and fellow Morning Show anchor Melanie Lawson joke with Michael Kelly about his pre-race meal: an egg sandwich and a beer.
"There's so much support out there, it makes you happy to be alive," Channel 4's Hailey Winslow said during her run.
For the vast majority of running the 15K, crossing the finish line of their biggest race of the year is a thrill.