In the 34th year of the oldest marathon in Jacksonville, thousands of runners took off Sunday morning in the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon.

The marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier and organizers said it’s the fastest course in the south. They say Sunday’s humid weather made it difficult for many of the runners. The course started at the Bolles school on San Jose Blvd.

“The number of marathoners are going to be smaller because a lot of people have already switched down to the half because it’s just too hot and humid for a lot of people to run a full,” said Jane Alred, the assistant race director with 1st Place Sports.

Controversy surrounded the event as the first known transgender man to participate in the Jacksonville Marathon won the women’s division.

Aron Taylor of Jacksonville won first place in women’s age division with the time of 3:42:51. He says this is the first marathon he’s ever participated in and hopes to someday race in Boston.

“We all have different challenges, but it’s how do we face that challenge. For me I still have dreams, I know who I am and I still have dreams, and I deserve an opportunity to achieve my dreams regardless of my gender identity,” said Taylor.

Taylor was less than three minutes from the required time for the 2018 Boston Marathon. He said he’s refusing to give up and will be back next year to compete in the women’s division again.

 
 

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