The Rundown
November 23, 2016
From the Top
By PRA President Jason Libbert

Thankful for the Pensacola Running Community

From the PRA Board of Directors, Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope you have a wonderful time with your friends and family, wherever you may be.

Did you know, Thanksgiving is the busiest holiday for an organized run!?  All around the country people will be getting up early and taking part in a Turkey Trot, Gobble Gallop, Turkey Tune Up, Turkey Chase, or whatever clever name the race directors come up with. In 2014, there were over 786,000 people who finished a race on Thanksgiving!  That's a lot of miles.

As a volunteer running organization, we have a lot to be thankful for. Our great board, members, volunteers, sponsors, and of course our participants. We are lucky to have a great running community in Pensacola. Every night, you can find an organized group run. Every weekend, you have several races to choose from. We have some expert race directors in town that put on some amazing events for some great causes.

The Holiday Season is upon us. We hope you'll continue to get out and run or walk and support ours and the other areas races. We know it's a busy time, make you sure you save some time to run. It will help with the stress of the season and maybe help with how tight your clothes will fit with all the great food and parties!

Our next event is the Christmas Dash on  December 10 . It's a fun quick 1 mile run before the start of the Pensacola Christmas Parade. The whole course is barricaded off with over 50,000 people lining up cheering for you!  It's by far the best spectator race of the year.

Hope to see you at the start line. Until then, run safe and have fun.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Registr ation is Now Open For the Following PRA Events:

Recent Results from PRA and PRA Partner Events

Christmas Dash 1 Mile Call for Volunteers


We are still looking for a few folks to help out with the 2016 Christmas Dash 1 Mile, which will occur on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 5:00 PM. 

If you'd like to help out, please contact us at PensacolaRunnersAssociation@

How they Train
With Michele Williams


Age 44

Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross country or track?   I didn't compete in High School or College.  I did run in Middle School,   primarily the 800.
How many years have you been running?   I ran in green bloomers for Middle School track when I was around 12 years.  I didn't run again until I was 40 years old in 2013.   

Lifetime personal records:   5K-2014 Circle K 20:19, 10K-2016 Bayou Hills 42:12, Half Marathon-2016 Rock N Fly 1:33, Marathon-2015 First Light 3:36,  70.3-2015 Gulf Coast Tri 5:51
Running achievements for which you are most proud:   I'm most proud of running the Boston Marathon.  I've never experienced so many emotions in one race.  I laughed, cried and at the end wanted to die.  The perseverance of the athletes running with prosthetic limbs was humbling.  It wasn't about being fast it was about the journey.  Locals gave encouragement with cheers, signs, food, drinks, towels, ice and kindness.  I'm grateful to experience such an amazing race and for the support from family and friends.    
What events do you train for and what are your training goals? If I'm going to do a marathon I put in miles.  If I have a triathlon coming up I add swimming and biking into my schedule.  I think I would like to complete a full Ironman but I'm still on the fence.  It's a balancing act with work, family and racing.

How many miles to you typically run when not injured and consistently running?  When I started running I ran 3-12 miles weekly at run clubs.  The last couple years I've started running more mileage.  I've been marathon training for New York running 30-60 miles weekly.

What does your typical week of running look like?
  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: 6-8
  • Wednesday: 3-5 Easy
  • Thursday: 6-8
  • Friday: Off/3 Easy
  • Saturday: 10-20 Long Run
  • Sunday: 3-4 Easy
How does your training vary?  5K races are faster but they hurt.  I enjoy the slower paced long runs.  My training changes with triathlon season when I add swimming and biking.  I want to have fun and not take training too serious.  To keep long runs interesting we admire the sunrise, stop at garage sales and plan our post meal reward including ice cream for dessert. 

Do you take recovery or down time?   I take time off when I feel tired.  If I wake up and feel more like staying in PJs and having coffee that's what I do.  I didn't swim enough this past triathlon season and biked minimally but I participated and enjoyed. 

What injuries have hampered your training?   I had IT Band Syndrome in 2012.  I started running in Reebok rocker shoes that I had for over a year and didn't know you had to change shoes so frequently.  I've lost several toe nails and when they did grow back they grew back with character.  Toe socks, liquid bandage, and lubricant seem to help.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?  I prefer ON Cloud shoes.  I have Brooks Pure Flow and Ultra running shoes. 

Do you stretch?   I'm currently slacking on yoga.  I bought trigger point from Running Wild and it works great.  My intentions are to stretch but I often wait until I hurt when it should be stretch to not hurt.  

What are your favorite running routes?  We ran Red Top Mountain in Georgia and it was gorgeous.  I like trail running.  Running downtown along the water in the early morning is calming.  Changing our familiar routes by running them backwards is nice.  We usually just walk out the door without a plan and see where our legs take us. 
What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?   I've learned so much from other athletes.  Running Wild will help with a running plan and appropriate shoes.  Phat Girlz are awesome when looking for a run buddy. Tri Gulf Coast Mere Mortals triathlon training program is fantastic.  Being active with Pensacola Runners Association has shown me the amount of work that goes into putting on a race.  I recommend volunteering and encouraging.  Local run clubs Pea Ridge Running Club, World of Beer, O'Rileys, Gulf Coast Brewery, City Grocery and Wine Bar offer evening runs.  Read books and articles but ultimately listen to your body.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?  Find a buddy.  I'm motivated when held accountable.  Running alone clears my mind but there's pleasure in running with a partner.   Have fun!  Remember we all have bad days and without them we wouldn't appreciate the good ones.  Don't take racing too serious remember that how well we do depends on who shows up!

Northwest Florida Running Hot Spots
At Jerry Maygarden Road/Leap Trail


Located at 2030 Summit Blvd., Roger Scott Athletic Complex provides the best parking/access point for one of the better paved running locales in the eastern part of Pensacola. Additionally, if you are looking for a place to do some barefoot work on well-maintained grass, the soccer and baseball/softball fields provide a great spot.

Jerry Maygarden Road: Starting from the Roger Scott tennis court parking lot, take a left and you can either run on the sidewalk or cross the street and take the beaten dirt path. After roughly 1.1 miles, you will come (on your left) to a lonely, winding paved road called Jerry Maygarden Rd. Jerry Maygarden himself one described the road as being appropriately named for a politician as it is "a little crooked and doesn't go anywhere." From its start on Summit to its finish where it dead ends into Spanish Trail Rd., Jerry Maygarden Road is roughly 1.5 miles, and many local runners/cyclists use it for intervals due to the lack of public tracks in town. The road is flat, curves gently, and offers some cool views of the airport runway, with the occasional plane takeoff or landing to break the monotony. While there are no official markers, headed towards Spanish Trail Blvd. someone has gone through and placed largely accurate marks every quarter mile on the ground to your right. An out and back from the Roger Scott tennis court parking lot to the end of Jerry Maygarden Road will give you a run of just over 5 miles.

LEAP Trail: Starting from the same Roger Scott tennis court parking lot and turning right instead of left on Summit Blvd., you will soon come to a small side walk veering to the right into the park. This sidewalk is the LEAP Trail, and was a project of the Leadership Pensacola Class of 2013. The sidewalk winds past the various athletic fields and through the woods of the park for just under 1 mile until it dead ends on 12 th avenue. Officially, the 3 mile trail begins a small ways further to the right down 12 th Ave. (just past Airport Blvd) and extends halfway up Jerry Maygarden Rd. (via the route described above), and that entire distance is well marked. Some markers are accompanied by exercise stations as well. However, outside of the park itself the trail surface is the preexisting road/sidewalk.

From one end to the other, an out and back run covering the full expanse of Leap Trail (starting at the 12 th Ave. Dead end) and ending at Jerry Maygarden Rd.'s dead end at Spanish Trail Rd. will give you a run of roughly 7 miles (or could provide a section of various loops involving Tippin, Langley, and Spanish Trail).

Think Strong
By Gary Garza of Tri Gulf Coast

Is exercising for you a constant battle 
giving up would be easier?  Should you give up or go on? Which would you choose? 

Have you ever thought about giving up? Have you ever wanted to give up? Have you ever felt that between the guy or girl who wants to give up and the guy or girl who can't? If there is ever a time when I've FELT like I couldn't take another step during a race it's when I THOUGHT I couldn't take another step during a race...

Your body listens to your mind as much as you ALLOW your body to listen to your mind. Your choice...Good or bad, Fast or slow, Stop or go. 

The power of your mind can make you or break you. It's the parable of the the little engine that could and that swimmer that could and the bicycle that could and that little runner that could. You think you can? I know you can! 

The real trick to positive thinking is truly thinking and feeling that you can and will survive and succeed and installing that as part of your "brain train." It's amazing to me how much better I feel and how far I feel I can go on when my mindset is right. When I get myself to think positively I tend to notice things (positive things) like how good it feels to move and motivate, how nice the day is and how the birds are singing and how green the grass is and good the air smells. Positive connotations.

However, on the contrary when I feel like I'm slowly being defeated and the going has gotten too rough, I tend to notice other things (negative things) like how my knees and feet hurt a little and the sun is so hot and my stomach hurts and how much further do I really have to go and am I done yet? Negative connotations. 

Positive attitude creates a chain of positive thoughts. The same is true for the opposite. Choose your road. Feed the one you want to grow. There a myriad of life's challenges that can be faced and overcome by  the power of a strong positive attitude. React to obstacles and challenges with an attitude of strength and there's no situation that you can't rise above and put in your past. This process, just like when you decided to start training, takes time, patience and perseverance. With training and practice this positive attitude will be accessible and you can keep it with you wherever you go, not only in sport but in all the facets of your life. Wherever and whenever a situation arises that frustrates or angers you, reacting with a positive attitude puts you above that situation and gives you the perspective that will overcome and the strength to conquer. Make your "Brain Train" the little engine that could! If you think "You Got This", guess what? "You Got This!" Get out there and get positive. You can and will overcome. I'm positive of that! 

*A few of my favorite positive points:
  • I thought about giving up but then I remembered I have a lot of people to prove wrong!  
  • Impossible is the words I'm possible
  • Whether you think you can or can't, you're right.
  • Your body hears everything your mind says.
  • Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving.
  • Remember that guy that gave up? ...Neither does anyone else.

Registration Now Open For the Following Events by PRA Partners:

February 4, 2016

October PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
October 11, 2016; 5:30 PM
Pensacola Sports Board Room
Meeting was called to order by President Jason Libbert at 5:36 pm. President Jason Libbert  welcomed everyone and roll call was taken.

Board Members in Attendance:  Jason Libbert, Austin Adkison, Jennifer Taft, Steve Lipe, Heidi Lipe, Mark Rask, Michele Williams, Brian Carter, Ashley Carter

Guests in Attendance: Caleb Carmichael

Previous Month's Minutes:  Minutes from the August 2016 Board of Directors Meeting were read and a motion to accept was made by Jennifer T. and seconded by Mark R. Motion passed.

President's Report:  Jason L. called for nominees for the Volunteer of the Year. Names of candidates and a short summary of the nominees qualifications should be submitted to Jason. Select Physical Therapy night has not been confirmed at this time. Members should be notified prior to the next meeting.

Vice President's Report: Austin A. advised that he had nothing to report.

Treasurers Report:  Jennifer T. reported September financials would be presented at the November board of directors meeting.

  • Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K: Michele W. reported that overall it was a great success. The cold towels at the conclusion of the race were very popular. Michele said registration was down slightly but it might have been due to the fact the event was not held on the same weekend as the actual Seafood Festival.     
  • Christmas Dash 1 Mile: Shannon is out of town.   
  • Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon & 10K/5K: Registration is open and Eric Miller and Lorenzo Aguilar will be directing this event. 

  • Rundown: Anyone wanting to contribute to The Rundown should have their stories in to Jason or Eric as soon as possible. Jason also reminded all board members to make sure they are paid up and in good standing as members.
  • Apparel: Mark R. suggested that we go with screen printing on the shirts as an embroidered logo could cause rubbing and discomfort. The hats can be embroidered.  Long sleeve and short sleeve shirts will be offered in the club colors. Hats can be different colors with contrasting logo colors.
  • Grants: Ashley C. said that she will apply for grants that will benefit PRA in the future.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:40 PM.

All current PRA members are invited to the University of West Florida Track at 5:30 PM each Monday evening for a FREE interval workout overseen by UWF Cross Country Coach Caleb Carmichael! To learn more, join our Facebook Group .

Call for Volunteers

The PRA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to promote, support and develop running, walking and racing along Florida's North
ern Gulf Coast. We want the dollars spent by the running community spent on the running community, to enhance the experience of being a runner or walker in Northwest Florida.

The events and programs we produce would not be possible without the support of the Pensacola area's active and involved community of runners and w alkers. That said, we are always looking for new blood to get involved and help take us to the next level. 

We currently have open positions on our Volunteer Coordination Committee and our  Equipment/Course Coordination Committee . Both of these 
extremely important roles provide excellent and fulfilling opportunities to meet some great folks and to get involved in the local fitness community. 
If you'd like more information about either of these positions or other ways to get involved please send your your inquiry and contact information to the PRA at To be added to our general volunteer database, please submit your information here.


The Pensacola Runners Association brings together runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts to promote, support and develop running and racing along the Northern Gulf Coast. Our objective is to provide information, education, training, social and sporting events for competitive and noncompetitive runners and walkers of all ages, races, genders and abilities.

  • Discounted entry rates on the full calendar of PRA Races/Events, including FREE entry to our Membership Run
  • The chance to eat, drink and socialize with fellow runners at our free, members only social events
  • Access to our action packed monthly newsletter: "the Rundown"
  • Eligibility for the Lou Gregory, Jim Harrington and Volunteer of the Year Awards
  • Access to free, members only weekly interval workouts overseen by a professional Coach
  • The chance to do your part to promote, support and develop running and racing along the Northern Gulf Coast

Thanks to our Organizational Sponsors! 

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