The Rundown
July 31, 2017
In this Issue:
From the Top - Argonaut 5K Call for Volunteers - Pensacola Seafood Festival Don McCloskey 5K Call for Volunteers - How they Train - Boston Bound - June PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 
July PRA Board of Directors Meeting: 
5:30 PM, August 8, 2017, Pensacola Sports Conference Room

From the Top
By PRA President Gabriela Gasque

The other day I ran into an article that I really liked and it made me think about a few things that I would like to share with you today.

The article was about an event back in 1985,  a road race in Huntsville Alabama. So many of the things, things that we take for granted now, posed so many complications back then. Many of these things that were such arduous tasks then, we now can take for granted.

I had never really given a thought to the way a race was timed. There were no timing chips, no computers that automatically registered your finish time.
All the work was done by humans, volunteers that were needed by the tons  back then.  There were several persons lined up along the course to avoid people cutting off the course and several more in the finish chute notating the numbers and finishing times . As soon as the race finished someone had to feed a computer to get results. All these people worked for hours, some setting the course, others transporting water, all the same things that we do now but they also had to make sure timing was done fast and accurately.

Another event made this particular race unique. The night before the race a truck had taken down a huge banner that had already been set up for the finish line. The race director was called late into the night to be informed of the unfortunate event. The banner needed special materials, and the only option was to "pin" it back together, which would take hours.

Some of the volunteers were called to the top floor of the host hotel anyway and they were in the hallway spaced along the 40 foot long banner and they painstakingly pinned the banner back together.

This is just an example of the extraordinary work that over time has brought the communities and races that put them on, closer together.
So many people have donated their time to make so many wonderful things happen. So this is my small tribute to all of you that have in some way contributed to make great events happen.
 Here's to you...the volunteer.

So as President of our Runners Association I feel totally committed to give back to our community for all it has done for all of us who have enjoyed of this great events that bring so many people with a similar interest together.

Next time you run, thank your volunteers, you all rock.


Gabriela Gasque
PRA President

Registr ation is Now Open For the Following PRA Events:

September 2, 2017

September 30, 2017

January 13, 2018

Recent Results from PRA and PRA Partner Events

2017 Argonaut 5K Call for Volunteers


We are still looking for a few folks to help out with the 2017 Argonaut 5K , which will occur on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 7:30 AM.

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

2017 Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K Call for Volunteers


We are still looking for a few folks to help out with the 2017 Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K , which will occur on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 7:30 AM.

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

How they Train
With Steve Lipe


Age  66

Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross country or track?  No track events. I played Tennis on High School and College teams.
How many years have you been running?  I've been competitively walking since 2010..I thank Kathy Thorpe and Sandy Russell for getting me involved in the PRA and race walking.

Lifetime personal records: Walking a 10:30 mile.

Running Achievements for which you are Most Proud: I've done three ½ Marathons in under 3 hours(walking). Silver and Bronze medals in the 2016 Florida Senior Games. I have done over 70 competitive races and have placed in every one.

How Many Miles Do you typically run when not injured and consistently running? When I am training I strive for 25-30 miles per 5 day week.

What does your typical week of running look like? 
  • Monday: 4-6 miles
  • Tuesday: 4-6 miles
  • Wednesday: 4-6 miles
  • Thursday: 4-6 miles
  • Friday: 2 miles if I have a Saturday race, otherwise 4-6 miles
  • Saturday: Either race or rest
  • Sunday: rest
How does your training vary over the course of a year? Training varies over year, the more aggressive training is usually Sept thru May, less in the hotter months.

Do you take recovery or down time?  If I do a Saturday race I will rest/recover for 2 days, then usually do 2-3 miles for rest of week. 

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? Currently have fluid/inflammation on the left knee and elbow.

Do you stretch?  calves, thighs, lower back, arms.

What are your favorite running routes?  area around the house/neighborhood, flat surfaces and small hills.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else? T here are no walking magazines per say but there is plenty of online information and instruction (videos). A lot of the training is similar to running but converted to walking, such as diet, fluid intake, shoes, clothing, etc.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?  if you are beginning, follow a training course. There are charts/tables for walkers at every level for whatever amount of time (weeks), you want to commit. Don't try to do it all at once. You will continue to get better if you stick with the training. Do more if you feel up to it, less if you are tired or sore. Your body will dictate your performance.


Boston Bound
By John Fitzgerald of Tri Gulf Coast

Four years.  Four years of research, training, racing and perseverance is what it took for me to get to the Boston Marathon.  For someone that struggles with an impulse-control issue, that is a long, long time!

The obvious question is "why".  Why put that amount of time and energy into what, in reality, is just another race?  I am not going to win and there is no type of compensation or sponsorship money coming to me.

The answer is because this is not just another marathon.  Over its 121 year history, the Boston Marathon is considered one of the world's most prestigious road races that attracts professional and amateur runners from around the world.  Not everybody gets to go.  To get a number, a runner must first qualify in a Boston certified race and complete it in a certain time based on that athlete's sex and age.  Provided that goal is achieved, the runner then gets graded on a curve.  There are only a certain number of spots allotted for each category so a runner must beat enough of the other qualifiers to get an invitation to Boston.

My journey to Boston, like many others, started when the bombs when off in 2013.  I imagine the terrorists thought they could scare us into abandoning this fantastic event.  But, like most Americans, not only did this cowardly act not keep me away from Boston; it strengthened my resolve to get there. 

So off I went.  As mentioned earlier, I needed to find a qualifying race and I set my sights on the 2014 Air Force Marathon in Ohio.  It is a well-established event, has cool weather and the course is flat.  Plus, I had family in the area for support.  Flight and accommodation plans were made and I starting training.  Unfortunately, a few months into training, I developed a stress fracture in my foot so I had to abandon my plans for that year.

In 2015 I registered for the Rock and Roll Marathon in New Orleans.  It was closer, also flat and a lot of my friends and new fiancé were also going to run.  All is well, right?

It was a disaster.  I ran out of steam at mile 21, cramps like you would not believe and I ended up limping across the finish line well behind goal.  Depression set in. 
I realized dumb luck and striking good looks wasn't going to cut off the 45 minutes I needed to drop in order to get the finish time I had to have.  I needed a better plan.  I researched the internet and running magazines for new training programs and methods to follow.  I asked my friends who had run Boston for any advice they had.  Once the research was completed I diligently designed a 16 week training cycle.  There were no more "junk" runs.  Every training day had a purpose.  Whether that purpose was endurance, speed or recovery, there was always a focus. Weight training came into the equation.  Most endurance athletes avoid the gym.  I was there at least twice a week to strengthen the muscles that had failed on me before.  I also had better supplements (water, electrolytes, gels, etc.) to carry with me on the course that would, hopefully, keep me going throughout the full 26.2 miles. 

Since I was familiar with the course and it was logistically desirable, I signed up for the 2016 Rock and Roll Marathon in New Orleans.  On February 28th at 7:30 am the gun went off.  I ran the race I had visualized almost flawlessly and crossed the finish line over six minutes ahead of schedule.  Oh happy day!!

Then it becomes a waiting game.  Once a potential qualifier gets their certification of completion, you have to send that form in with your Boston Marathon registration and hope you make the cut-off.  Those are very long months.  Finally, on September 19, 2016, my acceptance letter came in the mail and I told my wife we had made it.
This past April 17th, Patriot's Day in Boston, I got to run with (technically behind) the most elite marathoners in the world with the biggest fan base cheering me on.
I share this experience with to highlight things we already know.  Have goal, have a plan, have a support system and never give up.

Boston was such a great experience that I plan to go back in 2019.  Who wants to go with me??

Registration Now Open For the Following Events by PRA Partners:

October 7, 2017

November 12, 2017

February 3, 2018

September 16, 2017
June PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
June 6, 2017; 5:30 PM
Pensacola Sports Board Room
Meeting was called to order by President Gabriela Gasque Libbert at 5:30 pm. President Gabriela Gasque  welcomed everyone and roll call was taken.

Board Members in Attendance: Jennifer Taft, Steve Lipe, Heidi Lipe, Mark Rask, Michele Tierney, Brian Carter, Ashley Carter, Craig Henry, Jared Brandenburg, Gabriela Gasque, Lori Moore

Board Members Absent:  Jason Libbert, Lorenzo Aguilar, Craig Henry

Board Members Excused Absent: Jared Brandeburg (military commitment)

Guests in Attendance: Amanda Longoria, Karen Longoria, Tim Wenger, Sarah Jansen, Caleb Carmichael, and Anthony Malatesta

Previous Month's Minutes:  The minutes were not available for review.  They will be sent to the board via email for review and approval.  **Motion to approve via email by Jennifer T., second by Brian C..  The minutes were approved as submitted.

President's Report:  Gaby  G. addressed the board with her expectations for the coming year:
  • All board members need to be more involved in our races, most especially in our 3 large races (PBR, Fiesta and Seafood).  Encourage interaction with the racing community. 
  • All board members need to actively promote PRA in the community. 
  • Attend the Monday night interval training with Caleb at UWF.  Talk to participants.  Tell them why you have chosen to be a part of PRA.  
Vice President's Report: Steve L. stated that has has been reviewing the bylaws and will be presenting sections for discussion at upcoming board meetings:
  • The bylaws regarding membership renewal do not reflect our current practice since partnering with imATHLETE.  With imATHLETE, the member will be notified via email one day prior to their membership expiration.  If no action is taken, the member will again be notified via email the day after their renewal date of their now expired membership.  If no action is taken by the following day, the member will automatically be deleted from the list by imATHLETE.  For those members who did not list an email address Heidi will attempt to notify the member via telephone of their expiring status. 
  • The board must be made up of at least 10 members.  This criterion has been met.  Board members are to attend 9 out of 12 meetings per year.  Currently not all board members are meeting this criterion. 
  • Race Directors shall submit their proposed budget to the board 4 months prior to the event for approval.  Post-race event, the race director shall give an accounting of the race at the first board meeting following the race and a second (final) accounting of the race at the next board meeting.  This practice has not been followed for several years.  There was discussion and all agreed that race directors will adhere to this going forward. Benefits:
    • Allows PRA to plan for expenses in advance of an event.
    • Serves as a guideline for race directors when planning a race.
    • Ready reference for line item comparison of costs from year to year.
  • Duties of the officers and directors.
    • Shall make a commitment to PRA to attend 9 out of 12 board meetings.
    • Participate in the decision making process for PRA.
    • Commit to volunteering at as many races as possible especially PBR, Fiesta and Seafood Fest races.
Additional discussion was held on establishing a database of volunteers for events.  Lori M. and Brian C. will report back at the next board meeting regarding volunteers and how to best utilize them.  Heidi will send the list of those who have signed up in imATHLETE as a volunteer to Lori M. and Brian C.

Treasurers Report: Jennifer T. reported: 
  • The books for the Pensacola Beach Run (PBR) have officially closed.  The race was well attended and was profitable. 
  • The books for the Bay to Breakfast Run have closed.  This year's run surpassed all previous years in attendance and in profit margin. 
  • The Fiesta Race has not closed out as of this time.  It was noted that indications are that the race was profitable.
  • The upcoming Argo 5K and Don McCloskey Seafood Fest races both have negative balances at this time.  This is expected and will change as more people sign up for the respective races. 
  • Jennifer T. asked that all Race Directors include the cost of award quotes into their budget requests.  Race Directors will also be asked to keep a detailed accounting of race expenses.  This will aid in determining future race budgets. 
A motion was made by Mark R. and seconded by Lori M. to accept the financial report as offered.  The motion passed unanimously.  

Merchandise Report:   Mark R. reported that a merchandise order has been placed and it is hoped that items will be available to sell at the Social.  

Membership: Heidi L. reported that we currently have 890 paid members. That is up from 826 from the same time last month. Since the last membership social in July 2016 there were 233 members and we now are at 890. That reflects to a 282% increase over one year. Thanks to Heidi for her dedication to membership.

  • PRA Membership Run: Gabby G.: There was a good turnout.  Final numbers will be presented at the next meeting as well as the financial report.  Overall there were positive responses to the new venue for the event.  
  • Don McCloskey Seafood 5K: Michele T.: Permits have been obtained.  There are a few areas where assistance is needed; awards (Ashley has agreed to assist), packet pick-up (Amanda and Karen Longoria will assist) and food (volunteer is still needed).  
Heidi L. raised a question  regarding tracking the total number of race participants per race.  Currently those that sign-up at packet pick-up are not entered into the imATHLETE system therefore we do not have an accurate accounting of participants and their data with which to run reports.  Gaby G., Eric M., and Heidi L. will work to resolve this going forward.  

  • PRA Grant Program Applications: Checks have been delivered to the Pace High School Cross Country Team and to the Golden Elite Youth Track & Field Group.  The Pace High School Cross Country Coach will attend the Social for a ceremonial check presentation.  Mark has secured the oversized check that will be used. 
    • Ashley C. reported that per the grant each group must submit an outcome statement detailing how the grant money was used.  The deadline for submission of this information is August 4, 2017.  Ashley will share the received outcome statement reports at the August board meeting. 
    • There is one other group that has requested a grant.  At this time their application is incomplete.  Ashley has sent them notification. 
    • There have been no additional grant requests at this time.
  • Outreach: 
    • A local restaurant/bar has asked PRA to form a weekly running club at their establishment.  Gaby G. will obtain additional information and report back next month. 
    • Caleb C. will talk with a represetative to explore the possibility of offering singlets for sale through PRA.
    • Additions to the board.  Amanda Longoria, Karen Longoria, and Tim Wenger have all expressed interest in joining the PRA board.  A motion was made by Ashley and seconded by Jennifer to accept them as new members to the board.  The motion passed with 1 dissension.  
Meeting was adjourned at 7:00 PM.

All current PRA members are invited to the University of West Florida Track at 6:00 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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