The Rundown
June 21, 2017
In this Issue:
From the Top - Argonaut 5K Call for Volunteers - Pensacola Seafood Festival Don McCloskey 5K Call for Volunteers - From the Vice President - How they Train - Mere Mortals Kicks off its 20th Season - May PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 
July PRA Board of Directors Meeting: 
5:30 PM, July 11, 2017, Pensacola Sports Conference Room

From the Top
By PRA President Gabriela Gasque

This is my first publication as President and I would love you to get to know me better.

Probably the most important thing you should know is that I love running and feel extremely passionate about the sport.

It is a real honor for me to be a part of the Pensacola Runner's Association, and to help in such a great running community. I have been a runner all my life but I have never encountered a place that gave so much support to runners. There are running clubs basically every single day of the week in both the mornings and afternoons. All local businesses are eager to pitch in and promote a healthier community. You can also find running trails easily accessible and free for everybody. I am part of a running group on Facebook and when people move to other places they keep talking about our running community, how hard it has been to find a running partner, and how much they miss the support. I think that is something we should all be proud of!

I have been touched by a great group of good-hearted people that are always eager to support any type of event in the community, especially sports related. I felt I had to be part of that and be involved and try to make it a great experience not only for those that have been running for a long time but for those that want to start having a healthier life style. They are the ones who inspire me more and motivate me after all the hard work to set up a race.

Back to introducing myself I have been a runner for 30 plus years, I am a veteran, a seeded athlete, or however you want to call it. The truth is I have been running for years and found in running a great way to let out much of my anger, frustrations, set myself goals, work to reach them and feel excited and happy every time I beat myself. Running is in fact cheaper than therapy and believe me it works.

I will work hard to make sure that this is a great year for our association. We have some new board members that I am sure will bring many new things to the table and I am really excited about it. I am sure we will surprise you with some things we are planning for the near future.

I have heard a lot of suggestions and I will really try to make them happen. Just remember, a great idea also needs support and we need you, please get with us and volunteer. Our races would never happen without people like you! We will also try to contribute more to promote the sport in the younger generations and we have some exciting plans for them too.
Next month I will introduce you all my board members, a group of dedicated, selfless people that are only trying to make our community a better and more exciting place to live.


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@

From the Vice President
By PRA Vice President Steve Lipe

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Steve Lipe. I  am the current Vice President of the PRA for the 2017/2018 year . I am a  Racewalker and have competed in over 70 events. I have been  a board member since 2010 have had the privilege  and to serve under all honorable Presidents, including Laura Harris, Lewis Reddoch, Charles Gheen, Eric Miller, Jason Libbert, and now our new President, Gabriele Gasque. The PRA has made tremendous strides each year, and this past year we increased our membership almost 300%, adding over 650 new members. We also started a Grant program which is just one of the ways we can continue to "give back to the community". We have an online merchandise store as well as in person items for sale.

Giving back is a large part of what we do as an organization. It takes dedication by all of our volunteers who help with each race and event, to make it the best it can be. The PRA is a 100% volunteer organization. We not only rely on our m embers to help but we also have been fortunate to be able to elicit help from our local military. Without their numbers it would be difficult to get thru our larger events. The PRA sponsors three large races each year as well as smaller races and trail runs. The Big 3 are The Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon & 10K/5K, The Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K, and the Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5k. Each race requires a large contingent of dedicated volunteers. Help is sought from the board members and ANY other member who would like to be involved. Anyone who is willing to put in even a small amount of time is always welcome. If you have ever volunteered for a race there is no better satisfaction than when a participant thanks you for your time and effort.  Get involved if you can, and if you are doing the race, don't forget to thank the volunteers.

Race Behavior and Etiquette

I've touched on some of these points before, but every now and then, especially with so many new members, a refresher is nice. We have a great Running and Walking community here in Pensacola and the surrounding areas. A large majority of our race participants are competitive in either Running or Racewalking. They train equally hard for each event in order to hone their skills for their specific specialty. Others who participate do so for the health benefits of exercise, fresh air, and just being with friends and others who share a like interest. All that being said, here are a few "suggestions". This applies to both Runners and Walkers.

If you are not "the fastest kid on the block", don't start at the front of the line. This can cause congestion for the better runners. Line up with "like" runners. If you are a walker, stay towards the back unless there is a staggered/delayed start and then line up, once again with "like" walkers.

Be honest with yourself and others. If you register to be a walker, then ONLY walk. If you think you might run a little and walk a little, then sign up as a runner. We have a great group of competitive walkers. They all train hard to compete to the best of their ability. It is very frustrating when someone accepts an award that was not legitimately earned. **Be honest with yourself and others.

Don't block the road. If you are a slower runner or walker, please move over to the side so the faster ones can get by. There are many people who prefer to walk and they come with other friends. We encourage this and we want as many people out there as we can get. If you are a walker/talker, be aware of others around you. Don't create a "fence" on the road. Pair up and form a column to the right side of the road.
Don't block the water stops. If you are tired and want to rest, get off the road so others can transition smoothly thru the station.

Don't stop dead at the finish. Go all the way thru as others will be right behind you. This is for your safety and others behind you.
If you finish early, don't hog all of the food and drink. The larger races have many people and some will finish much later than others. If there is extra when all have finished, by all means help yourself.

Try to stay for all of the awards. There are times if you are a walker in the last category, there is hardly anyone still there. They have been there for the big winners as well as others so give them their due respect. Cheer for them as you would any other winners.

Prep Tips...DON't wear the event shirt for the race. Wait until after, plus, it's untested equipment. I've mentioned this before. Don't wear anything or eat/drink anything you haven't tried in training. Nothing worse than starting to blister or chaffe with ill fitting clothes, or becoming sick/or otherwise, with food you haven't tried before.  HYDRATE!!! First and foremost this is very important. This should start a few days before the race. Don't try to drink so much just before you head out. This can lead to very uncomfortable results. Regardless of weather, always hydrate. You may not feel like you need it when it is cooler, but your body needs fluids in all weather.

The main thing we all want to encourage is to have fun. It's a great place to see old friends and also to meet new ones. 

...and remember..."Don't Look Back, You've Already Been There"

How they Train
With Austin Adkison


Age  25

Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross country or track?  No 
How many years have you been running?  20 overall, 7 competitively

Lifetime personal records: 5:43 Mile, 18:57 5K (at PRA Intervals), 42:55 10K, 1:33:08 Half Marathon, 3:57 Marathon, 9:06 50 Mile 

Running Achievements for which you are Most Proud: 
  • Deer Dodge 50 miler 2015 - First ultramarathon and first overall win!
  • Deer Dodge 50 miler 2016 - Gave up a win and joined the DNF club because my body started to shut down. I listened to my body and did what was best for me in the long run instead of being greedy.
  • Dealing with undereating and not letting it effect my training or performance in the long term. This is probably my proudest achievement as an athlete.
What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?   Shorter events in the spring and summer (5ks, 10ks) and longer distances in the Fall (marathons and ultras). I would like to qualify for Boston in the future, and would also like to race Western States 100, Leadville, and Barkley Marathon.

How Many Miles Do you typically run when not injured and consistently running? It depends on what I'm training for. I try to supplement miles with cross-training (cycling, and swimming). When I introduced both of these sports into my weekly activities I noticed a remarkable difference in my running performance. Cycling helps strengthen the legs without the pounding that you do when running, and swimming helps stretch out and loosen up after hard workouts.

What does your typical week of running look like?  I'm between training cycles right now, so I'm doing what I want for a few more weeks while still holding a solid base. This is a week from my training last September when I was gearing up for Fall races.
  • Monday: 2 miles easy in morning and core work, PRA speed work at night, foam roll and stretch 
  • Tuesday:  Afternoon swim and strength training (warm up run, lift, cool down run)
  • Wednesday: West Florida Wheelmen group ride
  • Thursday: Afternoon swim, hour to hour and a half of trail running
  • Friday:  Strength training in the morning, easy bike ride at night
  • Saturday: 15 mile long run with rolling and stretching afterwards
  • Sunday: Mere Mortals, swim as I feel in the afternoon
How does your training vary over the course of a year? Warmer months (April to August) are focused on shorter distances and working on speed to take advantage of cooler months to come. Cooler months (September to March) are focused on longer distances.

Do you take recovery or down time?  Yes, I usually try to take active recovery days and stretch/roll and either swim or cycle. Occasionally I will take a day totally off to let my body recover. If something starts to bother me then I will drop mileage and focus more on resting and recovering in order to stave off injury.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? No real injuries, just minor hip tightness due to neglecting stretching and rolling. 
What type of running shoes do you prefer?  I like Topos for trails in order to get a closer more natural feel, and Hokas for the roads in order to lower the impact that my body takes.

Do you stretch?  Yes! I do a dynamic stretching routine before and then after a workout. I will also foam roll and stretch, and try to do yoga a few times a week.

What are your favorite running routes?  For roads I like running the Bayou loop (9-10 miles), Veteran's park to Barrancas country club (~11 miles), the airport loop (7 miles), and a loop I've designed for myself around UWF campus (5+ miles). 
For trails I like to run the Games loop off of Pate road, or run from UWF boardwalk.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?  Use those around you as resources. There is always someone more knowledgeable than you that is most likely willing to pass that knowledge on to you. Keep a running journal. I like to use the TP Therapy YouTube page to find spots to foam roll when something is bothering me. Also, PRA speed work on Monday nights at 6 pm at UWF track! Shout out to Caleb Carmichael for doing a great job on getting people race ready! 

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training? Be patient. Results don't come over night and while you might not meet your goals for that racing season, you are still building up a foundation that may very well payoff in the next season. As one of my best friends told me recently when I wasn't excited about my performance at a race "You might not have run your best race today, but you ran your best race for the day." So don't let poor performances get you down, learn from them. Even the best athletes have off race days.

Mere Mortals Kicks off its 20th Season
By Tom Henderson of Tri Gulf Coast

In 1996, Ann Knight and Janet Boylan organized the first Santa Rosa Island Triathlon. After seeing all the new triathletes struggling learn the sport on their own, they put together a traiing group the following summer, and Janet came up with "Mere Mortals" as the name for that group. 

Twenty years later, the Mere Mortals group had continued that effort to help new triathletes prepare for their first event, and has grown along with the popularity of the sport. Early sessions of the Mere Mortals were informal gatherings that provided group training and a place for newbies to ask questions, and attendance ranged from 15-30 athletes. Over the years, the group has grown in participants, sponsors, equipment, and in many other ways! It is now just as popular with experienced triathletes, who show up to train alongside the new folks and say that they thrive on the enthusiasm they display.

One of the first tasks taken on by Tri Gulf Coast after the club formed was management of this group. Under TCG, what was once an informal gathering has morphed into a group training session with expert speakers, open water swims with a water safety team, biking and running on the same course as SRI Tri, and in groups that sometimes exceed 200 participants! Our training culminates in a full distance practice race which duplicates the SRI Tri course, enabling participants to be completely prepared for that race. The practice race even includes full race timing support from sponsor Gulf Sport Timing!

If you've considered trying the sport out, there isn't a better group training opportunity to be had! The training is free, but does require that you join Tri Gulf Coast ($45 annual membership) for insurance purposes. It's amazing what can be provided at such a low cost when you have an enthusiastic all volunteer staff running on the program. We look forward to sharing the benefits Mere Mortals with you, including:
  • Expert speakers on all aspects of the sport
  • Training in a safety-focused group setting
  • Group open water swims with water safety team
  • Full transition area, just like in a race!
  • Biking on Pensacola Beach with cyclists with a wide range of experience and pace
  • Running the SRI Tri run course in a group with water stop
  • Free food and sports drink for your recovery
We're already a few sessions in for 2017, but you're welcome to join us at any time, so you haven't missed your chance yet! Hope to see you there! 

For more info, check out our website!

Registration Now Open For the Following Events by PRA Partners:

October 7, 2017

November 12, 2017

February 3, 2018
May PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
May 16, 2017; 5:30 PM
Pensacola Sports Board Room
Meeting was called to order by President Jason Libbert at 5:27 pm. President Jason Libbert  welcomed everyone and roll call was taken.

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

Guests in Attendance: Caleb Carmichael, Michael Bowen

Previous Month's Minutes:  Minutes from the April PRA Board of Directors Meeting were presented for approval. A motion to approve was made by Jared B. and seconded by Gabby G. Motion was approved. 

President's Report:  This was Jason L.'s last meeting as President as Gabriela G. will be taking over beginning in July. He will stay on as past president as an advisor and help with the transition. Jason listed his accomplishments as president this past year as: rebooting the merchandise part of the PRA both on site and on line, PRA sponsored different running clubs throughout the year at their weekly runs which helped increase our membership, weekly interval training at UWF by Coach Caleb is still running well, a grant program was initiated, race entries were up 24%, membership is up, there is a December Social as well as the June social, the PRA is putting more support for UWF with the annual Argonaut 5k, an inventory of supplies and equipment was done and everything is in order and up to date.  The new officers for the 2017-2018 year will be: 
  • President: Gabriela G.
  • Vice President: Steve L. 
  • Treasurer: Jennifer T.
  • Assistant Treasurer: Open
  • Secretary: Open 
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Lori M. and Brian C. 
  • Equipment Manager: Open 
  • Membership Coordinator: Open. Heidi L. resigned that position. 
Vice President's Report: Gabby G. reported on the upcoming membership run. The shirts are ready, awards are in transit, security at UWF is on board, the trail is ready (4 miles). Gabby G. will be taking care of getting the food and awards. Packet pick up will be Lori M. and Gabby G. There are currently 178 registered participants. The race will start at 7:30am. Parking will be in Lot E on the UWF campus.

Treasurers Report:  Jennifer T. reported that all past 2017 PRA race accounts were current with monies coming in for upcoming events, including the 2018 Pensacola Beach Run. 

Merchandise Report:  Mark R. reported that the on line store went live on 5/15/2017 and will be up for two weeks. 

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.

  • Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K: The recap for the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K will be presented at the June PRA board of directors Meeting.
  • PRA Membership Run: Gabby G. reported on the upcoming membership run. The shirts are ready, awards are in transit, security at UWF is on board, the trail is ready (4 miles). Gabby G. will be taking care of getting the food and awards. Packet pick up will be Lori M. and Gabby G. There are currently 178 registered participants. The race will start at 7:30am. Parking will be in Lot E on the UWF campus.
  • PRA Grant Program Applications: Ashley C. reported there were two eligible requests, one from Golden Elite Trach Club and Pace High School Cross Country. Golden Elite was discussed first and it was decided to donate $364.75. A motion was made by Brian C. to accept this amount. It was seconded by Mark R. and the motion was approved. Pace HS was next and after discussion it was decided to donate $3600.00. Motion by Brian C. to accept this amount and seconded by Mark R. Motion approved.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:19 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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