The Rundown
March 27, 2017
In this Issue:
From the Top - Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K Call for Volunteers - 2017 Tri the Island Triathlon - History of the Pea Ridge Run Club - How they Train - February PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 
From the Top
By PRA President Jason Libbert

Hey Pensacola Runners!  

If you haven't noticed, the PRA board has been busy this year. We now have over 600 members, up from just over 200 this time last year! 

We've been trying hard to speak to potential members and be seen at local races. We've been sponsoring local run clubs, had a booth at the Double Bridge Run expo, had a post race booth at the Rock N Fly, and been recruiting more people to join. This is an exciting time for the PRA. 

Our races have grown along with our membership. The Pensacola Beach Run and the Bay to Breakfast races were up in registration and participation. Thank you for coming out and supporting the PRA!

It's about that time for us to get some new blood on the board, both as members and as officers. I would like to personally invite each of you to our next board meeting. If you can't make that, send me a note at if you are interested in joining this fun group. Any experience is welcome. The new board takes over in June. 

I hope to see you at our meeting or at the start line of our next race, the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K. Until next time, get active and run safe. 

Registr ation is Now Open For the Following PRA Events:

Recent Results from PRA and PRA Partner Events

Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K Call for Volunteers


We are still looking for a few folks to help out with the 2017   Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K, which will occur on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 7:30 AM.

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

2017 Tri the Island Triathlon
By Race Director Charles Gheen
In 2016 the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon Board of Directors decided to start a new race tailored to encourage athletes to run their first triathlon. The goal was to keep the entry fees very reasonable while putting on a high quality, very safe, "comfortable" and enjoyable event for newcomers to the sport. Another important goal was to conduct a great competition that would be very attractive to experienced triathletes. The Tri The Island Triathlon was born and it was very successful with over 350 athletes registered. The 2017 edition of this race will be at Pensacola Beach on June 10th.
The distances are a 300-yard swim (in Santa Rosa Sound), a 10-mile bike leg and a 2-mile run with a time trial start. The race had right at 100 "newbies" compete last year along with about 250 "alumni".  The veteran athletes raced hard, the first-timers had a great experience and there was an awesome medal, shirt and post-race party. The reviews of the event on social media and through emails were overwhelmingly positive.

As noted, the race will be on June 10th and registration is open at the bargain entry fee of $65. There will be extras for all and first-timers will get a special memento as well. The water will be warm, people will fully into their training and the temperatures will be fine with the race starting at 7 am.
So go to the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon Facebook page or the website and get all the details. Tell all your triathlon friends or any athletes you know who have been wanting to try their hand at multisport and join us! It's going to be an amazing event and you'll have a great time on beautiful Santa Rosa Island.

History of the Pea Ridge Run Club
By Lori Carter of the Pea Ridge Run Club


The Pea Ridge Run Club started as a group of 5 friends (Danny, Kenny, Lori, Mike, and Spook) walking/running a few nights a week in a neighborhood in Pea Ridge. The club was founded in August of 2009 and they participated in their first race, the Double Bridge Run, in the beginning of 2010. The club has grown beyond any of the expectations of the group, and has blossomed into a group of special running friends who welcome new comers of all levels. In the 8 years since its formation the club has seen a founder move to Michigan, where they starter their own running club. Sever members have moved as far away as North Carolina and some moved just down the road to Jacksonville. No matter where they move they are always members and sometimes even come back for their favorite races to run with the club.

For details on how to run with the Pea Ridge Run Club, please see the PRA's Weekly Group Runs page. 

How they Train
With Christopher Wise

Age  49

Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross country or track? Yes, I started in 7th grade and ran both CC and Track until my junior year of high school.  I had the same coach all five years and ran with many of the same guys.

How many years have you been running? 12 as a "born again" runner.  In August of 2005 I laced up a pair of running shoes for the first time since high school.  It was ONLY because I had signed up for a triathlon.  In June of 2005 I bought a bike in order to take a new approach to health and life as a response to very poor lifestyle choices.  Little did I know this would be pivotal for me in my health, as well as my athletics and even my social life.

Lifetime personal records: This is an odd one because I really didn't turn things up until my mid 40s.  I have recently reconnected with my old CC / Track coach.  When I shared what has been going on he told me I was a "late bloomer."  Kind of the story of my life, but I am still faster at 49 than I was at 17.  My coach and I will meet and run together for the first time in 30+ years this April when we run The Boston Marathon together, his first time doing so.
5k 18:55 / 10k 38:23 / 13.1 1:26:26 / 26.2 3:14:15 / 50k 5:20 / 50 Mile 10:22

Running Achievements for which you are Most Proud: The most meaningful was the Pensacola Marathon 11/9/2014.  August 15th of the same year I had a very serious bike crash that permanently took away two of my senses and left me with plenty of fractures and a pulmonary embolism five days later.  I took 22 days to wrap my brain around it all and heal.  On Sunday September 7th after church I laced up my running shoes for a 2 mile jog.  It was MAGICAL.  63 days later I put my toes on the line of the Pensacola Marathon and finished 3:18.  I knew I was back and could do anything I could do prior to the accident.  At the end I walked away from everyone and got very emotional.

What running events do you train for or what are your training goals? Anything less than a half marathon I just kind of wing it.  Halves, marathons and ultras are being done for some purpose or goal, so I will have specific train ups for those distances.  My next adventure will be a 100k trail run and later the 100 mile trail.  At that distance running is a relative term for me.  I will use a train up that compliments the selected race.

How Many Miles Do you typically run when not injured and consistently running?During the summer I spend many miles on my bike, so running is 20 to 28 miles a week.  But during the winter months the trails call me.  I LOVE trail running.  Therefore, the miles add up quick and can easily get to the 40+ mile mark when training for ultra distances.

What does your typical week of running look like? This applies to the winter when I hang up my bike.
  • Monday: Swim only
  • Tuesday:  Tempo around 5 to 8 miles
  • Wednesday:  Easy miles no more than 5 or 6 miles
  • Thursday: Tempo around 5 to 8 miles
  • Friday:  Swim only
  • Saturday: Long trail miles over 14
  • Sunday: Long road miles over 10
How does your training vary over the course of a year? Spring through fall I am a triathlete racing for Zarzaur Law supporting Gulf Coast Kids House and Favor House, so I am hitting all three disciplines.  However, for four months my bike gathers dust and I run.  This change up of cross training and adding trails has kept me injury free for the most part.  It also seems to help with burnout.  Swimming is consistent no matter what, it is a zero impact cardio workout and is good for the whole body.
Do you take recovery or down time?  I am not a fan of total off days.  As I age (50 in May) I have had to learn to respect the importance of recovery and tapers, so I take easy days or slower days.  As for whole days off, maybe one or two a month but no more.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? None, in the past year.  I have only had a few over the prior 11 years excluding the bike crash.  I may not take total down days but I do listen to my body when I need to back off a bit before I have to take off completely.

What type of running shoes do you prefer? Asics for the road and Salomon for trails.
Do you stretch?  Uh, next question...  I should more.  When I do it's slow controlled movements after I run.  I keep a trigger point ball in my car for the long drives.  It helps to sit on it and roll it around.  It has to look weird to the drivers next to me, but it seems to loosen up the piriformis and hamstrings and that's all that matters.  However I am big on ice baths for 15 minutes anytime I ride for more than three hours or run more than 90 minutes.  They are HORRIBLE but I swear by them.

What are your favorite running routes? Just about anything with dirt and a little water.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else? I have tried so many things but ultimately the best learning has come from trial and error.  Listen to your body, it will tell you what it likes.  There is NO silver bullet.  We live in a community of all levels of athletes, and  I like to pick the brains of the ones who have been successfully competing for years.  I like to look at things with an open mind and experiment. 

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training? Make sure it's fun.  Go slow and build up easily.  Set goals and have races on your calendar.  Volunteer at events and give back to the community.  This community is incredible and we are fortunate to call it home.  If you support it, it will support you back.  Have good training buddies.  Regularly train with faster people that will push you.  Don't be afraid to fail.

I'd like to leave with thanking my family for the support I have been shown over the years.  I am fortunate to have them and the best training partners on the gulf coast.  We are all lucky to live in a supportive and energetic community conducive to this lifestyle.  Thank you for asking me to participate in this interview.

Registration Now Open For the Following Events by PRA Partners:
February PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2016; 5:30 PM
Pensacola Sports Board Room
Meeting was called to order by Vice President Austin Adkison at 5:30 pm. President Jason Libbert  welcomed everyone and roll call was taken.

Board Members in Attendance:  Austin Adkison, Jennifer Taft, Steve Lipe, Heidi Lipe, Mark Rask, Michele Tierney, Brian Carter, Ashley Carter, Craig Henry

Guests in Attendance: Caleb Carmichael, Gabriela Gasque

Previous Month's Minutes:  Minutes from the January 2017 Board of Directors Meeting were read and a motion to accept was made by Mark R. and seconded by Craig H. Motion passed.

President's Report:  Austin A. relayed information from President Jason L. He said that the information for the PRA Grant was submitted to the Pensacola News Journal and the article will be in the 2/22/17 edition. Gulf Coast Tri is having packet pickup at their store for the Xterra event and they were wondering if the PRA was interested in setting up their tent at the store to hand out membership information as well as answer any other PRA related questions. 

Vice President's Report: Austin A. had nothing new to report.

Treasurers Report:  Jennifer T. reported that everything was up to date and that the final profit for last years Christmas Dash was $2400.00. Motion was made by Gabriela G. and seconded by Michele T. to approve the treasurers report. Motion was approved. 

Membership: Heidi L. reported that membership from Jan was 540 and in Feb it was 651. That is up another 17.1%. She reported that the January social had good feedback and that there was also good merchandise sales.

  • Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon & 10K/5K: Eric Miller sent a report and he thanked all of the volunteers. He said that there were 1153 people registered and 1007 racers participated. 
  • Bay to Breakfast 8K Cross County Challenge: Gabby G. reported that the Bay To Breakfast was all set to go. She said that to date it is the best turnout with 147 registered at meeting time
  • Fiesta of Five Flags 10K & 5K: Fiesta 5k currently has 212 people registered and Shannon Kohler is still looking for volunteers.
  • Pea Ridge Run Club: Michele T. said that Pea Ridge Running Club was having their weekly run on Thursday 2/23/17 at 6:30pm. The PRA is providing food and drink for the club at Blackwater Bistro. She also wanted to encourage board members and all members to volunteer for PRA events.
  • Gulf Breeze Race: Ashley C. said that Gulf Breeze High School is having a 5k for a student with cancer, (Josh Lucas). She was wanting the PRA to promote this event thru the Rundown and any other means of social media. 
Meeting was adjourned at 6:34 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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