PRA photo
Issue: # 40
April  2014
In This Issue
From the Top
Fiesta 10K/5K
PRA Events/News
Paddle For A Cure
Beach Blast Report
Officers/Board Needed
Healthy Lives
TriGulf Coast

Mission of the PRA

The Mission of the Pensacola Runners Association is 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 non- competitive runners and walkers of all ages, races, genders and abilities.


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From The Top


By Lewis Reddoch 


Hello Fellow PRA Members!

Our Fiesta 10K/5K is just days away. Be sure you're signed up or volunteering for this, our 40th Fiesta. Trust me, you do not want miss this one. The 2014 Lou Gregory Award will be presented during the awards ceremony following the race. Our friends at the Fiesta of Five Flags will have the Crawfish Festival afterwards so you can make a day of it. The Bear Lake Trail Run is just around the corner so make your plans now to be there too. Runners generally are a friendly and sociable bunch so enjoy these two races and the fellowship.

We are quite fortunate to have the greater Pensacola area as our "runner's playground". We have trails at UWF, NAS, Milton and Navy Pointe. We have the Downtown Historic District, Bayfront Parkway, and the Maritime Park for city runs. The beaches and Gulf Islands National Seashore systems provide beautiful places to run and walk. Do you have a favorite place to run or walk? Let us know where you enjoy running and we will share it in the Rundown.

One of my favorite runs is Johnson Beach on Perdido Key. This Gulf Islands National Seashore park is very runner-friendly. You can park at the pavilions just past the entrance to the park. The road is situated between the Gulf and the Intercoastal Waterway with great views of both. The route is framed by beautiful sand dunes and sea oats along the way. It's 4.22 miles (by the Garmin) to the turnaround and back to the parking lot. Runners and walkers share the road with traffic, but drivers are usually courteous and cautious. For your cool-down the elevated nature trail takes you to the waters edge on the sound side. The park service offers a 12 month pass for $25 and it's good at Fort Pickens as well. Feel free to tell us about your favorite place to run and send some pictures. Just email me!

Thanks to all of our volunteers. We received a lot of emails from you asking to volunteer for the Fiesta Run. It's great to see our members engage and be proactive. If you are on the fence about volunteering try it, you'll  be glad you did.

Enjoy your Rundown and I'll see you at Fiesta,



Sorry for the huge headline with all the exclamation marks, BUT the 40th Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K is here.  Online registration has closed with well over 1000 runners and walkers already in the race.  We guaranteed race shirts through March 31st, but all those are now taken.
SO, if you want to participate in this great and historic event, you'll need to go to the "new" Academy Sports on Davis Highway for Packet Pickup/Late Registration on Friday, May 2nd, from noon until 7 PM to register.  Remember, all registered 10K runners will receive the 2nd in a series of five commemorative medals after crossing the Finish line.  This year, the French flag is highlighted on the medal.

Also, you will receive free admission to the Fiesta of Five Flags Crawfish Festival with your bib.  So, come on out this Saturday, have a great race, a great party and then get in without charge to the Crawfish Festival. 
PRA Events And
Other Race News

The Bear Lake 4 Mile Trail Challenge will be held on May 17th and will feature a classic trail run course along with a fun cookout.  Race Directors Angelika Cope and Diane Martinez are preparing for another great outdoor experience at this race.  This event serves as the PRA's annual meeting and the new Officers and Board of Directors will be elected at the awards ceremony.
Bear Lake 4 Mile Trail Challenge
The PRA Gary McAdams Sandshaker 5K Run is on Pensacola Beach again this year on June 21st. This race benefits the Gary McAdams Scholarship Fund which is used to award scholarships to outstanding scholar-athletes in area high schools.  The race is know as fast, flat and fun with great scenery on Santa Rosa Island.  There will be an outstanding post-race celebration at the Sandshaker.
Gary McAdams 5K Run On Pensacola Beach 

St. John's Sunset Run (Navy Point in Warrington) 5:30 PM May 10th

The PRA website, complete with race calendar, race results and individual PRA event pages is at  
We Want to Publish Your Pictures!
Please send us your photos from running and racing in the area for inclusion in the upcoming editions of The Rundown.  Send comments, suggestions of articles to:
Five-time Double Bridge Run Champ Jennifer Hanley-Pinto Finishes The 2014 Boston Marathon
Perry Palmer and Mindi Straw At Boston

Paddle For A Cure

Hold on, this is a running/walking newsletter, why "paddling"?

We love ALL forms of exercise and, as a not-for-profit organization, we also love great causes.  The same day (May 3rd) as the Fiesta 10K/5K, there is a great event at Pensacola Beach that offers you the opportunity to ride a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), enjoy a great party at the beach, maybe win some of the LOTS of giveaways and contribute to a very worthy cause.

Paddle For A Cure Registration
Paddle For A Cure was originated by Fitness Onboard founder Cindi Bonner and her friend Heather Depew to raise funds for cancer research and a cure.  It's garnered over $60,000 thus far and each event has been tons of fun.  More information is available at Fitness Onboard Paddle For A Cure.

Some Of The Items You Could Win

Beach Blast Triathlon/Duathlon Race Report

Beach Blast Swim Leg

Twice a year an eclectic event called the Beach Blast is held in Mexico Beach east of Panama City.  If you have not been over to the Mexico Beach/Port St. Joe/Cape San Blas/Apalachicola area, you are missing out on "old" Florida.  It's quaint and like stepping back in time.  There is new construction, but there are a lot of the old beach houses that look like the cinder block structures that have been disappearing from Pensacola Beach for decades. There also a lot of "Mom and Pop" businesses.
Paula Smyth Won 1st Place In Her Age Group 
Beach Blast consists of four events: an Olympic distance triathlon and duathlon (run-bike-run) and a sprint distance triathlon and duathlon.  Competitors come from all over the southeast to participate in this extravaganza.  The bike is probably the most interesting leg in each of the four races in that you cycle west on US 98 for almost a mile and then turn right onto a county road that features logging trucks while you are riding. After riding north for miles and over a challenging bridge, you loop back and return to the transition area.
Susie Thompson and Alice Gerold Each Won 2nd Place In Their Age Groups
This year's event had many athletes who had traveled from the Pensacola-Gulf Breeze-Milton area and they won a large share of the awards. The race is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event and is well-organized. More information is available at Beach Blast Triathlon/Duathlon

Jackie Brown Won 1st Place In Her Age Group
Officers/Board Members Needed For PRA
The Pensacola Runners Association is looking for a few good women and men.  We have a couple of openings on the Board of Directors for board members and one officer position (Vice-President) is open as well.  Yes, it can be some work, but it's also an opportunity to be a member of a great team performing a valuable mission for Northwest Florida. If you are interested, please contact Lewis Reddoch at or Charles Gheen at 



by Corey Dell



I started my crossfit journey in September of 2013.  It was a transition for me because I had recently "broken up" with my personal trainer to save a little extra cash.  I was apprehensive at first because I've always been told crossfit is a cult and they eat like cavemen.  What I found that day is the complete opposite of what I've been told. 

 At Alpha Omega Performance I met an incredibly friendly, helpful staff who pushed me harder than I've ever been pushed before.  Since starting crossfit I'm the strongest I've ever been and I've actually decreased my mile time significantly.  I've also decreased my times on my endurance running as well.  I'm not the fastest runner, but that's HUGE for me, especially considering I'm an active member in the triathlon community. 

Besides increasing my strength and decreasing my run time, I've gained a lot more than that, including many new friendships.  What I like at Alpha Omega Performance, is they have fitness classes geared for children, adolescents, and adults.  It doesn't matter if you're new to crossfit, new to any kind of physical fitness, if you're older, overweight or if you're the picture of good health.

Accountability is huge here.  If I miss out a few days, it's often followed by a text asking where I've been.  Miss out on a few days at an ordinary gym, no one knows the difference.  The biggest misconception about crossfit is that you have to be able to do a pull up, a push up, and lift incredibly heavy amounts of weight in order to succeed.  Guess what?  Everything is modifiable.  I'm in the profession where it doesn't matter if you run, do crossfit, Zumba, or yoga, as long as you move!  I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new this month.  Who knows you may actually enjoy it!!             

Corey Dell From Healthy Lives




Chris Hicks


If You Want To Play You Have To Pay


 My disclaimer up front is that of I know I will anger a few people out there.  Don't wait for an apology, it's not coming.  I will say though, that is not my intention at all.  It is merely to get people to think about what they do and understand the impact.


In the last year I have been in two races whereby a bandit or bandits had a direct impact on my day.  The first was when two of them went through the finishers' chute and horsed up the scoring.  This caused a long delay for which everyone that wanted to see results had to wait an extra 20 to 30 minutes.  The race director was furious and pointed out what happened.  The offenders did not stick around for the after party while we all waited.  Most recently at The Double Bridge Run a young man talked crap and seemed to intentionally step in front of me twice at water stops.  All that is fine, it's racing.  But what I noticed in a picture at the end was that he had no bib.  Now that changed everything.  All of this is certainly personal and gave me the idea for this column but writing about it is a much broader scope.


Webster's definition of a bandit is "an outlaw who lives by plunder" and a "robber".  The slang definition in the running world is that of someone running a race without a number or "bib".  I have heard people justify it, provide excuses or in their eyes make it acceptable.  The following are some of the most popular reasons.


I'm pacing someone else. - If it's so important to have a pacer then let the person you are pacing pay your entry.


The race was sold out. - Really?  Caps are there for several reasons.  When it's full it's full.


Not everyone that DID pay will show up. Race directors know there is a certain percentage of this and that is figured into registration caps and costs.


I won't take any water.  This is one of my favorites because I have never seen someone without a bib pass every single water stop during or after the race.


One more person really doesn't matter.  Often an excuse for many facets in life for which there is never just one.  Enough said.


Putting on a race has both fixed and variable costs.  Fixed costs are permits, barricades, timing company fees, permits, advertising, police and did I mention permits?  Variable costs are those more closely related to that of the number of runners expected on course such as bibs, t-shirts, finisher medals, on-course support and finish line support.  Race directors have to operate under a budget and that starts with determining the entry fee and projected number of athletes to be on course.  The costs must fit under the expected number of paid entries.


Racing without a bib very simply means a runner is taking advantage of all items mentioned above without paying for them.  Fellow athletes are picking up the tab for a bandit's transgressions.  Furthermore it sends a message to spectators and other athletes that it's ok to do.  Then the issue begins to grow.


But don't take my word for it.  I checked in with Paul Epstein, owner of Running Wild and local Race Director.  I asked him for a brief take on race bandits.  This was his reply.


"The real issue with bandit runners is that they're actually stealing from those who paid to enter the event.  The argument that anyone can run on streets that are paid for by tax payers is not valid during an organized event.  The streets for the event are controlled by law enforcement paid for by the event participants.  There are so many other reasons that running as a bandit is wrong ranging from safety to courtesy it's impossible to list them all."


In the end a race entry is small in comparison to a pair of shoes, clothing and nutrition.  It's not much to ask to pay for participation in a race for which big or small requires plenty of work.


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