PRA photo
Issue: # 36
December  2013
In This Issue
From the Top
Pensacola Beach Run
Jim Harrington Award
Christmas Dash
Healthy Lives
TriGulf Coast
Dom Risola IMFL
Membership Renewal

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 



Welcome Pensacola Runners

Can you believe that 2014 is knocking on the door? This has been a terrific year for the sport of running and walking. We have embraced great times with the success of the Pensacola Beach Run, the Fiesta 10K/5K and many more PRA events.  We had a fabulous membership social and our membership has grown.  We collectively mourned the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  We have encouraged and supported members who have overcome adversities and kept on running. We have a brand-new website that is light years ahead of the old one.  Check it out soon at our same URL of  There you will find lots of information, pictures and our popular race calendar.

Be sure that you register or volunteer for the Pensacola Beach Run on January 11th.  How unique is it to run a Half Marathon or a "pick your distance" 10K/5K on beautiful Santa Rosa Island?  I promise you that you don't want to miss this one.  The Jim Harrington Award will be presented as well as the Grand Prix awards.  NOW is the time if you wish to nominate someone for the Harrington Award.

Thank you so much to all of our members.  If you are not current in your dues, please renew now.  We are a non-profit organization that gives back to the community in many ways, so your support is monumental.

Please enjoy your Rundown and be safe out there.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!


The Pensacola Beach Run (PBR)
Has A Christmas Eve Discount For You!

The Pensacola Beach Run is the original Half Marathon on Pensacola Beach, is produced by your local Pensacola Runners Association (PRA) and also offers challenging, scenic 10K and 5K races.  Add in a great long-sleeved, technical race shirt and great Finishers' medals for the Half Marathon and it's going to be AWESOME!

To sweeten the deal on this outstanding event, the Race Directors (Eric Miller and Jehan Clark) are offering you 10% off the already inexpensive entry fees through December 24th.  That's correct, this offer expires at midnight on Christmas Eve and is found here: PBR 10% Discount Deal

Half Marathon Finishers' Medal
So, hurry and register for this great race (January 11th is coming soon) - you'll be glad you did because it's going to be a great experience!
Jim Harrington Award
Nominations Due NOW!
It is time to wrap up the nominations for the Jim Harrington Award.  The PRA established this award to honor a runner (or walker) who has overcome physical adversity and returned to exercise and their normal activities through running/walking.  If you have a suitable nominee, please email Lewis at  The award will be presented at the Pensacola Beach Run on January 11th.
 PRA Christmas Dash
Each year the PRA holds a 1 mile fun run just ahead of the downtown Christmas Parade on Palafox Street.  This year there were almost 200 participants including 61 from Ferry Pass Elementary School.  Ferry Pass won a nice cash prize for having the most runners and a great time was had by all. Much thanks to Race Director Susi Lyon for a fun event!

Cold Weather Running Gear


by Corey Dell




It has reached that time of year where the temperature can be very fickle. Lately, it has been 68 degrees one day and 38 degrees the next, which can be frustrating when trying to stick to your regular workout routine. Here are a few tidbits before you head out the door on your running journey.


Most importantly, pay attention to the temperature. Wardrobe mishaps can often happen just because we do not pay attention to the weather outside. If the temperatures are frigid, dress in thin, warm clothing. The preferred form of clothing will be items that contain polypropylene, which removes sweat from your body, while cotton has a tendency to hold on to sweat.


Did you know that 40% of your body heat is lost through your head? So don't forget to cover it up.  Also, do not overdress. It is great to dress in layers, but once your body starts moving, you will definitely warm up. 


Finally, it is very important to remember your hydration. The misconception is that I do not need to drink water because I am not sweating.  This is completely false. Hydration is important for all body functions. Dehydration can cause exhaustion, muscle fatigue and cramps, no matter what the temperature is outside. So, have a happy holiday and tis' the season to be healthy from the Healthy Lives Team!!

Corey Dell From Healthy Lives



Strength In Confidence


By Alex Bell



So many people tend to focus on the physical aspect of endurance sports.  We set out training schedules, log our volume and intensity, and proudly display medals commemorating our accomplishments.  All are tangible things that when boiled down represent our physical strengths and their journey of improvement.  Rightfully so, this tendency leads people to think that out on a race course, the strongest athletes are the ones that finish at the front of the pack.  However, more and more people are becoming aware that the mental aspect of training and racing is just as important as the physical aspect.


As a triathlete I've been self-diagnosed as having a type-A personality, and starting out in the sport I took everything as a competition.  Training runs were all hard, bike rides

were redlined efforts, and swims... well they sucked.  

Needless to say my recovery between workouts was poor, which led to infrequent workouts and frequent injury.  Then one day I heard the words that changed it all, "your easy is too hard and your hard is too easy".  

When you're out in a race it can be hard to convince yourself that there's an extra gear sitting there for you to use, but training sessions that push your upper boundary can teach you what is really possible.  The harder part is convincing yourself that the best plan of action is to go easy more often, when your competitive nature is telling you that always going hard is the way to get faster.  

I'm not saying that threshold and speed work should be thrown out; they're important parts of a well-rounded training plan that will keep you from having only one speed. I'm saying that every run shouldn't be a tempo run, and that day to day you shouldn't be trying to get a personal best.

The fact of the matter is that proper training is a process, and trusting that process for the first time (or even second time) takes a bit of confidence, but will allow you to reach your potential.  It takes a mentally strong athlete to be confident in that process and even to this day I find myself swallowing my own medicine when I start to overdo my training.


So what does this all really mean? First, you have to accept that overnight success doesn't happen for the general population in endurance sport. Secondly, the vast majority of your training should be conversational efforts - if you can't talk to your running buddy because you're out of breath then slow it down.  That cute runner coming the other way can't tell the difference in your pace and neither can the cars on the busy road you run along.  


Just know that while running the appropriately slow pace won't in and of itself make you faster, you will have the opportunity to run more, and THAT will make you faster.  If you keep getting injured or burn out, try dialing it back. Listen to your body when it says it doesn't like what you're doing.


So next time you're at a race remember that while the front of the pack may be finishing the fastest, there's plenty of strong athletes in the rest of the pack.

Dom Risola Triumphs

At Ironman Florida


by Charles Gheen


The suffering in the Ironman World Championship at Kailua Kona, Hawaii has made a vivid impression on many millions of television viewers over the years. There are the amazing and legendary successes as well, but always there is the suffering as the athletes struggle against the heat, the wind and the unyielding distance of 140.6 miles.


It starts with 2.4 miles of open-water swimming followed by 112 miles of bicycling and THEN you run a marathon (26.2 miles). Even the professional athletes struggle against this daunting test. It's a race of endurance and survival as the competitors experience a variety of mental, physical and emotional challenges. The Ironman courses around the globe vary in swimming conditions, temperature, altitude, terrain, wind and humidity, but they all have two principal things in common - the distance and the suffering.


Ironman Florida in Panama City Beach is thought to be one of the "easier" ironman courses. The Gulf of Mexico usually cooperates with very swimmable conditions, the bike and run courses are flat and the weather conditions are usually moderate in early November. At 6:45 AM on Saturday November 2nd, Gulf Breeze's Dom Risola stood on the shoreline in the midst of 3200 other athletes listening to announcements and waiting for the national anthem to be played.

Dom (who was 39 years old on race day) had moved to Northwest Florida in 2008 with his wife and children. In 2011 he took up triathlon, trained with the Mere Mortals group on Pensacola Beach and was completely hooked on the sport. In November of 2012 he made the very tough decision to register for Ironman Florida. It's a tough decision because the race is expensive and you have to sign up a year in advance as it sells out very quickly. So, it's a serious commitment and it means you will have a whole new area of focus for twelve months.


Dom continued to train consistently and then, with six months to go, he kicked it up a notch. Adhering to his Essential Triathlete plan, he began training 6 days a week and carefully watched his diet. He also did a lot of research on training methods, race preparation and race day nutrition.


When you realize that a few short years ago, he weighed 270 pounds, you better understand how far he had come to get to the start line that morning. As he stood on Panama City Beach, he was a muscular and lean 185. Many first-timers would have been anxious, some would have wondered if they belonged there with the other athletes and many didn't show up that morning. Based on his relentless, disciplined training, Dom felt reasonably calm and was "ready to get it on". The morning sun was starting to come up, the Gulf was rough, the music was loud and Dom says the whole scene was "surreal".



Then it was time to start, the cannon fired and the mass of humanity charged into the Gulf of Mexico.  The waves were tough and it was very crowded as arms and legs flailed frenetically.  Eleven hours and nineteen minutes later, Dom Risola had traversed 140.6 mies and crossed the Finish Line. Mike Reilly, the long-time voice of Ironman competitions worldwide welcomed him with the famous "you are an ironman".


Finishing a race of this length and difficulty might sound like an impossible task. It might sound impossible for someone who was overweight and out of shape. Dom Risola proved it could be done through determination, consistency and disciplined. He didn't finish 1st in the field, but he certainly triumphed.

PRA Membership Renewals

It's Time to Renew Your PRA Membership! As previously noted the Board of Directors has revised the membership term. Everyone's membership runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.  The fees remain the same - $15 for an individual and $20 for a family.  If you have signed up in recent months, you will automatically be an active member until June 30th, 2014.  ANY OTHER EXTENSIONS will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  You can contact PRA Membership for further details. 
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