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Issue: # 48
February 2015
In This Issue

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 Charles Gheen  


February is Black History Month and I'm certainly mindful of all that means in many areas of human endeavor - the arts, industry, sports, government and education among several others.
As a runner, however, I definitely think about the great black athletes who have represented the United States around the globe in World Championship competitions and the Olympic games.

I'm not old enough to remember Jesse Owens, but his exploits in the 1936 games in Berlin are legendary. Germany's dictator, Adolph Hitler, had  widely proclaimed that athletes of African heritage were inferior. Owens won four gold medals and proved that notion false while paving the way for other black athletes to excel in the future.
Carl Lewis won 9 Olympic gold medals and 8 World Championships. Wyomia Tyus and Wilma Rudolph brought renown to their gender and race with multiple Olympic golds and World Championships. "Bullet" Bob Hayes was an American favorite winning the 100 meter dash in record time at the Olympics and starring for the Dallas Cowboys.
There are others of note (including Pensacola's own Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin) as the history of USA running certainly includes many  outstanding black athletes who stand out in our memories during this month.
Keep training, 



Bay To Breakfast 8K Cross Country 
                 Trail Challenge Is This Saturday!

You'll want to take the challenge this Saturday (February 28th) at 7:30 AM at Big Lagoon State Park. The course is tough, challenging, scenic and will kick-start your racing season. The first 130 registered athletes will receive awesome long-sleeved race shirts. Race Director Glen Sefcik says registration is going very well and you'll need to hurry to get your shirt. PRA will also be providing LOTS of extra swag to all runners/walkers.

Packet Pickup and registration are available at the Pensacola Sports Association on Friday September 27th from 3-7 PM and Saturday morning at Big Lagoon State Park off Gulf Beach Highway from 6-7 AM. More information is available at the PRA Website.  


  Fiesta Of Five Flags 10K/5K
Registration Is Open! 

Race Directors Diane Martinez and Shannon Kohler report that preparations for the 41st Annual Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K run are going very well and the PRA is expecting the largest field in years for this event. The classic road race course begins at Pensacola State College, bisects the city down 12th Avenue to Cervantes Street and then heads down Palafox Street to finish at Seville Square. A huge post-race celebration and awards ceremony will follow the run.
This is the third year of the five-year series of medals representing the flags that have flown over Pensacola, so you'll want to run Northwest Florida's signature road race and collect yours. Registration is open now and you can get details here: Fiesta Registration Information.

PRA Member Survey  
Help us improve our communication with you by participating in a brief survey. The survey was developed by Chris Elkins, a graduate student at the University of West Florida, as part of a graduate-level capstone project.

Elkins is examining the Pensacola Runners Association's external communications and developing a detailed plan to improve it. All responses to the survey are anonymous. Please take the time to help us improve our communication by clicking the following link
: PRA Member Survey

Strength Training For Runners


by Corey Dell

PRA Board of Directors 

Runners tend to get the misconception that running is the only way to get faster and set those personal records that we made as goals at the first of the year. However, strength training can act as a supplement to roadwork because it strengthens muscles.  Strengthening these muscles can improve race time and decrease risk for injury. 

So, I encourage all of you to incorporate strength training into your workout and even add things you may not think are important including:  flexibility, balance, mobility, and strength. First, if you are a gym member and constantly see yourself on a treadmill, I encourage you to do some form of weight training. 

If this equipment scares you and you don t know how to use the equipment - ASK!! Most facilities have trained staff to help you if you have any questions regarding any of the equipment at the gym.  The goal is to prevent injury, not create them by doing improper weight training techniques. 

Second, take a class if you re unsure about how to strength train on your own.  Group fitness classes are a great way to meet new people invested in their health just like you! Additionally, group fitness classes can show you proper technique and form so you can eventually venture out on your own if you want to.  Finally, integrate cross training into your workout routine to build muscles that running doesn't necessarily work. 

Try cycling or swimming, who knows maybe you'll actually enjoy it so much you'll join Mere Mortals (triathlon training group) this summer. Training starts in June and, yes, we are the crazy people who work out on Sunday mornings at 6:30 AM.  Of course, these are all suggestions.  Multiple studies show that regular strength training can improve how efficiently the body uses oxygen, which is helpful both for speed and for endurance training.  Most importantly, do what you love and love what you do! 

Until next time, Happy Running!!

Corey Dell
Corey Dell From Healthy Lives


  2015 Maritime De Luna Youth Duathlon

The 5th annual Maritime De Luna Du Youth Duathlon - Presented by Running Wild will be held Sunday, March 8, starting at 8:00 AM at the Vince J. Whibbs Community Maritime Park in downtown Pensacola. 


If you have a youth athlete between 6 and 15 (as of 12/31/2015), check out this exciting run-bike-run race.  Distances are age-appropriate and almost any child can successfully complete the event (i.e. don't need to "train").

The bicycle course will be on completely closed roads surrounding the race venue. Each athlete will receive a race shirt and a finisher's medal. Volunteers are needed and welcome. 

To register your child or for more information about volunteering or competing, go to Deluna Du Youth Duathlon


Runner Of The Month 
Ben Dillon

Ben Dillon was born in Covington, LA and currently is an instructor at the Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer school at Pensacola Naval Air Station. He has been running and participating in triathlons for nine years. His favorite athletic pursuits are trail runs and off-road cycling as well as XTerra triathlons. He enjoys riding with the West Florida Wheelmen and riding the mountain bike trails at UWF.

Ben has been successful in those endeavors as he has been the Southeast Regional XTerra Champ in 2013 and 2014. He intends to continue running XTerra and other off-road competitions in the future and place in the top 5 consistently in those events.

You've probably seen Ben working as a key volunteer at several local races and representing the SOML Racing Team (So Others May Live) at Race Expos as well. He is currently working on putting on an XTerra triathlon race in the Blackwater River State Park this August. Stay tuned for more details on that competition.

Ben's future goals are to coach endurance athletes and to direct several other events including off-road triathlons. You'll see him down the road at many of our local races.
Pensacola Trek Store Opening Soon
Soon there will be another bicycle store in Pensacola and for fans of the Trek family of bicycles, that will be great news. Robbie Mott, well-known in the area cycling and triathlon community, is the owner of Cycle Therapy in Mobile and has been very successful with that store. Now he's expanding back to his hometown with the Pensacola Trek Store. Cycle Therapy in Mobile will be re-named the Mobile Trek Store.

The facility is located at 701 East Cervantes Street and will feature all the Trek bicycle lines including hybrid, mountain, comfort/cruiser, road and triathlon bikes. The store will also offer a full line of apparel, footware, helmets and accessories as well as maintenance and repair service on all brands of bicycles.

Co-owner Marie Brady Mott said "we are excited to suport cycling and active living in our home community. We believe that bicycles and cycling play a key role in a vibrant, healthy community."

For cyclists and triathletes in our area, this will be another great addition to the fitness community.

Flora-Bama Beach Run/Walk For Warriors
 5K and Half-Marathon

Flora-Bama's 2nd Annual Beach Run/Walk for America's Warriors will be held on March 28th. The Start and Finish lines will be at the Flora-Bama and both races will be on the white sandy beaches of Perdido Key. The 5K race will go towards Alabama and the Half-marathon will head into Florida.

100% of the registration fees will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full scholarship grants as well as educational and family counseling to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty and immediate financial assistance for severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.

More information can be found at the FloraBama Website 



The PRA Is Looking  
 For Volunteers (AGAIN)!

The Pensacola Runners Association is a not-for-profit organization that is 100% volunteer driven. None of our members are compensated for all the hours that are put in organizing and holding our events and helping out at MANY other events across Northwest Florida throughout the year.
PRA Volunteers Manning A Water Stop
If you are interested in volunteering or in becoming a Race Director, please email Vice-President Eric Miller at  Thanks very much!!