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Issue: #59
February 2016
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 Eric Miller

Happy February Folks!
It's been a busy last few months at the Pensacola Runners Association! 
Our winter racing schedule kicked off on December 12th, when roughly 280 runners, many of them elementary and middle school aged, raced down Palafox Street to kick off the Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade at the PRA Christmas Dash (a 1 mile run). 

We are always thrilled at any opportunity we have to introduce some of the younger folks in our community to the sport we all love. At this event brothers Eric and Ryan Larsen put on a great show in the men's race with Eric just edging out Ryan 4:21 to 4:22. Aryn Bradley also had a strong showing to take the women's title in 6:12. Congratulations and thanks to Shannon Kohler for the outstanding job she did as Race Director and to the City of Pensacola for the holiday tree lights that provided a much improved backdrop for this event!
We had a furious start to 2016 with the Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon & 10K/5K kicking off the year on January 16 th. After a few years of horrendous weather, Mother Nature finally cooperated with a morning of sunshine, light wind and temperatures in the 50s and 60s. With over 1,100 runners registered and 999 who toed the starting line, this was the largest Pensacola Beach Run in several years.

Thanks to the efforts of all of the volunteers (who showed up long before the sun rose) and to the energy and great enthusiasm of the Northwest Florida running community, the race was a smashing success! I  want to extend particular thanks to committee members Jason Libbert, Jim Readdy, Sherry Readdy, Diane Martinez, Steve Lipe, Heidi Lipe, Austin Adkison, Mojo Louks and Mike LeClair for the countless hours they put in to make this event happen.

Next on the PRA Race Schedule, we are trading in asphalt and concrete for the dirt and sand at Big Lagoon State Park for the Bay to Breakfast 8K Cross Country Challenge on March 5 th! Additionally, the PRA Weekly Interval Program has kicked back up again after a brief holiday break. All current PRA members are invited to the University of West Florida Track each Monday at 5:30 PM for a FREE interval workout overseen by UWF Cross Country Coach Caleb Carmichael, hope to see everyone out there!

Until next time, keep training!

Eric Miller

***Good luck to our friends over at Pensacola Sports and all participants in the Double Bridge Run 15K & 5K on February 13 th!

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

The classic race of the Northwest Florida event calendar is coming up on April 30th. Over 1000 runners and walkers will be starting the competition that follows a historic road race course from Pensacola State College to Seville Square for the 10K. 

5K runners and walkers will start near 12th and Scott Streets and eventually end up in Seville Square as well. It's a fast 5K course with a serious downhill from Lee Circle down Palafox Street towards the race's finish.

There will be an awesome Finishers' medal for the 10K race and a great post-race celebration. Get all the details and register by clicking  HERE.

39th Annual Azalea Trail Run
Is Set For March 19th

Speaking of iconic road races, the Azalea Trail Run 10K/5K/1K is set for a huge field of runners taking on a scenic and historic course in downtown Mobile. Last year almost 5000 runners and walkers were registered for the three races with the 10K being the most popular.

Over the years the event has enjoyed large numbers of runners, a great Expo and an impressive group of Elite athletes competing for prize money. The great course features crowds of spectators, yard parties shouting encouragement to the runners, dancers and bands along the route and a great party after the finish.

To get more information and to register go HERE.

It's Getting Warmer And 
Hot Races Are Coming 

February 13th - Pensacola Sports' Double Bridge Run - 15K and 5K races -  Double Bridge Run Information.  Pensacola Sports is looking for volunteers for the DBR - anyone interested should call them at 850-434-2800.

March 5th - Pensacola Runners Association Bay To Breakfast Cross Country Trail Run - 8K race -  Bay To Breakfast Information

March 19th - Blue Angel Rock N Fly - Half Marathon and 5K races -  RockNFly Information

April 23rd - Tri The Island triathlon - Sprint Triathlon for first-timers and experienced triathletes -


New Off-Road Duathlon Race 
Set For Blackwater River Forest

So Others May Live (SOML) has announced a new duathlon race for April in the Bear Lake recreation area. In the best tradition of Xterra events, there will be a 1 mile trail run followed up by a 13 mile trail bike ride and a 3.75 mile trail run to finish up the race. 

More details and registration are found HERE.

The Runners You Saw Pushing IV Poles 
On Wheels  In The Half Marathon

Many of you in the fitness, running, paddleboarding and triathlon communities know Cindi Bonner. She's been involved in getting people moving for their own well-being for many years. A self-described "tomboy" in her younger years, she grew up as the only girl on the boys soccer team and was a 4-year tennis player in high school. After earning her undergraduate degrees she went to graduate school in Exercise Physiology and fell in love with fitness in all its aspects.

Following her graduation she became the Fitness Director at the downtown YMCA, taught boot camp, taught spinning classes was a personal trainer and counseled members on lifestyle changes and personalized exercise regimens. This labor of love continued for 14 years.

In 2010 she saw a paddleboard, asked to try it out and was hooked. She soon got her own board and then saw a Facebook post about yoga on a board and an idea was born. She soon started a business called Fitness Onboard and signed an agreement with Margaritaville to provide group classes, board rentals, excursions, personal lessons and training and parties. The business grew to be all-consuming and she left the YMCA in 2012 to fully devote her energies there. Fitness Onboard worked with and contributed to over 60 organizations in the community and held fundraisers which resulted in tens of thousands of dollars being raised for worthy causes. During the course of all this she developed specialized boards, exercise regimens, instructor certification courses and was an ambassador for her sport.

Then her world changed as she became involved and then immersed in the childhood cancer community. She initiated and administered a Facebook page and a website for a neighborhood family whose four-year-old Daughter had Ewings Sarcoma. As is her nature, she devoured all the information she could find about childhood cancers and found it's the #1 disease killing children as it affects 1 in 250 kids and very little research has been done in the last 40 years to find safe, effective treatments for them. The horrifying fact is that the devastating cancer treatments wind up killing the victims as much as the cancers do. 

Working on the page and the website she corresponded with hundreds of families in similar situations as her neighbors and she became more and more involved in the cause. Forming relationships with families in Atlanta, she instituted and participated in Awareness Climbs of Stone Mountain for the caretakers of the victims of the disease. These people needed to be outside and do something physical and this was an excellent avenue for those ends. She climbed Stone Mountain 25 times in the summer of 2014 including 7 consecutive times in one day.

That year she became a committee member of Curefest DC in the Washington DC area. This is a week-long event that takes place in September which is childhood cancer awareness month. As she became more involved she formed #MoreThan4Pensacola and it became affiliated with the Rally Foundation For Childhood Cancer Research which is headquartered in Atlanta.

So Cindi committed to raising $100,000 for childhood cancer research and the Rally Foundation. She also committed to doing all she can do to raise awareness of the severity and the pervasiveness of the disease(s). That's where the IV poles came in. She worked with Pensacola Sports to partner for the Pensacola Marathon/Half-marathon in November. She had a booth at the Expo, but felt that something even more impactful was needed.

So she corralled some cancer family members into pushing IV poles through the 13.1 miles of the half marathon. They didn't initially realize they were going the whole way AND it was going to rain buckets, but they did it. Cindi connected the poles to wooden bases securely and used larger, more stable wheels and the race began. Everyone who saw them was touched and impressed.

Meanwhile, Rally Foundation has partnered with #MoreThan4Pensacola to form Rally #MoreThan4Pensacola and Cindi is the Regional Director. To date she has raised $89,000 and is working on hitting her goal. This story ends here (for now) with some facts she has provided:

ONLY 3.8% of ALL federal funding for cancer research is allocated towards childhood cancers. The other 96.2% is directed to adult cancer research.
There are 13 major childhood cancers and over 100 sub-cancers that are different from adult cancers. The 3.8% is allocated to ONE CATEGORY known as "CHILDHOOD CANCER".
Money allocated to Adult Cancers are distributed for research based on individual cancers.
DIPG, a pediatric brain cancer has a ZERO PERCENT chance for survival. The family is
given a death sentence upon hearing "your child has cancer". This cancer, along with all other childhood cancers and sub cancers are included in that 3.8%
Adult Prostate cancer, for example, has an average diagnosis of 65 years of age and a 99% survival rate. Prostate cancer receives 6% of the overall budget for federal cancer research dollars. An individual cancer with a 99% chance for survival, onset of 65 years old, receives that much more than ALL CHILDHOOD CANCERS COMBINED.
Seven children die each day in America from Cancer and/or their treatment.
46 families are told each day in America that their child has cancer. That number is comparable to two American classrooms FULL of students, each and every day. If a gunman went into two classrooms every day in america and injured the children to the point of fighting for their lives, it would make the headlines in the news because it would become the #1 killer of children in America. 

Equal Pay For Equal Work

by Steve Lipe
PRA Board of Directors Secretary/
Walker Advocate

This is just my particular observation in regards to the age groups of people who walk  competitively in our area.  Over the past five plus years with both men and women, the ages
fall between forty and seventy. I have researched other running/walking clubs from different  parts of the country and this seems to pretty much be the norm. That's not to say there are  not younger people involved, but their numbers are not as high. 

Many runners have reverted  to walking as they can no longer take the physical pounding on their bodies that running
involves, and this is reflected in the higher age groups.  Just because you like to walk, and compete against other like walkers, doesn't diminish y our training regimen, which in many ways is similar to the training done by runners. As
competitive walkers we put the same amount of rigorous exercise in, on a daily basis,  and we produce the same kind of blood, sweat, and tears as our running friends. 

Although  the number of walkers was much smaller than runners this past weekend, at the Pensacola B each Run, there were men and women walking the half marathon, the 10k, and the 5k.  Now for my point, as indicated in the title. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have watched how  other running clubs break down their awards in respect to the runners and the walkers.  For Runners there is an overall award, master, grand master, and senior grand master.  A few clubs will give like awards for walkers. Many will only do the overall walker and  then it goes to age categories, three deep. Many of the age groups are in five year  spreads. This is what is preferred among most walkers. 

Many people will not do a  race if the age categories are spread so far that they don't have a chance, such as 
0-39, and 40-99.  Now, I do understand that due to the smaller amount of walkers compared to  runners, in most races, the age groups might have to be stretched a bit more for  the walkers. Perhaps the ranges could be wider at the younger ages until maybe  in the 35 year range and then go to five years, maybe up to 70 or 75. 

Personally, I hope  I am still walking in ten years and beyond. I feel that sometimes, walkers are an afterthought.  We are usually the last ones out of the gate, and the last for the awards. That's all well and g ood, but we are also subject to unfair play due to those who don't conform. That was the
subject of an earlier article but it is something that needs to be watched and addressed  constantly. 

Remind the people who are registered to walk that there is absolutely no  running or there can and will be consequences. Race directors, please have a distinctly  different color bib for the walkers that can be easily seen. Have a one or two minute
delay for walkers, after the runners have started. This not only avoids a lot of congestion,  but it help the runners get out cleanly by not having to navigate around someone slower.

We have a great group of walkers in our area and surrounding places, and we are familiar  with the "regulars".  I would personally like to see the walkers receive their accolades  as their runner friends do.  I will continue to give input on any upcoming PRA races with suggestions as it pertains  to walkers. 

I would appreciate any and all feedback from everyone, please...I want to hear your comments,  good or not.

    "Don't look behind you, you've already been there"

Maritime Deluna Duathlon 
For Kids Registration Open

TriGulfCoast produces two multi-sport races annually for kids. They take extra care in putting on high quality events to introduce duathlon and triathlon to athletes aged 6-15. The duathlon will be held March 13th at the Vincent J. Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park and will offer competitions in the 6-9 and 10-15 years old age groups. 

You can find all the information and registration details HERE.

Come out and cheer these kids on - they're fast!

Lou Gregory Award Winner Jackie Brown
Installed As Pensacola Sports President

Pensacola Sports (formerly Pensacola Sports Association) , formed in 1955, is the 
oldest sports commission in  the state of Florida.. Jackie Brown has recently been elected to be the first female President of the Board of Directors in the organization's 60-year history.

Brown has been the Chairperson of  the Double Bridge Run since 2010, was formerly the Pensacola Sports Volunteer Of The Year and has had key roles in many of  the organization's  myriad of sports events throughout  each year. She is currently the Treasurer and Registration Director  of  the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon and the Tri The Island triathlon. Previously, she was the Race Director of the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K for four years, originated  and  directed the Woodlawn Beach 5K and  has won the PRA's Lou Gregory and Jim Harrington Awards. Congratulations Jackie!