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Issue: # 48
January 2015
In This Issue
From the Top
Bay To Breakfast 8K
Pensacola Beach Run
Christmas Dash
We Believe In Children 5K
I Pink I Can
Healthy Lives
Pensacola Marathon

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  


Every January I see an impressive influx of new members in the gym. They are energized by a new year and they want to do the right thing for themselves. Its awesome when I still see them there in February and March because I know they're hooked on being in shape and feeling better.

You know how good you feel when you're trim and fit. Your attitude is better and everything is a little easier. You also know how it feels when you're five or ten pounds overweight and even walking up stairs is difficult. Those good feelings of fitness motivate all of us to keep trying, keep running and keep watching our diet.

For extra incentive the Bay To Breakfast 8K Challenge is in late February and the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K is already on the horizon. We look forward to seeing you in those races and more.

Keep Training! 



PRA Bay To Breakfast 8K Challenge  
Highlights February Race Calendar

It's  time  (again)  to  get  your  cross  country  on . This  year's  race  will  be held on February  28th  at  the Big Lagoon State Park and will  be  a  rare  8K  (just under 5 miles)  run.  Race  Director Glen  Sefcik  promises  a  challenging  race  course and great  food  and  camaraderie at  this  "winter" classic.  For  more  information or  to register go  to:  
PRA Bay To Breakfast 8K

The 2015 PRA Pensacola Beach Run 
Was A Blast On Santa Rosa Island!!!     
About 1,000 runners and walkers were registered for this year's Pensacola Beach Run (PBR) although the weather turned severe in the days leading up to the race. The morning of this classic event did start out cold, but the sun burst through and it was a great running day for all three distances (HM, 10K, 5K).

Marines Corps Captain Michael Padilla 

The Half Marathon was kicked off by former UWF Cross Country All-American Michael Padilla blasting out an electric guitar version of The Star Spangled Banner. Padilla's rendition energized the crowd and soon they began their 13.1 mile journey with a quartering wind from the north-northeast. As the sun rose and the temperatures rose, the HM turned into a very enjoyable run for all.

Soon after the talented Valerie Remich sang our national anthem and the 10K and 5K events began. Great competition highlighted all the age group races and numerous PRs were set as the cool temperatures and cross winds made for perfect conditions on the fast, flat courses.

Fenner McConnell Is Always Honored At Our Races 

Race Director Eric Miller was pleased with the turnout for the enthusiastic field of athletes and praised the throng of volunteers who supported the runners and walkers.  A huge post-race celebration ensued at The Sandshaker highlighted by the popular and energetic Heritage Band.

PRA Christmas Dash Makes A Comeback

The Christmas Dash was successful this year with a great turnout of athletes and lots of kids. Race Directors Shannon Kohler and Susan Martin did an excellent job and we'll have a detailed review and pictures in the February Rundown. 

We Believe In Children 5K 
Tne annual We Believe In Children 5K will be held on January 31st at Cordova Park Elementary School. A Health Fair will be immediately after the race.  More details are available at We Believe In Children 5K.

I Pink I Can 4-Mile Run

The second annual I Pink I Can run will be held on February 28th at the Florabama Lounge. The race proceeds benefit breast cancer research. More information is available at 2015 I Pink I Can Run

New Year, New You!


by Corey Dell

PRA Board of Directors 


As we start this new year, how many of you have set New Year's resolutions?  Hopefully, you all are taking steps to become a healthier you in 2015.  Approximately one in three people set resolution goals in December or January; however, less than 46% of them then carry out their resolutions six months into the year.  


So, how do you plan for success?  First and foremost, make sure your goals are attainable.  Nothing is more discouraging than setting a goal and not meeting it.  Secondly, if your goal is to lose weight in the new year, Congratulations!!  You re on board with as many as 38% of Americans who also have hopes of losing weight.   


A few tips for weight loss success include:  keeping a food journal, drinking your water and getting out there and moving. I find it better to have an accountability partner either with my friends at Alpha Omega Performance or the running group Phat Girlz (sorry men, women only).  This is a great way to not only meet new people, but to have people to motivate and support your decision to live a healthy lifestyle.   


Finally, if your plans are to volunteer more in the community, I encourage you to do it!  Happiness is good for your health and good for the soul.  A few volunteer opportunities can be at your local pet shelter, homeless shelter and even donating canned goods to the Manna Food Bank. Additionally, the Pensacola Runners Association is always looking for volunteers on race day and even for packet pickup.  So, keep us in mind!


I hope 2015 is your happiest and healthiest year yet! Until next time, Happy Running!


Corey Dell
Corey Dell From Healthy Lives
Pensacola Marathon
Race Report Part 1 

By Steve Lipe
PRA Board Of Directors 

I started competitive racewalking in September of 2010 at the Pensacola Seafood Festival. I had never done anything like it before, but I was hooked. If you would have told me then, that I would be doing a half-marathon in a little over two years, I might have questioned your sanity.

Fast forward to July of 2012. I had decided that I would give it a try. I looked up a program for beginning half-marathon walkers, and started from square one. For fourteen weeks I did not miss a day or a mile. I tried also to follow a program of healthy nutrition and hydration.   


One of the toughest challenges I faced was finding the proper shoes and socks for that distance. After walking different distances in many shoes and socks, I decided on what I hoped would feel right. The other challenge was doing this event in a respectable time. Everything I had read indicated I should be able to finish the race in under three hours. That was all I wanted to do, above anything else. I wasn't racing against anyone else, just me.


When the day finally arrived I was there extra early as this was new to me and I was trying to settle down, but to no avail. No matter what distance I am doing, I am nervous and fidgety. I started at the back of the group and just followed the pack. I had no idea what the route was. It was very encouraging to see the people on the side cheering on everyone, no matter if they knew you or not. This was consistent throughout the entire course. I hydrated at every water station and carried gel squares for nutrition. Around mile six I started to feel sluggish due to lack of food. I then started grabbing everything I could from every water stop.

I did know about the 12th Avenue hill and when I hit it I almost slowed to a crawl. By the time I reached the top I was out of breath and my legs were screaming. I ate a couple more gels and had water at the Texar Street station and started to feel better. When I got to the Texar Street overpass there was a High School group of cheerleaders and drummers and I walked to the beat of the drums and made it quickly to the top. From there I figured it had to be mostly downhill.

As I turned onto Palafox and headed toward town I looked down at my feet and I remember thinking how surprised I was to still be walking, at what I felt was a good pace. I also started to feel a burning on the balls of my feet with every step. This was what I had hoped to avoid with the choice of shoes and socks, but I quickly realized there was nothing I could do to stop the burning. I just focused on the next intersection, next water stop, and what was ahead.

When I crossed Cervantes I knew the end was not to far ahead. Upon reaching Garden Street, my Daughter surprised me by cheering me on and trying to keep up with me, showing me where to turn to head to the finish line. Heading for the finish I had a slight burst of energy. I was pumping my arms and walking as fast as I could. I saw the finish line, but I did not look at the time. Just something I don't like to do. The announcer was calling off the times so it was something I could not avoid hearing. When I crossed it was just past three hours.

Under the circumstances I thought it was ok, I had done the best I could. I grabbed some water and bananas and started walking around. It took quite a while to cool down. My Daughter found me and said she was happy I met my goal. I told her what the time was, but she said I didn't factor in how long it took me to reach the start line. My actual time was four minutes under three hours. I felt good that I was able to accomplish this, and at the time, I said it was something I could cross off my "to do" list. I had no intentions of going through all of this again...until.....


Next month, Part 2

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, in becoming a Race Director or being on the PRA Board of Directors, please email Vice-President Eric Miller at