PRA photo
Issue: # 31
July 2013
In This Issue
From the Top
Membership Run
PRA Social
Membership Renewal
Volunteer of the Year
TriGulf Coast
Runner Profile
Rundown Delayed

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 Rundown Readers.  Membership truly does have its privileges. One of those privileges is the PRA Membership 5K Trail Run coming up August 24th. This event is free to all paid members of the Pensacola Runners Association. See Laura's article for the details and mark your calendar for a nice family event.



July is membership renewal month so if you need to join or renew, now is the time to do so. PRA membership is quite a bargain at $15 for an individual or $20 for a family. Additional benefits include discounts to all PRA races, RRCA membership, and a PSA/PRA dual membership option. Then there is the satisfaction of being a part of an organization that has been promoting running, walking, and healthy lifestyles on the Gulf Coast for over 40 years.


Nominations are being taken now for the Volunteer of the Year Award. This award is to recognize someone that has excelled as a PRA volunteer and will be presented at the Don McCloskey Seafood 5K in September. Members may send nominations to from a verifiable email address. We rely on our fantastic volunteers and
if you would like to volunteer for any of our races, the opportunities are almost endless.  Go to CONTACTS LINK to find our contact information.
Please say a big "Thank You" to Erika Smith.  Erika has written the Runners Profile and many other articles in the Rundown for years.  She has accepted an exciting opportunity to pursue her PhD and will be the leaving our area.  We all wish you well Erika.
Finally, let's all be safe out there running in the summer heat.  I just read an article about hydration that pointed out the water content of fruit and vegetables. Spinach, watermelon and cucumbers are all 90% water.  It seems that Mom was right about eating your veggies.
Happy Running,
2013 Membership Run
Set For August 24th

By Laura Harris


The Pensacola Runners Association Membership 5K Trail Run is back on the calendar to honor YOU for your commitment to our organization and the local running community! If you are already a member of the PRA, this race is free! The race will again be held at the Escambia County Equestrian Center on Saturday, August 24th at 8:00 am. If you have run this race before, you know these trails are wide and flat, offering great race times and real competition!


Our awards will include best overall male and female as well as best overall male and female masters, grandmasters, and great grandmasters. Prizes three deep in the usual age groups, plus a new 80+ age group, will be offered as well.


Back by popular demand, a big breakfast will be served at the after-party, including eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. Every year we have all kinds of yummy treats for everyone to enjoy, and we plan to do the same again!


Only the first 150 entrants will receive free swag, so sign up early!


As mentioned before, entry fees are FREE to current members of the PRA, but please mail in or drop off (at the Pensacola Sports Association building) a registration form so we can anticipate numbers and reserve your swag! For non-members, the entry fee will sign you up for the race, but also consists of membership to the PRA until June 30, 2014! Fees are $15 for an individual or $20 for a family. Membership benefits include discounts on PRA race entry fees, free subscription to our monthly newsletter, The Rundown, and discounts at local businesses.


Don't forget... if you signed up as a new member at this race last year, it will be time to renew with us!


Packet pick-up will be at the Pensacola Sports Association building (101 West Main Street, Pensacola, FL 32502) on Friday, August 23rd from 4-7 pm and the morning of the race from 6:30- 7:30 am at the Equestrian Center. Registration for the race will stop at 7:30 am on race day.


The UWF Cross Country team will be helping on course again this year, but we can always use more volunteers, so please contact Laura Harris at 850-723-5323 or Membership Run if you are interested in helping. As always, you can find more information on this race and any of the PRA races at

PRA Membership Social

A QUICK, QUICK word on the Membership Social at Seville Quarter - PRA Board Member Jack Williams and the Good Time Gang ROCKED THE HOUSE for us at Apple Annie's.  Over 200 people enjoyed door prizes, social interaction, GREAT music, a festive atmosphere and PRA Fiesta 10K/5K action on the ginormous (yes, that's a word, sorta) big screen TVs.  An awesome time was had by all.  If you missed it, we'll do it again in the near future - stay tuned!


This is NOT the social, we just like this picture - enjoy!

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. 

Volunteer Of The Year Award

Nominations Still OPEN!


The Pensacola Runners Association (PRA) conducts nine races annually along with providing equipment, support, advice and manpower to other area events. This could not be accomplished without the amazing efforts of our awesome volunteers who assist our Race Directors. 


They collectively contribute thousands of hours every year to provide running and walking opportunities for the community.  They perform their tasks in heat, cold, wind and rain and they do those tasks again and again.  They work long and hard to provide the best experiences for our athletes.


The PRA Board of Directors established a new award to annually recognize a volunteer or volunteers for significant and long-term contributions to the mission of promoting running and racing opportunities for the Northwest Florida community.  You can submit your nomination of a worthy candidate to the Board by emailing  The award will be presented in September at the Seafood Festival Don McCloskey 5K.

Keeping It All In Line

  By Chris Hicks


"If you want to get faster, train with faster people." It's a saying that has been repeated by many but who actually said it first I am unsure. But it's true, very true. And it applies to every facet of racing. Cycling is no exception.


Group rides and particularly pace lines are tons of fun but can sometimes be controversial, especially when it comes to tri-bikes sporting aerobars. When executed properly the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. When it comes to safety a little common sense goes a long way.

  • Keep everything smooth, no sudden movements
  • Never coast, soft peddle, coasting makes those riding behind you want to brake
  • Watch the gap of the wheel in front of you as well as the road
  • Never cross wheels with the rear tire of the rider in front of you
  • Point out debris, road hazards and defects in the pavement
  • If the rider in front of you points to anything, send the signal back
  • No braking in line, if you are going to slow down call it out first and move out of line
  • Call out turns and signal well in advance of the actual turn
  • Call out vehicles coming up from behind or the sides

Pulling in a pace line is the most critical position. Simply put there is the rider in front and everyone else. The first rider has the responsibility to keep the others safe. All the rules above must be strictly adhered to. Other rules are not that black and white. They are in the form of etiquette.


Most people don't like to have a "pull pig" up front. Typically after about 7 or 8 minutes it's more than enough time pulling and it's time to roll back. Similarly while up front watch your speed. If the line is moving at 21 and you find yourself up front pulling a solid 18, roll off now. Don't wait for time to go by. When I got started I never pulled. The guys I rode with dragged me all over. It was everything I could do to hang on. When I was in second and the pulling rider rolled out, I rolled out almost immediately. And nobody thought badly of it. Eventually I was able to ride up front and the rule if you want to get faster, train with faster people paid off. Those guys kept on inviting me ride after ride and always said "just keep showing up, it will work".


When you invite a friend to a group ride, stay with that person. Unless there is some sort of agreement prior to the ride, you owe it to them to stick together. If your buddy is struggling don't pawn them off on others. It's just plain awkward. The exception is the rule of three.


I thought it was only mine but I have learned others have similar variations. Basically it boils down to if someone tells me three times they are fine and to go on the first time or two I figure they are just being nice. But if I hear it for a third time, see ya! I get it. There are times we all want to head back alone, suffer solo or just plain bask in our own misery. I have had those gross places when I was totally fine watching everyone take off and just want to be alone. It's called getting dropped and it's part of riding.


Getting dropped is part of the big picture. I have been dropped more times than I care to admit. Some rides are defined "No Drop" rides and everyone sticks together. The exact opposite is a "YOYO" or You're On Your Own whereby if you get dropped, well, you watch everyone ride away. There are stages people go through as the separation between group and individual grows. Next time you see the people you started with ride off consider your emotions:


Recognition - less than a meter - Hey that gap wasn't there a minute ago.

Denial - 1 to 2 meters - It's really not that big a gap I could close it whenever I want.

Justification - 3 to 6 meters - It's probably a good thing because I need to move water bottles around and eat a little. Easily recognized by the emptying of every ounce of nutrition in your bento box and pockets into your mouth.

Explanation - 7 to 10 meters - I knew I messed up my nutrition or now I am paying for being out too late and poor sleep.

Anger (optional) - 10+ meters - MAN! They suck!! Who do they think they are? Overachievers! Showoffs! Try to keep this to a minimum but it may creep up.

Acceptance - 20+ meters - Well I know the way back. Next weekend is another ride. I'll enjoy some "me" time and cruise back.

In the end pace lines and fast group rides offer the opportunity to get used to riding faster than normal. Often times you can learn from other more experienced riders. There will be things you learn that work and things you learn on what not to do. Ideas are shared. Friendships are made. The fear of having other bikes nearby lessens. And in the end it is actually safer to ride in a larger group as it is much easier to see a group of people than an individual rider.

Runner Profile
Andy Williams 

By Erika Smith
Andy Williams

            After more than three decades of running, Andy Williams' passion for the sport only continues to grow each year. He started running regularly in 1982 as a way "to help combat stress and stop smoking." At that time, someone asked him if he was "getting ready for the 10K?" leading him to register for his first race, the recently resurrected Bayou Hills run.


Having competed in many races both locally and out of town, Andy particularly enjoys those that offer special support for their participants, such as the St. John's Summer Sunset 5K where cool washcloths are available to sweaty racers at the finish line. He also enjoys the Dublin, Ireland marathon and has trained many runners to complete this event.


            Andy's impressive running resume is filled with some stunning PR's, including 19 minutes for the 5K, 3:19 - marathon, 7:22 - 50 miler (this one is almost incomprehensible!) and 5:52 - race walking marathon. He is also one of the local runners who competed in the inaugural Blue Angels Marathon.

            In 1987, Andy and his good friend Steve Headley began tackling longer distance events. Their first 50k, held that November at Wakulla Springs near Tallahassee, inspired them to train for another ultra. So, in the summer of 1988, they joined Mary Wilson to complete the out and back ultra leading them from Pensacola Beach to Navarre along Highway 98. Then, the following year, he worked with the Capt'n Fun Runners to hold "The Double Bridge Disaster" 40 miler, which drew about 16 participants during that inaugural year. The race grew into the PENNAR 40 which has hosted as many as 43 masochists/ participants. In the words of experienced ultra-runner Gary Griffin who completed a race report detailing the 2003 event, "Traditionally, the Pennar 40-Miler eats the inexperienced, spits them out, and leaves them groveling in the blowing sands of the Gulf Island National Seashore." With the heat index typically approaching 100 degrees by the finish, this race is not for the faint of heart and many would love to see it return. For Andy, through long-distance racing, he learned that "as much as finishing a long distance event comes from physical preparation, there is just as much mental preparation. The mental part gets you into believing in yourself."


During the late 80's, Andy and a team of dedicated volunteers organized a training group on behalf of the PRA. Andy explains that interested runners completed an introductory meeting at historic Seville Square following the PRA's popular Fiesta run before joining clubs that met on various days of each week. Then in the 1990's, he began training new marathoners through the Arthritis Foundation's "Joints in Motion" program. In 2007, Andy and his amazing wife, Barbara, received the The Lou Gregory Spirit Award, given annually at Fiesta, honoring their great leadership and enthusiasm in helping to promote and maintain the sport of running in our community.


            Having moved to Pensacola at the age of 6 and residing here with his wife since 1974, he looks forward to continuing to run and train others in our community for many years to come!

July Rundown Delayed


Due to a family surgical event which occurred in the middle of the July Rundown production cycle, this issue of the newsletter was delayed.  We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

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