PRA photo
Issue: # 42
June  2014
In This Issue
From the Top
Gary McAdams 5K
Board Of Directors Election
PRA Events
Runner Of The Month
Run With The Bulls
Healthy Lives
TriGulf Coast

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  


In 1982 I ran my first formal road race - the Pensacola Runners Association's (PRA) Fiesta of Five Flags 10K. There was a huge field, the race started at 8 a.m. and it was very hot. All the races were 10K or longer back then, there were no walkers and there was one wheelchair racer, Desi Canales. I ran in what could be called state-of-the-art shoes, the Nike Waffle Trainers (yes, the royal blue model with the big yellow swoosh).  It was a great event that I've certainly never forgotten and the Fiesta 10K remains my favorite road race. Times have changed as we have realized that 5K is a tremendous race distance and that walkers are very valuable members of our athletic community. 


As we begin a new year for the PRA, I have carefully reviewed  our organization, its assets and its strengths. Unquestionably. we are in a great position to fulfill our mission of promoting and supporting running (and walking) and racing in the Gulf Coast area. 


We organize and conduct eight races during the year and we publicize and promote other events as well. We partner with several organizations and help them with equipment, our expertise and our manpower.

I'm very excited about our most important and impressive asset - PEOPLE! Our new Board of Directors is very talented, enthusiastic, energetic and experienced. Our highly-valued volunteers are dedicated and giving with their time and talents. The athletes who participate in our events are awesome.  We're going to have a great year and I hope to see you out there.


Gary McAdams 5K
Is A Success Again
For A Great Cause

The runners and walkers in the annual Gary McAdams Sandshaker 5K were treated to beautiful weather on Pensacola Beach this past weekend. The skies were clear, the Gulf of Mexico was calm, there was a slight breeze from the west and it was HOT!  The scenic course wound through the neighborhoods to the east of the Central Business District and provided a great panorama of Santa Rosa Island.
2014 McAdams 5K Logo
Dewayne Riley and Kristy Maxwell were the top male and female runners in 17:58 and 20:49 respectively.  Vincent Cotellino was the top walker in an astounding 27:03! All results are available at McAdams 5K Results.
McAdams 5K Post-race Celebration
Over the years this race has awarded scholarships to outstanding high school senior scholar-athletes across Northwest Florida.  Your participation and our sponsors provide those funds - Thank You!  

PRA Board Of Directors
Elected At Bear Lake 

The election of the 2014-15 Officers and Directors was held at the PRA Annual Meeting at the Bear Lake Trail Challenge.  The members of your new Board of Directors are:

Charles Gheen - President
Eric Miller - Vice-President
Tina Schmitz - Secretary
Angelika Cope - Treasurer
Diane Martinez - Asst. Treas.

Corey Dell 
Steve Lipe 
Jack Williams
Iginia Parish
Alyssa King
Jim Readdy
Sherry Readdy
Glen Sefcik
Gabriela Gasque
Shannon Kohler

All PRA members are invited to attend PRA Board of Directors meetings which are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Pensacola Sports Association building at the corner of Baylen and Main Streets.  If you are interested in being a Board member or volunteering for PRA events, please send an email to 

Upcoming PRA Events
PLEASE mark your calendars now for the following PRA extravaganzas:

PRA Membership Social - food, refreshments, a chance to re-new your annual membership, fellowship, giveaways, music and FUN - all compliments of your Pensacola Runners Association! Seville Quarter Apple Annie's, July 16th, 6-8 p.m.

UWF Cross Country/Membership Run - held on the trails of the University of West Florida, this race is FREE to all PRA members in good standing.  There will be swag, breakfast, a challenging race and SWAG.  August 23rd, 7:30 a.m.
Running The Trails

Don McCloskey Seafood Festival 5K - one of the premier downtown Pensacola races with a great course that includes the Community Maritime Park/Stadium, Bayfront Parkway and the historical district.  This race starts and finishes at Seville Quarter and includes a great post-race awards ceremony and celebration.  The PRA Volunteer Of The Year will be announced at this race! September 27th, 7:30 a.m.
Don McCloskey
More information will be forwarded to all PRA members via special blast emails and will be posted on the PRA website and Facebook pages.  
Runner Of The Month

Alyssa King

Alyssa is from Ocala where she played multiple sports in high school including Cross Country and Wrestling. While at the University of South Florida she continued running and is "hooked" and "in love" with the sport.
Finishing The Mullet Man Triathlon

Her athletic efforts this year have been focused on triathlon (which she was initially introduced to in 2014) and she has been VERY successful.  Her finishes thus far include 1st Place in her Age Group at the New Orleans Olympic Triathlon, 2nd Place, Age Group, in the Mullet Man Triathlon, 2nd Place, Age Group, at the Pensacola Beach Triathlon, 2nd Place, Age Group, at the Grandman Triathlon and she recently finished her first Half-Ironman at the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse (N.Y.)!  That's quite a record and she's not done yet.  In late August she will compete in Ironman Louisville (140.6 miles).

Alyssa currently works at Running Wild and sees herself in the military reserve and/or as a professional athlete in the future.  She has recently been elected to the Pensacola Runners Association Board of Directors.  Her positive attitude and resolve are strengths that are apparent to everyone who encounters her.  When you see her at the races, she will be the athlete with a huge smile savoring every moment of the competitive experience.

Alyssa With Her Syracuse 70.3 Medal

Alyssa lives in Pace and when she is not training and racing, her other interests include hunting, fishing, riding horses, going to concerts, dancing and tanning at the beach.  She is definitely one of those people who feels that "life is too short" to not take advantage of all the opportunities available to us.   

Run With The Bulls...If You Dare


Seville Quarter will present their "Encierro" a safer reenactment of Pamplona's Bull Run on July 19th. This annual event, made famous by author Ernest Hemingway, has participants chased by angry horned bulls. The Seville Quarter Encierro features the Pensacola Roller Gurlz as well as other ladies from roller-derby leagues as the "Bulls".   As the first bottle rocket is set off at 10:00 a.m. the runners will take to the approximately two mile course. At the second rocket the bulls will be released, wielding wiffle bats, to chase down the participants. As is customary in Pamplona runners are requested to wear all white with red kerchiefs or sashes.


Following the Running of the Bulls the festival will continue in the street in front of Seville Quarter with Latin themed entertainment; complimentary beverages (to registered participants) and traditional food for purchase. Prizes will be awarded to the Best Group costumes, Best Horns (roller derby bulls), Best Senor, Best Senorita, Most outlandish costume and the Hornitos Spirit award.    

There are a few simple rules for those attending this event:


1. Run At Your Own Risk!
2. Do NOT Touch The Bulls.
3. If You Go Down, Stay Down.
4. Do NOT Stand Still.
5. Children Under Ten (or those that don't want to be hit) Use The Sidewalk!


Runners (or walkers) may register prior to July 10th for $15.00. This will provide them with the St. Fermin Commemorative t-shirt as well as a wristband for complimentary beer and soft drinks. Between July 11 and 19 the cost will be $20 and on morning of the event the cost will be $25. The first 300 registered participants will receive a St. Fermin bandana.


You can register for the 2014 Running of the Bulls in the Seville Quarter Wine Shop or on-line at Late registration and shirt pick-up will be on Friday, July 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. Event day registration will be Saturday, July 19 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.


For more information visit the Seville Quarter website here: Seville Quarter Bull Run  or phone 850-434-6211.

Improve Your Performance
With Five A Day


by Corey Dell



The point of this Healthy Lives monthly campaign is to encourage you to remember your "Five A Day". Five A Day represents the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables you want to consume daily. Runners know the importance of macronutrients found in their diet, such as carbohydrates, fat, and protein. But,  they can neglect the micronutrients that can be crucial to complete their daily exercise regimen. Not only do studies suggest that consuming fruits and vegetables can keep your heart healthy, lower your cholesterol, and help control blood pressure, it can also improve your exercise performance.  

Eating your fruit and vegetables plays an important role in maintaining and optimizing health, increases energy production, and helps with tissue recovery. High intensity exercise can actually lower the immune system, which can cause higher rates of illness and an increased rate of infection.   Incorporating your Five A Day can increase antioxidants in your body to prevent these illnesses. Let's look to see what they can do for you!!  

Tomatoes, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables contain Vitamin C, which can enhance your immune system. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and greens contain Vitamin A, which can heighten your resistance to infection. Folic acid, vitamin b6, and vitamin b12 help with the synthesis of protein and can be found in dark green leafy veggies. Remember, no single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need, so make sure to eat the rainbow. My challenge to you this month is to try a fruit or veggie you have never had before, you may be amazed at what you'll find!!   

Corey Dell From Healthy Lives




by Kirwan Price 

I know people who've each done over a dozen Ironman races. I know someone who regularly does 50K trail runs. My second cousin rode his bike from the Dead Sea to the foot of Everest and then climbed it. Someone in our tri club swam a 25K and a couple of West Florida Wheelmen rode over from New Orleans in a day - 260 miles. I even know a guy who did a double Ironman!!! That's right, the Ironman distance DOUBLED in each discipline.   

2012 Ironman Texas

I think of these people every time someone asks "So how far was that marathon you ran?" They don't get why we run or swim or ride for any reason other than as a last resort to escape danger. But when it comes to the aforementioned mind-boggling feats and the people who did them, I'm not so sure I get it either.

Why? Why race your bike across the US or swim from Cuba to Florida? What makes these folks feel compelled to do this craziness? I don't know, but I imagine the person in the checkout line who just inquired about my race t-shirt is thinking the same thing - what would you do that for?

What does knowing that I can run X miles do for me? Does it mean that when the Apocalypse comes I know I can cross over the frozen 3-mile bridge to see if Gulf Breeze has been invaded by zombies? Or is it that we will be required to swim across the water, and then jump on our bikes before abandoning them to run to safety after a major disaster? What practical purpose does all this exercise serve?  

I don't know anyone who makes a living doing it - that would make sense. A lot of times, during these Herculean tests, we don't look like we're having fun. So, why set out to do them? If the extra-long runs, rides, swim sessions, the track work and the diet mean the difference between a new long-term contract and getting traded, then by all means. But none of us is in that situation. Yet, we do all these things to some degree. And let's be honest, sometimes they really suck.

It was a long, long time ago that I first pondered this towards the end of a mere 5K as I tried in vain to catch my college roommate. He was always getting me to sign up for races I thought I had no business in. Why, why was I doing this? At that moment, it was about beating him (and it took a lot of training for that to ever happen) or whomever I felt I was in competition with.

Sadly, it took decades to realize that was not the reason to run. By this time, I had graduated to longer races and triathlons, and I had just been handily beaten in a half Ironman I thought I had in the bag. My much wiser and faster friend advised me that I should not have been racing him, but rather myself, and I would have had a much more rewarding race. "What?" I thought. Does this have something to do with everyone getting a medal these days?

I thought about it a lot after that - usually on long runs. I thought about the others I had met within the last few years who were accomplishing these mindboggling physical challenges as well, and what could possibly be motivating them to do such things. They weren't racing other people, they were racing themselves! I was starting to understand. I could certainly use the prospect of besting a buddy's time as a motivator, but the real reason I was doing it all had to be about racing within myself. Pushing to see how I could improve rather than whether or not I could beat my rivals.

Since that realization, I've finished race distances I never considered possible - the kinds of races that I would have been asking "How long was that?" back when a 5K was all I thought to attempt. I've improved a little, too, but most importantly the occasion has so much more meaning now. I owe a lot to that friend for helping me see it that way.

With a more honest and concrete objective, I better understand why I enjoy this hobby and why I endure the inevitable bouts of unpleasantness that accompany it. Don't we all want to know what we're capable of? Perhaps doing this obscenely long race (or a 5K if you're just getting started) will help me realize to what limits I can push myself, and if some friends do it with me, then we can give each other a little extra nudge.

Maybe, too, it's that races and the preparation that accompany them translate into tackling the challenges of everyday life. When you think you can't possibly do something like address a problem at work or undertake a home repair, you reflect back to thoughts of attempting your first 10K: how you planned it out and took your time training and accepted that things could go wrong, but that you would at least try. Lo and behold, you were able to do that, so this little daily matter should be easy.

Don't be afraid to try a more challenging event, something you think you cannot do. Take your time and prepare for it and you just might find out you can. During that time, you'll find out to what lengths you can push yourself. You might be surprised, but you'll undoubtedly discover the friends who motivate you to give it your all. Regardless of who you beat in the end, everyone gets a medal.

Maybe I'll sucker my old roommate to swim the Dead Sea first, then ride our bikes to Everest and climb it. What would my cousin say to that? 



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