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Issue: #60
March 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

Ha ppy March Folks!
The next race on the Pensacola Runners Association race schedule is March 5 th's Bay to Breakfast 8K Cross Country Challenge held on the trails and boardwalks of beautiful Big Lagoon State Park. One of the great things about our sport is the convenience of being able to start your workout just outside your front door. However, sometimes it is nice to use your run to experience parts of the world that are sheltered from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

Here is an overview of a few great places to run in Northwest Florida for those willing to stray off the beaten path:
Pate Road/UWF Trails (North Pensacola/UWF) - accessible either from Parking Lots F and G on the University of West Florida campus or the small dirt parking lot off of Pate Road near the Gulf Power Crist Plant, these trails provide well-marked, challenging, technical 6- and 10-mile loops along with numerous add-ons. The wooded landscape will allow you to forget about civilization as you test yourself through this beautiful, hilly, 1,600 acre wildlife refuge. The footing is generally firm, though there are patches of soft sand and isolated spots where water can accumulate after a rain storm. The main obstacles to avoid are roots! To learn more about this great site visit:  Pensacola Off-Road Cyclists
Red Rock Road Trails (Milton) - accessible off of Red Rock Road as it crosses Juniper Creek, the Red Rock Road trails provide a wandering, single-track, 10 mile loop through the wide variety of plant and wildlife present in the Blackwater River State Forest. The footing is generally firm, though there are patches of soft sand, isolated spots where water can accumulate after a rain storm and even a few creek crossings to make life interesting. The main obstacles are overgrowth. To learn more visit:  Pensacola Off-Road Cyclists
Big Lagoon State Park Trails (West Pensacola/Perdido) -located at 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, Big Lagoon State Park offers two loops of challenging, primitive trails for a total of 5 miles. The trails, accessible at various points throughout the park, feature rolling hills and a wide variety of footing, from hard packed gravel to soft sand to elevated boardwalks. The sweeping views of Wild Grande Lagoon and Long Pond are well worth the challenging terrain. The site of March 5 th's Bay to Breakfast 8K Cross Country Challenge, this is a can't-miss for trail lovers. The main obstacles are soft footing. To learn more visit:
So the next time you have some free time on your hands and a run on your schedule, take a drive to one of these locations and experience a part of Northwest Florida that hasn't yet succumbed to the concrete jungle.
Until next time, keep training!

Eric Miller

***A HUGE congratulations to our friends over at Pensacola Sports for another successful production of one of Northwest Florida's signature races: the Double Bridge Run 15K & 5K!

Greg  Schnoor  Wins
The  Jim  Harrington  Award !
The Jim Harrington Award is presented annually to a runner or walker who has suffered a physical setback and used running or walking to recover and regain their health. Greg Schnoor certainly personifies the substance of the award and more.

Greg was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010 and underwent neurosurgery to have it removed. He was then diagnosed with another, very rare form of brain cancer and started not only six weeks of radiation treatments, but also chemotherapy on a daily basis. After that he continued to have chemotherapy five times a month for several years. After losing a  great  deal of weight, he started improving and regained his senses of taste and smell. Then he started gaining weight and began walking to manage his weight and help with his mental and  physical well-being. Then he began running. His own words tell a story of determination:

"To cope with the changes in life, I turned my focus on getting healthier and have found running to be great physical and mental medication.  Even while taking chemo for one week almost every month, I started walking, then built myself up to running 5ks without walking, and then on to training for marathons and ultra marathons.  Ever since I made the change to start running, I have felt healthier than I ever have.  I hope to share with others that just because you get a life threatening illness or any other negative issues going on in your life, it does not mean you should let it control your life.  In fact, it has been a blessing and is driving me to make and reach my goals in life."

Greg has gone on to record some impressive times (3:27 marathon, 19:19 5K and good finishes in ultra-marathons) and has his sights set on even loftier goals. He was presented with the Harrington Award at the PRA Pensacola Beach Run in January and we can't think of a more deserving recipient. Greg, we wish you well, admire your resolve and look forward to seeing you down the road setting a great example for all.

Fiesta Of Five Flags 10K/5K
Registration Continues

April 30th is the day, the nationally-known Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K is the race and YOU and over 1000 runners and walkers will be in the field.  Starting at Pensacola State College you will run down 12th Avenue all the way to Cervantes Street, then run up to Palafox Street and Lee Circle. From there you run down the hill all the way to Government Street and then on to historic Seville Square for the 10K finish. Your race medal awaits you there.

5K runners and walkers will start near 12th Avenue and Scott Streets and finish the race in Seville Square as well. You'll be sprinting from Lee Circle down Palafox Street all the way to Government Street towards the race's finish and a great post-race party.

 Get all the details and register by clicking  HERE.

PRA Bay To Breakfast 8K 
Cross Country Challenge Is This Saturday

Experience the great scenery and the challenges of trail running this Saturday (March 5th) at Big Lagoon State Park in the PRA Bay To Breakfast 8K Cross Country Challenge. 

To get more information and to register go HERE

Great Races Are Coming Up!!
March 5th - Pensacola Runners Association Bay To Breakfast Cross Country Trail Run - 8K race -  Bay To Breakfast Information

March 19th - Azalea Trail Run - 10K, 5K and 2K races. The 39th Azalea Trail Run information is found  HERE

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

April 16th - Justice Jog 5K/1-Mile Fun Run - go  HERE for race information

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


Justice Jog 5K/1-Mile Fun Run
Benefits Local Senior Scholarships

Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz has a foundation that awards scholarships each year to local high school seniors in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Applications are currently being accepted and ten seniors will be presented with scholarships of at least $1,000 each. The Justice Jog 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run helps fund these scholarships.

The course is a 3.1 mile course and 1 mile fun run through historic downtown Pensacola.  More details, registration and the scholarship application are found HERE.

The Blue Angels Rock N Fly 
Half Marathon and 5k

By Shannon Kohler

So are you ready to get your Hippie on? This will mark the 3rd year for the event and it is all inspired by the 70's genre of music. So dig out of your closet those bellbottom jeans, tube tops, and platform shoes. 

The Blue Angels Rock N Fly Half Marathon and 5K will be held on Saturday, March 19th and begin at 8 a.m. Both races start and finish in the heart of NAS Pensacola on Radford and Fred Bauer (at the Starbucks sign). The half marathon course takes you through and around various landmarks such as the glorious Barrancas National Cemetery, the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Light House, Sherman Cove, and great waterfront views of Pensacola Bay and the entry to the Gulf of Mexico. It may be too much for some, but for a Rock N Fly runner could it get any better?

Every participant in the half marathon or 5K will receive a t-shirt and poster! In addition, half marathon athletes will take home a cool, hippie finishers medal. 

For participants just wanting to show off hippie or rocker gear we are ready to see what you got. Just remember these awards only go three deep for the best hippie and rocker costume awards. In addition, we will have the hula championship for the longest individual to hula-hoop. After the race, stick around for our huge post-race party! Jam out with our bands and enjoy food, fun, and music! This year's band will be our very own, local Not Quite So Fab (Beatles inspired) and from New Orleans, Flow Tribe.  So you think you have what it takes to Rock N Fly?

All 100 % proceeds of the Rock N Fly event will benefit the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and the Navy Ball. If running for a cause matters when picking your racing events then the Rock N Fly is must event to schedule into your calendar.

A Few "DOs" and "DON'Ts"
For Race Day

by Steve Lipe
PRA Board of Directors Secretary/
Walker Advocate

This is for everyone, Walkers and Runners alike...

1. Don't overdue it with too many Carbs... What you do the night before a race will directly impact how you feel when  you get ready to take off the next morning. It's not about volume. Tons of spaghetti or a four- cheese pizza won't sit well. It's ok to add a few extra carbs the day before, but focus less on  binge eating and more on strategic fueling. A simple spaghetti dish with marinara will go a lot  further than something heavy or cream based;

2. Layer Accordingly... Most people watch the weather days in advance of a race and all the way up to what it  is supposed to be at race time. As we all know, living in Florida, weather can change in a blink.  It's not only the temperature, but the humidity. Also consider is it sunny or cloudy, is there a wind chill factor and what direction is the wind from?  These are all different weather variables and, yes, even rain. If you are properly layered then
you are ready for anything. If you need to shed clothing, make sure it is something you  won't miss. It probably will not be where you tossed it aside after you finish. A good rule is to dress ten degrees warmer  than the actual temperature and have a nice dry shirt to put on when you finish;

3. PLEASE don't wear that day's race shirt on race day.  First off, this immediately tells everyone that you are a newbie, but more important is that  you should not wear anything new. This also goes for socks, running belts, body glide, compression  sleeves, GU, energy drinks or bars. If you haven't tested these things a few times prior to the  event, this is not the time to experiment. Last, don't EVER put on a new pair of running shoes;

4. Arrive to the event in plenty of time - DON'T be late. Try to get there  early....really  early. You have to realize that things happen, like accidents,  heavy traffic, detours or a full parking lot. Don't wait until the last minute to visit the port-o-lets. L ines are always worse just before race time. Give yourself plenty of warm up time and to go over  any last-minute details. Don't be starting the race and trying to pin your bib on at the same  time (Sandy);

5. Be familiar with the race course.  You don't have to memorize it, but at least know what lies ahead. Hopefully it will be well- marked and have volunteers at the intersections, otherwise you will be wondering if you  should have taken that last turn;

6. Don't take off like a jackrabbit.  Regardless of how good you think you are feeling, stick with your normal pace. Don't burn out in  the first part of the race, plus it can prevent any injury to your muscles if you overdo it before you are properly  warmed up;
7. You shouldn't hydrate or eat differently during the race.  Trying a new super gel or new protein bar or sports drink are on the "do not try" list. Any type  of different fueling can result in disaster. Play it safe, stick with what you know;

8. Don't forget to have FUN.  Doing a race is not only bettering you, but also your entire community. You might be  working towards a new PR, but don't make yourself miserable in the process. Enjoy the  fact that you have the ability to move......and don't forget to smile for the race photos
along the way...give 'em a big grin and a thumbs up, the end is never too far.

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

Does Drinking Alcohol Really Affect Running?

by Corey Dell
PRA Board Of Directors 

Everyone likes to drink beer immediately after a race, right?  I mean, why else do we run?  But, does drinking alcohol really affect running?  First, let's define moderate.  

Moderate intake of alcohol consumption is defined as few as three standard drinks per day.  Research indicates that having red wine can supply the body with additional antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.  However, levels exceeding moderate can actually increase the likelihood of an injury.  

Those with medical conditions, or on medication, should probably consult a physician regarding alcohol consumption. If you're shooting for a podium spot, you may want to refrain from consuming alcohol while training.  Drinking excessively can lead to dehydration and impairs the metabolic processes during exercise.  

So, while moderate alcohol can actually have positive effects on your health, this impact is no greater than your usual regular exercise routine.  I would save your extra calories and alcohol consumption to post race parties!!
Until next time, Happy Running!!

     Why Trail Running?
In the winter when the days start getting shorter and colder, riding my bike or swimming is not so attractive. However, pounding my feet everyday in the same street is quite boring! In the last few years I have found a great way to break up my routine and give a twist to my training with trail running.

There are, of course, pros and cons to trying this alternative to street running:

The most important pro that I have found is the contact with nature makes me feel alive, there is fresh air cooling my cheeks and getting into unknown places is really an adventure. The only thing I can hear besides my own breathing is the wind, some birds, the sound of the leaves and maybe water running if you happen to run near a creek. This is all so relaxing and makes you forget how hard you are trying. Sometimes you might even find mud and amuse yourself like a little kid.

Another benefit versus road running is the amount of "unused" muscles that you get to exercise. Your ankles get stronger and your glutes, which are the largest and most unused muscles in your lower body, get a fantastic workout. You even use your arms to balance yourself and, of course, you have to keep your belly tight and strong to keep the rest of your body centered, It is a great way to tone your whole body. 

The worst disadvantage or "con" that I have discovered are the falls. Yes,   truth be told, you should be prepared to fall. A real trail runner will hit the ground one way or the other, but it is just part of the fun. Become a kid for a day and learn to roll as you fall.  Another disadvantage, if you want to call it that, is that you never know how long you are going to be out there since getting lost is common. Here is a small suggestion - always carry water and a protein bar - it never hurts!

I have never gone for a 10 mile trail run that does not end up being 13 miles, but I find it another pro since you always end up exercising more than you planned.  S orry I said I was going to tell you the disadvantages, but I could not think of one as falling makes you stronger, getting lost forces you to strive for more mileage and it's just something different and worth trying. 

Make sure you start by running a few miles to let your body adapt and use appropriate shoes. If necessary protect your ankles. Remember the most important thing is to be prepared to have fun, be surprised and enjoy!

Tri The Island 
Kicks Off The Season 

A new race will debut on Pensacola Beach on April  23rd - the Tri The Island triathlon. The event is aimed at bringing first-timers into the sport, but also will provide a challenge for experienced triathletes who want to push their aerobic limits. 

The distances (300 yard swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run) are comfortable for those running their first multi-sport event and will offer an opportunity for veteran athletes to kick their seasons off. For more details and registration information, go to this race website.