PRA photo
Issue: # 29
May 2013
In This Issue
From the Top
Membership Renewal
Fiesta 10k/5K Wrap up
Rodell Castillo
Tri Gulf Coast
Runner Profile
Select Physical Therapy
Chasing Pre
Boston Results
Reflections on Boston

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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PRA President, Laura Harris

Wow!  How quickly time flies when you're having fun (and working really hard)!  I can't believe it's already been a year since I became the President of the Pensacola Runners President
Association.  In many ways, the job was a lot easier than I had expected... it helps to have a good team to work with; but there have been some tougher decisions along the way, as well.  I feel that not only am I leaving the organization with a lot of good forward momentum, but that the new leaders and board members are going to be able to continue the positive changes that have been made in the last several years.  I'd like to thank the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for making this past year such a positive experience for myself and for all those who have run our races.  We couldn't have done it without
numerous volunteers, as well.  Thank you!!!  Lewis Reddoch is stepping up to be your next President, and I have faith that he will continue to lead the PRA towards even bigger and better large races, while still maintaining the intimacy of our smaller events.  I hope you will consider running, volunteering, and supporting the PRA this coming year!


Laura Harris 

Gary McAdams Sandshaker 5K


The 11th annual Gary Mc Adams Sandshaker 5K will be run on June 8th at 7:30 AM.   The race will start and finish near the pavilion at the Casino Beach Parking Lot.   The post race party will be at the Sandshaker, as usual.   Nothing has changed, except we hope to have better weather this year!

This race has it all:   Enter online at, entry form on the PRA web site, or the "old fashion way" on a flyer available all over Pensacola, Fort Walton and Niceville.   Packet pick-up will be available on Thursday June 6th from 4-7 PM at Running Wild, Friday June 7th from 4-7 PM at the Sandshaker, and Saturday June 8th on Race Day at the Sandshaker from 6-7:15 AM.   The race will start promptly at 7:30, following an accurate course, with water available at the Start/Finish and 2 places along the course.     Fast and accurate scoring will be provided by Results Event Timing.  

The post race activities begin when the first finishers arrive at the Sandshaker, with oranges and watermelon on ice, to help you recover from your best run ever.   Once refreshed, the main course of pizza, hot dogs and chips follow. Of course, live music, adult beverages, and soda will be available. The awards are plentiful and well worth that little push to get one!   We only have the best for this race, and this is one race you don't want to miss!!!

PRA Membership Renewals

It's Time to Renew Your PRA Membership!
Beginning now, we are transitioning to an ANNUAL renewal for all... meaning that everyone's membership will run from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.  Our prices are the same: $15 for an individual, $20 for a family.  If you have signed up in recent months, or if you sign up before July 1st of this year, you will automatically be an active member until June 30, 2014.  All other extensions will be handled on a case-by-case basis if you'd like to contact  We sincerely hope this reduces some of the confusion of the past couple years and hope you'll consider renewing today!

Jackie Brown Wins

2013 Lou Gregory Award


Jackie Brown was recently named the winner of the 2013 Lou Gregory Award. This is the Pensacola Runners Association's (PRA) highest honor and recognizes significant leadership and accomplishments in the Northwest Florida running community.


Jackie has been the Race Director of the Fiesta of Five Flags  

10K/5K race and the Chairman of the Double Bridge Run four times each. She also has been on the PRA and TriGulfCoast Boards of Directors and is currently Vice-President of the Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) Board of Directors. She started and was the Race Director for the Woodlawn Beach Middle School 5K which raised significant funds for the school.


She was also this year's winner of the PRA's Jim Harrington Award and the PSA's Volunteer of The Year award. Jackie has been the director of the acclaimed Galloway training program for eight years and has trained hundreds of runners to complete several hundred marathons and half-marathons.


Jackie has completed 11 marathons, 40 half-marathons, numerous triathlons, duathlons and biathlons and over 100 road races. Congratulations to Jackie Brown, the 2013 Lou Gregory Award winner.


Fiesta 10K/5K Run/Walk
Race Report

This years 39th Annual Fiesta 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk was a huge success! To say the least the day started out in rare fashion.... 48 degrees and windy! This made for a cold wait until start time. Folks were huddled up behind buildings at both start lines. The weather conditions were greatly appreciated as soon as the race began! Along with great weather came great times. Michael Green of Troy, AL led the pack in the 10k. He crossed the finish line with a time of 31:02. Caleb Carmichael was a close second followed by Mitchell Jones. In the female division Jackie Kosakowski of Pensacola took first place in a time of 38:21. Second and third place females were Melanie Moffett and Becca Wein respectively. 10k Wheelchair winner was Rodell Castillo of Pensacola. In the 5k, Jeff Oliver of Pensacola led the men with a time of 16:00 and female overall winner with a time of 19:14 was 16-year-old Raleigh Nesbitt of Pensacola. In the walker category first place male went to Delbert Tucker of Navarre, FL and female winner was Pat Driscoll of Metairie, LA.


Not only did the above elite runners cross the finish line, there were many, many more. We are proud to say that this year we had 1375 people register for our race! We had set a goal of 1200 and because of you we surpassed that mark! Thanks for your part in this achievement!


After a fantastic run all the participants were treated to a grand celebration in Seville Square. The band Class X provided music. Beer, wine, mimosas and cold drinks were served along with Subway sandwiches. The children stayed busy running up and sliding down the inflatable slide.


A successful race is not possible without the help of wonderful volunteers! We thank each and every one of you who took the time to help us out. A big shout out and Thank You goes to the US Marines for not only helping to assist along the race route but for providing a memorable conclusion to the race.

Rodell Castillo Coming in for a Strong Finish with the U.S. Marines at the Annual Fiesta 10k/5K
Fiesta 10k/5K Children's PRA Patches

Congratulations to all of the children (ages 12 and under) that received PRA Patches!

Dakota Broadhurst, Oriole Beach Elementary 
Patrict Cain, Oriole Beach Elementary 
Aidan Irving, Oriole Beach Elementary 
Malachi Mason, Oriole Beach Elementary 
Dante Risola, Oriole Beach Elementary 
Oliver Norris, Cordova Park
Shane Brown, Cordova Park Elementary 
Emmi Murray, Aletheia Christian Academy 
Bailey Murray, Aletheia Christian Academy 
Llewellin Litvak, EDS 
Michael Drummond, Bagdad Elementary 
Arden McFadden, Mountain Road Elementary (Woodstock, GA) 

Way to go runners!

Rodell Castillo

An Amazing Finish at the Annual Fiesta 10k/5k!

Fiesta 10K Wheelchair Finish
Fiesta 10K Wheelchair Finish

Tri Gulf Coast

Just Another Finish Line, Never Again
By Evan Malone

Have you ever had an inner monologue before or during an event which involves something along the lines of "This isn't my day," "My nutrition is off," "I can't wait to finish," "Never again," or any number of other apathetic sentiments?  For many, these are the days where we find ourselves simply going through the motions, clicking through the miles, crossing the finish line, bantering with fellow athletes, heading to the car, and calling it a day.  These are the events we quickly forget.

But, for tons of other athletes at these very same events perhaps the same is not true.  It is their day.  They set a new PR.  They placed in

their age group.  They broke a new race distance barrier.  They beat a fellow competitor.  Or, perhaps, maybe it is as simple as making it to the finish line.  These are the memories which will remain with them for some long time.

It is nearly impossible to classify an event like the Boston Marathon into that first category of events as listed above.  Nothing about this event is "routine" and even a "bad day" is one where any participant can claim they ran (or suffered) alongside the very best marathon runners in the world for that particular year.  An event as such more than likely falls into the category of milestone events for any of the 23,000+ annual participants.

The first many hours of my 2013 Boston Marathon experience were memorable for a number of reasons:  my first time toeing the start line at Boston, a satisfying finish time given the absence of a true "goal" time going into the event, sharing the raceday experience with friends and loved ones, replacing the imagined experiences along the route from Hopkinton to Boston with REAL experiences, great weather conditions, and never "hitting the wall."  Again, none of this was routine and even if I had hit that "wall" I declare that I would still have savored every second of the experience.

Then the race clock clicked 4:09:44 and everything about the experience changed...

What was supposed to be a fun afternoon of sharing raceday stories, an evening of celebrating, and a post-marathon clinic on calorie gorging was replaced by an afternoon fixated on the TV and Internet news feed, a few hours of fractured sleep, and a somewhat more-stressful series of cab rides and flights home.

Reflecting on it, there exist plenty of "what if's" in that there are so many twists of fate which could have left me, my loved ones, or my friends at ground zero at that exact moment.  Scary.  Scary, and violated.

Yes, violated.  For me, the race course has always been an escape of sorts.  A chance to "unplug" -- leave the phone, put the laptop to sleep, and tune out of work... for at least a short period of time.  A chance to swim, bike, or run without relative consequence or concern.  Just the race course and me, my thoughts, and my fellow competitors battling it out for some arbitrary goal (an award, a finish time, a rival competition).  That place of solace has been invaded.  Although I have no reservations about how I covered those 26.2 miles and an otherwise fun night of celebrating was taken away, it is this invasion into my "escape" which stings the most.

It is an experience as such which should remind every athlete to take a chance to hit the reset button on those bad days where things aren't going their way on that race course.  Be glad to be out there.  Be glad to make it to the finish line.  Transform your "blah" or routine day into some energy which another athlete can grasp onto and convert into their positive memory, meaningful performance, or benchmark accomplishment.  Following Boston 2013, this is something I will try fold into my mentality on raceday.

Runner Profile
Griffin Powell
By Erika Smith

In 2010, an unexpected turn of events led Griffin Powell from being a bodybuilder "who really didn't care for running" to becoming an endurance athlete. Through "a strict ketogenic diet and a lot of conditioning," Griffin dropped 40 lbs that year in preparation for his first bodybuilding competition and in the process discovered his "true calling" (running and cycling).  Later that year, he placed third in his age group at his first 5k at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama and he's been "hooked" on running ever since.


 Griffin's favorite local races include the Double Bridge Run and the Pensacola Marathon. He also enjoys the Turkey Trot 5k, the site of his first race in Pensacola, as well as all of the PRA events. Griffin likes "venturing outside the area for races" as well and recently completed the Rise & Shine Half Marathon in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he earned a new PR of 1:36:56. As a fellow Auburn Tiger, I was excited to hear about one of Griffin's favorite races, "Finish on the 50" in Auburn, Alabama, where runners/college football enthusiasts finish the race by crossing the 50-yard line at Jordan-Hare Stadium. As an avid cyclist, Griffin also participates in duathlons. Last August, he completed the "Petal and Pace" du in Mobile, where the bike course led athletes on a very cool ride through the Bankhead Tunnel. Although Griffin enjoys running in downtown Pensacola, particularly on Tuesday evenings with the McGuire's Running Club, his favorite places to run include Johnson's Beach and the Gulf Island National Seashore in Perdido Key, "where it's nothing but you, the sand, the water, and the elements. And, there's always a headwind."


Griffin's upcoming race plans include competing in several duathlons this summer followed by the Pensacola Marathon in November, with a few 5k's in between. However, most recently, Griffin's running-related efforts have focused on his responsibilities as Co-Race Director (with Wendy Ellis) of the very successful 39th annual PRA Fiesta Run.


Griffin earned both his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and his Master's degree in Public Administration from Auburn University Montgomery. He is employed as the City Planner for beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama. He is currently volunteering not only with the PRA, but is also serving on the Board of Directors for the Baldwin Trailblazers, a non-profit group working to establish biking and walking trails in Baldwin County.


When he's not running, cycling, weight training, or volunteering, Griffin can usually be found "at a coffee shop, visiting a historical site (I'm admittedly a history buff), or attending a sporting event." He enjoyed going to Bayfront Stadium to watch the Pensacola Blue Wahoos during their inaugural season. He also likes traveling whenever possible. Griffin cites Philadelphia as one of his favorite cities because his experience there offered "a good mixture of history, sports and a chance to run the Rocky steps." In fact, Griffin's vacations usually involve running or cycling or both, since "You never truly see an area unless you've traveled it by foot or by bike." You can also find Griffin watching a lot of college football during the fall. As a native of (Greenville) Alabama, Griffin explains "it's a state law that you have to declare a college football allegiance. I'm an Auburn Tiger."


Select Physical Therapy


Select Physical Therapy would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the PRA members who have given Select Medical the opportunity to provide healthcare and physical therapy services to you this year. We hope the service and care you have received has been outstanding. We know you have many choices for physical therapy, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you. We have skilled clinicians that are specially trained to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions and sports related injuries. We have several clinicians that are certified orthopedic manual therapists, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning specialists, and Graston certified. We are also proud to have a board certified orthopedic specialist (OCS), a board certified sports specialist (SCS), and 3 certified hand therapists (CHT). We provide runner evaluations using Dartfish software and custom orthotics at our Airport Blvd location. Please see our web site at to see a list of clinics and the services they provide. We also have an injury hotline that is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week by one of our athletic trainers. If you are injured, whether it is minor or significant enough to require medical attention, we can help you decide the best treatment for your injury. We have an orthopedic surgeon and a primary care MD that will work you into their schedule if need. If you would like more information or are unsure how to manage your injury, call 850-619-2862. Please leave a detailed message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.



Chasing Pre (Part 2)

By Charles Gheen

In July of 2010 we flew to Portland to "explore the Oregon coast". Portland is on the Washington-Oregon border where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers meet. It's an impressive city with scenic parks, many bridges and it does rain a lot. After visiting the Columbia River Gorge, Bonneville Dam and Multnomah Falls, we found the original Niketown, an amazing store. It features the latest and most expensive Nike products and has pictures of various athletes who have represented the brand. An image of Steve Prefontaine is prominently displayed in the running section. At nearby Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, there is a statue of only one Nike athlete, Pre. Inspired, we decided to travel down the coast all the way to his hometown of Coos Bay.


We set out for Cannon Beach, 80 miles to the west, and drove through rolling countryside on a sunny afternoon until there was an elevation gain and it started snowing. It turned into a consistent rain as we drove through lush, green forests and reached the coast on a dark, dreary, late afternoon.. We went to the "beach" the next morning to see the Haystack and the Needles - large rock outcroppings that reach up out of the sea towards the skies. The water is very cold and it was a breezy, cold day in July. We drove south and experienced the amazing coastline. It's very scenic with state parks, estuaries and lighthouses. The Heceta Head Lighthouse looks like a postcard and is the most impressive of the eleven Oregon coast lighthouses.


A few days later we arrived in Coos Bay, a blue-collar fishing and shipping town. The Coos Art Museum has a Prefontaine Gallery and we went there, paid the admission and walked upstairs to a wood-paneled room. We did not expect much, but the gallery was a treasure trove of Pre's medals, trophies, shoes and singlets. There were also numerous pictures and the movie "Fire On The Track" played continuously. We sat down, watched the entire film and then perused all the mementos on display. I signed the visitors' log and noted there were many countries around the world represented by the people who had marked their presence. Comments like "Go Pre" and "Pre, Pre, Pre" were frequent as were compliments on the collection.


We stopped briefly by the Prefontaine Memorial at the Chamber of Commerce and at the track named in his honor at Marshfield High School. Then we drove south of town to the Sunset Memorial Park cemetery to visit his grave. There's a bas-relief likeness on the headstone and there were shoes, medals, ribbons and race bibs left there by visitors. There was a stillness that seemed out of place with his image. Heading back up the coast, we soon turned east towards Eugene, home of the University of Oregon. Driving on scenic roads through farmland and verdant countryside, we checked into our hotel not quite two hours later.


After driving around campus and noting the plethora of impressive, new buildings, I headed to Skyline Drive where Pre was killed. He had organized a meet with the Finnish national track and field team and brought many American stars to Eugene to compete. Following the conclusion of a very successful event he was at a party to celebrate and then drove Frank Shorter, the USA's marathon gold medalist, up Skyline to noted writer and Oregon runner Kenny Moore's house where Shorter was staying. Steve and Frank talked briefly in the car and then Pre drove his MGB down Skyline, veered left on a curve and slammed into a short retaining wall. The MGB convertible turned over on Pre and pinned him underneath. A resident came out, tried to lift the car off him and ran for help as the life drained out of Pre. By the time others arrived, he was dead. I drove just past the crash site, parked the rental Prius and got out.


On the left hand side of the road heading downhill is a sizeable rock outcropping marked with "Pre 5-30-75 RIP". There is also a monument with Pre's likeness on it. Medals, trophies, bibs, ribbons, shoes, flags and even letters are strewn at the site. I looked up Skyline at the benign drop in the road and at the easy curve he had traveled down and I was livid. How had this happened? How did this quick yet vicious tragedy happen on this calm stretch of a neighborhood street? I walked up and down the street puzzling it over in my mind. Pre had been drinking at the party and there were reports of another vehicle in the road that he would have had to avoid, but it's still hard to understand. After several minutes we drove down the hill to the campus about a mile away.


The next day, in an early morning drizzle we ran the track at historic Hayward Field. In quiet solitude we circled the state-of-the-art facility past the statue of legendary coach Bill Bowerman and past the stands where passionate track fans chanted "Pre, Pre, Pre" during his races. After a few miles, we sat in the stands for several minutes and just took it all in.   We then headed across the Willamette River to Pre's Chip Trail. Steve had seen the cross-country trails outside cities in Europe and tried to get the City of Eugene to build one. He met with resistance and the project was delayed, but shortly after his death the initial chip trail was finished and today there are a series of trails there hear Oregon's football stadium. We ran the main route and then headed back for a shower and late breakfast.


Leaving Eugene, we drove north to Corvallis, Salem, Olympia and the Olympic Peninsula. Returning we took the ferry at Bremerton across Puget Sound to the fantastic, gleaming metropolis that is Seattle. Six months later we were in Boulder, Colorado on a cold, snowy afternoon and walked into a well-known running store. Stretched across a wall was a large banner with a likeness of Steve Prefontaine and emblazoned with the words "Pre Lives".

Boston Marathon Results


By: Dave Seiler

Boston MAY not be the best marathon and certainly not the most runner friendly or best organized but all runners owe our sport to Boston. In my opinion, you cannot be considered a marathoner if you have not run Boston at least once. I ran it twice, 1973 and 1975. In 1973 the qualifying time was 3.30. I ran a 3:30 for 750th out of 1500 so half the field did not repeat the qualifying time. 6 of the 12 women beat me including Mickey Gorman, 39 years old and several months pregnant. However, she was the world record for female marathoners. I did beat Bill Rodgers tho! He dropped out at 20 miles but a win is a win! In 1975 I had a 2:48 but Bill evened the score with a 2:14 or so.

We had terrorist problems then also. It was the time of Hippies and counter cultures and we were advised to be careful who we accepted water from cause we did not know what people put in it. That was OK for the first half but on a brutally hot day I would have taken water from Jane Fonda!

In '75 I went thru the 13 mile mark at the women's college campus with the lead lady. I was not a favorite. "Beat that old man"! but i I did beat all the women that year. To show the advance of times, I improved my finish time by over 40 minutes but was still about 350th out of 4000 or so. Boston will be great next year in spite of the bombing. I wish I was able to run it again. More power to those who can.


Please email your information to Dave Seiler:

Reflections on Boston 


*Please let me know where you want to add a editor's note... Do you want title that reads "opinion article", or as Charles suggested "In those days?"....

By: Dave Seiler

Boston is not the best marathon and certainly not the most runner friendly or best organized but all runners owe are sport to Boston. You can not be considered a marathoner if you have not run Boston at least once, I ran it twice, 1973 and 1975. In '73 the qualifying time was 3.30. I ran a 3:30 for 750th out of 1500 so half the field did not repeat the qualifying time. 6 of the 12 women beat me including Mickey Gorman, 39 years old and several months pregnant. However, she was the world record for female marathoners. I did beat Bill Rodgers tho! He dropped out at 20 miles but a win is a win! In '75 I had a 2:48 but Bill evened the score with a 2:14 or so.

We had terrorist problems then also. It was the time of Hippies and counter cultures and we were advised to be careful who we accepted water from cause we did not know what people put in it. That was OK for the first half but on a brutally hot day I would have taken water from Jane Fonda!

In '75 I went thru the 13 mile mark at the women's college campus with the lead lady. I was not a favorite. "Beat that old man"! but i I did beat all the women that year. To show the advance of times, I improved my finish time by over 40 minutes but was still about 350th out of 4000 or so. Boston will be great next year in spite of the bombing. I wish I was able to run it again. More power to those who can.
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