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Issue: #51
May 2015
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 Charles Gheen  


It's been a tremendous year for the Pensacola Runners Association! The PRA has positively influenced the health and well-being of the Northwest Florida community as we've put on 8 quality races and helped strengthen the great sport of running and walking in our area. We've made charitable donations to the UWF Cross Country teams, upgraded our equipment once again and provided great opportunities for like-minded people to get outside and get moving.  

A new Board of Directors and Officers is taking over and they are an amazing group of committed athletes. Our incoming President, Eric Miller (a former scholarship track athlete at the University of Miami), has lots of energy, ideas and plans that he and our Board will be working on and implementing. The PRA will need your help. 

As a not-for-profit, 100% all-volunteer organization, funds and manpower are definitely needed. It's time now to re-new your membership and also consider volunteering. We'll soon be sending out reminders individually with all the details.

As a member you do receive membership discounts for each of our races and we have a membership social each year with many giveaways and extra swag. But the most important thing is you are an integral, valued part of supporting YOUR sport in our community. You are helping promote and advance a healthy lifestyle for our citizens and that makes a difference!

Keep training, 



McGrana han and Green Win Again
At The Fiesta Of Five Flags 10K/5K   
Pensacola's Jennifer McGrahan won the 41st Annual Fiesta of Five Flags women's 10K race over Line Lauritsen and Jackie Kosakowski by cruising through the historic 6.2 mile course in 37:05. Lauritsen and Kosakowski ran 39:24 and 39:43 respectively to finish 2nd and 3rd behind the defending champion. 

Former Fiesta Champion Michael Green, Troy, AL., ran 32:05 to claim the men's title. Danny Goodman (33:10) and 2014 winner, Nick Merrett (33:13), finished 2nd and 3rd overall behind Green. 

Dyllan Viquelia (17:11) and Sophia Tucker (20:46) won the titles in the 5K race. 

Over 1500 athletes were registered and 1370 finished the two races. Congratulations to Race Directors Diane Martinez and Shannon Kohler as well as their outstanding race committee. Find the Fiesta of Five Flags race results  HERE!

Big Fun At Bear Lake Trail Challenge!

Once again the Bear Lake 4 Mile Trail Challenge was a great family experience for all participants and an athletic challenge. The previous night a downpour of rain fell and saturated the area. The course, however, drained nicely by the time the gun went off and the runners charged off through the woods around the lake. An awesome picnic lunch was served at the post-race celebration afterwards along with lots of extra PRA swag being given away.

2015 Bear Lake Race Start

The Bear Lake race serves also as the annual meeting of the Pensacola Runners Association. The following Officers and Board of Directors were elected for the 2015-16 PRA year at the celebration: President - Eric Miller, Vice-President - Jason Libbert, Treasurer - Diane Martinez, Secretary - Steve Lipe, Equipment - Jim Readdy, Membership - Corey Dell, Susan Martin, Lorenzo Aguilar, Gabriela Gasque, Shannon Kohler, Alyssa King, Ben Dillon and Dana Bartholomew.

4 Miles Later At The Finish

Upcoming PRA Races

The Pensacola Runners Association is pleased to announce that we are partnering with the University of West Florida Cross Country team to hold the Argonaut 5K race on August 28th.  This fun, challenging 5K is a great way to give back to the Northwest Florida running community! 100% of the profits will go to support the University of West Florida Argonaut Cross Country Team, who give endless hours of their time volunteering at area races each year. You can find all the details HERE!

The UWF Argonaut

The Don 
McCloskey Seafood Festival 5K is coming up on September 26  2015 at 7:30 AM. The downtown Pensaola race course is a flat, fast, scenic route that will kick off your fall racing season with a possible PR. You will also have an opportunity to eat some of the best seafood anywhere at the Pensacola Seafood Festival after the race.  All the information and registration can be found  HERE!


Jehan Clark Named As 2015
Lou Gregory Award Winner 

The Pensacola Runners Association is pleased to recognize Jehan Clark as our 2015 Lou Gregory Award winner. Jehan was cited at the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K/5K run awards ceremony for his accomplishments in showing great leadership and enthusiasm in advancing the sport of running and the mission of the PRA in the Northwest Florida community.

Clark was formerly Vice-President and President of PRA, is Vice-President of the Pensacola Sports Association, Vice-President of the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon, is a former three-time Race Director of the PRA Pensacola Beach Run and is the Race Director of the upcoming Volition America Half-marathon and 5K. Congratulations to Jehan Clark!

Lou Gregory Award Winners Jackie Brown, Dave Seiler, Mike McCartan and Wendy Ellis

Area Race Spotlight
The Gary McAdams 5K is set for June 21st at 7:30 AM at beautiful Pensacola Beach. The race benefits the Gary McAdams Scholarship Fund which awards college grants to deserving area high school seniors. Click  HERE! for more information.

Runners And Volunteers At The Gary McAdams 5K

There is a new off-road triathlon in Northwest Florida - the XTerra Blackwater race on August 2nd at 7:30 AM! What's XTerra? It's an international series of races staged in outdoor settings involving swimming, mountain biking and trail running. All the information you'll need to get one of the last slots is found  HERE! - hurry before it's sold-out!

The Volition America Half-Marathon and 5K is coming to Pensacola in December (perfect running weather). This national race series provides scholarships for the children of fallen service members. You'll want to be part of this race for this great cause! The course will pass through all of the historic areas in downtown Pensacola and across the Bayou Chico Bridge. The 5K also hits the historic highlights and allows you to be participate in helping this worthy endeavor. You can find the details and registration information HERE!


Volition America Race Start

Seasonal Allergies 


by Corey Dell

PRA Board of Directors 

Don t you just enjoy running with seasonal allergies? Spring is in full force and summer is right behind it!! I m sure quite a few of you do have seasonal allergies that you suffer through, so here are a few tips to help you along the way.


First, know what you're allergic to, or what triggers your allergies. Some things can be avoided. If you're allergic to dogs or cats, stay away from them. If you live with them, make sure they at least stay out of your bedroom. That way you at least have a night-time sanctuary and, hopefully, you can rest peacefully.  


Plan your runs accordingly!  If you have a tree allergy, try running in the evening when the pollen levels are a little lower. Although over-the-counter medications can make you drowsy, they do have non-drowsy options. I know when I get my seasonal allergies, I typically take my Benadryl in the evening.  


Finally, if the pollen outside is a little unbearable try other activities like swimming in a pool or taking a spin class. Even though we live in a beautiful place to be outdoors, sometimes it's not possible. Heat and seasonal allergies can both be factors, so running on an indoor treadmill is always an option!! I hope you all have been enjoying this beautiful weather before it gets too hot.  

Corey Dell
Corey Dell


Until next time, Happy Running!!




The Spice Of Life

by Tom Henderson


There is plenty of evidence out there in the world that your mind and body respond best when presented with a wider variety of challenges. Studies have shown that training your mind with different types of challenges and problems helps to develop and maintain cognitive ability and resist the effects of Alzheimers. Workout routines like boot camp programs, p90x, crossfit, etc. have shown that we make more gains when our workout is constantly changed to give our body new challenges.


But I think there's even more to it than that. I think variety is critical for our emotional health and longevity as well. I feel happier and more fulfilled when I'm able to train in multiple disciplines. I also firmly believe that my time in the pool helps avoid running injuries, while time spent cycling and running does more for aerobic capacity than swimming does by itself. In other words, being a triathlete makes most people better in all three sports than they would be in any one sport by itself, and the variety in the workouts makes all of them more enjoyable, helps prevent injuries and helps to avoid the feeling of falling into a workout rut.


Taking on a new sport can be intimidating. For the most part, people who think about attempting their first triathlon are most intimidated by the swim. Not to mention that open water swim training in a group environment is hard to come by. Others feel intimidated by cycling, and newbie-friendly cycling opportunities can be hard to find as well. Since you're reading this article in The Rundown, I'll assume you're already comfortable with running, as you should be with the support of a great organization like PRA to welcome new runners and promote the sport! 



If you've been thinking about adding spice to your workout and your life and you've entertained the idea that a triathlon might be a fun way to do it, Tri Gulf Coast is here to help make it happen! The Mere Mortals program kicks off on Sunday, June 7th on Pensacola Beach. You  have the opportunity to join more than 100 other athletes from newbies to very experienced triathletes for group training and learn the great sport of triathlon. 

We will have open  water  swimming, road cycling and running training, all in a group training environment with safety support. Best of all, we'll start slowly and gradually combine the three sports and build distances. This will culminate in a well-organized practice race on the same course as the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon two weeks before the actual race is held.

On June 7th we will meet at the center of the Quietwater Boardwalk and each Sunday after that we will meet at the Gulfside Pavilion on Casino Beach. Each  session  begins at 6:30 AM
, so you'll want to arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of time so you can get checked in. In order to meet insurance requirements, we require that participants join Tri Gulf Coast. Come spice things up with us! I look forward to seeing you on the beach! More information can be found at
 30th Annual Gate To Gate Run
Race Report 
The Gate To Gate Run on Eglin Air Force Base has changed a lot since the inaugural event in 1986 when about 40 runners showed up and ran the classic course across the base. The course has a different route (although there is still no shade) and you have the options to run or walk the original 4.4 miles or 8.8 miles and each of those can also be run with a full rucksack on your back. Again you drop a flower off at the memorial during the first mile. The weather hasn't changed much over the years as it's still usually hot and humid on Memorial Day weekend. 

Gate To Gate Finish Line

This year's event featured a cumbersome traffic jam trying to pass through security at Eglin's west gate, but that hurdle was soon surmounted and the race went off well once the gun sounded. There were lots of water stops, streaming results on large, high-definition television screens at the finish and a good post-race celebration. Among the five races there were 1309 finishers.

The PRA Is Looking  
 For Volunteers (STILL)!

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 Waterstop Volunteers
If you are interested in volunteering or in becoming a Race Director, please email PRA President-elect Eric Miller at  Thanks very much!!