PRA photo
Issue: # 35
November  2013
In This Issue
From the Top
Upcoming Races
Pensacola Beach Run
Tina Schitz Qualifies!
TriGulf Coast
Savannah Race Report
Healthy Lives
Membership Renewal

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 



Hello Pensacola Runners!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the weather has moderated, and the running conditions are pristine. Definitely put the Seville Quarter Turkey Trot on your agenda along with the PRA's UWF Cross Country Run, the Downtown Christmas Dash, and of course the Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon/10K/5K.

Thanks to all of you that volunteered to run the PRA booth at the Pensacola Marathon Expo and the water stop for the race. We signed up some new members and had a nice presence in the running community.

I got a call last month that delves into the history of the PRA. Mr. Mike Hannon from Minnesota found our website and contacted me. He lost his Dad (Lawrence) recently and is taking care of his affairs. Mr. Lawrence Hannon was quite a runner and wanted to pass along a photo taken with Lou Gregory. Lou went to NAS HI to draft a marathon team while serving as a young naval officer. Mr. Hannon was serving in Hawaii and tried out for the team with Lou. He was the only runner who could keep up with Lou and went on to win the marathon with Lou Gregory's team.

Thanks to Mike for sharing this historic photo.  Lawrence Hannon is the 3rd person in from the left and Lou Gregory is the 3rd person in from the right: 

Check out all the terrific articles in this month's Rundown, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Upcoming Races!

Seville Quarter Turkey Trot - November 23rd (yes, tomorrow)- 8 AM. Packet Pickup/Late Registration is November 22nd (today)

PRA UWF Cross Country Run - December 7th - 8 AM

Corry Station CPOA Crimestoppers 5K (Tyler Jefferson memorial run) - December 7th - 8 AM

PRA Christmas Dash - December 14th - 5 PM

PRA Pensacola Beach Run - Half-Marathon/10K/5K - January 11th - 7:30 AM 

Details are available at 
The Pensacola Beach Run (PBR)
Is Right Around The Corner

Right now you are about 7 (seven) weeks out from the Pensacola Beach Half Marathon on beautiful Santa Rosa Island. This race is the original Half Marathon on Pensacola Beach and is produced by your local Pensacola Runners Association (PRA).

We will also offer 10K and 5K races to challenge you and would love to have you participate in one of those.  BUT if you're going to run 13.1 miles in the midst of the scenic beauty to be found near the Gulf of Mexico, you need to commit today.
Your Pensacola Runners Association supports several races in the Northwest Florida area and also donates to worthy causes including the recently-endowed UWF Cross Country Team scholarship fund. You can help support our endeavors by running in these great races.  

So, start your year off right with an awesome experience that also helps support your local running community!  Register here now:  Pensacola Beach Run Registration
2012 PBR Start
From A Broken Hip To Boston   
 PRA Board member and Secretary Tina Schmitz started running a little over three years ago and trained for a half-marathon.  Her results were not exactly what she had hoped for: a stress fracture in her hip.  A broken hip would have dissuaded most people and they might have taken up a milder form of exercise or perhaps concentrated on a hobby like fishing or golf.  Tina, however, came back with a vengeance and recently ran her first marathon. 

That's a pretty good story in itself, BUT, not only did she finish the marathon, she won her Age Group! Now, that is a very good story, but there is more.  Tina ran, in her first marathon, 3:44:28 and qualified for the Boston Marathon! 

In describing how she came back from a broken hip, Tina says she "trained smarter" when returning to running following
the normal recovery and rehabilitation period.  This included adding strength training to her regimen as an essential part of her physical conditioning. 

This helped to remedy any imbalances in her body that could lead to injury and allowed her to train efficiently and effectively.  She specifically strengthened her abductor and adductor muscles (those on the outside and inside of the thighs) as well as her gluteus muscles.

As another important element of her "intelligent" training, Tina cross trains and is a triathlete as well.  She runs 3-4 times weekly and her highest mileage is about 40 miles. Being in great overall shape enabled her to train hard and average 8:34 for 26.2 miles on her way to Boston.

In addition to being a valued PRA Board member, Tina is very familiar to those in the triathlon community as a USA Triathlon-certified referee and a proud member of the Run4Wine running club. Congratulations to a very determined athlete! 



by Evan Malone

As 2013 winds to an end, perhaps you will find yourself considering some new goals heading into 2014.  Maybe you are a runner entertaining the notion of completing a multisport event (i.e. triathlon) in the coming year.  Contributing to the informal consensus, the sport of triathlon may seem daunting but rest assured that your local multisport club, Tri Gulf Coast, is a tremendous and easily-accessible asset to all comers, particularly "newbie" or novice triathletes.
Evan With His "666" Body Mark
Peruse and digest the following bullet-pointed list of observations about this great sport.  Perhaps this informal (and far from all-inclusive) listing will assuage some of your misconceptions and fears, alert you to the hot button topics, provide a bit of a humorous take on "tri geeks," and pique your interest even more!

- Statistically, it is highly unlikely that you will finish "last" in a triathlon.  With a combination of disciplines (swim, bike, run, transition) at your disposal chances are you will excel in at least one discipline.  Enjoy it when you get to pass your fellow athletes, you may see them again depending on each of your respective strengths.  Triathletes love the ex-collegiate swimmer who kills the swim course then spends ten minutes in T1 bragging about their fast swim time...

- Don't worry, most every one of the other beginner triathletes fear the swim as well.  Yes, even those who were raised in, on, or around the water.  Further, the sensation of swimming "in a washing machine" does seem to be pretty accurate.

- You will have a nightmare about your venture into multisport.  Guaranteed.  It may involve getting lost in the transition area, forgetting some integral gear (goggles, running shoes, helmet, bike), or you may even envision sleeping through the start of the race.  Again, totally normal.

- A controversial topic in road races, but NO headphones in triathlon.  No exceptions.  Don't fear the rules officials as much as you should fear the nasty sneers and hand gestures from your fellow triathletes if you feel you are a special case and "just need to wear headphones because I always do in training."

- Drafting is illegal during the bike segment of a triathlon and most everyone is too winded or anaerobic to be able to execute it effectively during the swim or the run.

- Bike helmets, mandatory.  No helmet = no race.  What becomes entertaining is when one of your fellow athletes heads onto the run course with his/her helmet still on.  Hang around enough triathlons and this becomes a common occurrence.

- Yes, you need a license to race.  USA Triathlon (the sanctioning body of the sport) certifies 99% of the races in the U.S. and this goes with the territory, athletes need to be licensed.  Only doing one or two events in a season, pay the one-day fee ($12) at the races.  Considering more than two events in a year, go for the annual membership.  Note:  your annual license card does not carry any weight with immigration or local law enforcement but may assist with pickup lines at local watering holes.

- Packet pick-up, bring your photo ID and proof of USAT license coverage.  It is easier to convince your bank of your identity absent actual photo proof.

- The "transition area" is indeed a formal entity.  And, at many events, it is nearly as secure as Fort Knox.  You want to enter?  Make sure you have the appropriate credentials (read:  athlete wrist band).  Want to take your bike out after the event?  Bib number needs to match body numbering needs to match bike number needs to match blood type.

- Local road race = bib number.  Triathlon = body marking (markered race number adorning upper and lower extremity), numbered swim cap, race number taped to bike frame, race number taped to front of the bike helmet, and bib number (similar to a road race) attached to a race belt for the run.

- Chicked = being passed and beaten by a female.  Chances are you won't be "strollered" in a triathlon though.

- You will wait in a line somewhere -- packet pick-up, port-o-let, body numbering, port-o-let, swim start, port-o-let, beer truck...

- Penalties?  Yes, you can be assessed a variable time penalty.  Have a great race.  Enjoy perfect weather conditions.  Finish with a smile on your face.  But, don't break the rules or you may find your name on the "penalty list" with two minutes (or more) tagged to your finish time.  This becomes fun when you have a training partner who blatantly cheats and now you have some objective "dirt" on him/her or if you suddenly have been bumped on/off the podium for an age group award because you or another athlete were assessed.

- Apart from penalties, to further complicate the issue of which of your training partners you may have finished before or after at said event, don't forget to factor in which start wave everyone slotted into at the beginning of the day.  This can add or subtract four to ninety minutes to/from an athlete's finish time.  Smile, you may not have been chicked afterall...

- Timing chips prevail.  Yes, outdated and cumbersome technology for road races, but not when it comes to a triathlon where athletes need waterproof, versatile, and durable hardware to help feed data so as to be able to produce the many complicated forms of data triathletes love dissecting:  swim time, T1 time, bike time, bike pace, T2 time, run time, run pace, overall finish time, cumulative transition time, etc...

- Anklet RoadID, get one.  Not just a fashion statement ("Hey, look at me, I am a triathlete...") but also practical for safety and for sporting your timing chip.

- Enjoy showing up to your local 5k charity run with fifteen minutes to spare?  Forget that.  Triathletes arrive two hours before their scheduled race start.  You will learn to set multiple alarm clocks, concoct a complicated "buddy system" wherein athletes call or text one another to make sure everyone is awake, or just sleep at the race site (don't laugh, it has been done).

- There are actually more than three disciplines to prepare for:  pre-race dinner, raceday nutrition, finding a Starbucks or gas station open at 5:00am for your caffeine fix, swim, T1, bike, T2, run, post-race refueling, ensuring your body number stays on long enough following the event for a neighbor or co-worker to query as to why you have numbers markered on your extremities.

- Triathletes love their gear.  Beyond the basics (goggles, swimsuit/trisuit, bike, bike helmet, run shoes) there are endless permutations and ever-evolving versions of bike shoes, tri-specific run shoes, sunglasses, aero wheels, triathlon hats/visors, aero helmets, bib number belts, aero bottles, high-octane calorie products, aero aero (yes, anything with the word "aero" in it is worthy of a triathlete)...  And this is before factoring in what space-age material each of these particular items might happen to be crafted from.

- Triathlon, not triathAlon.

- How old will you be as of December 31st?  Get used to figuring that math out.  Triathlon age groups are based on the "age up" rule wherein all athletes race at the age they will be at the end of the current calendar year.  So, for a race in April, if you are 34 years-old and your 35th birthday is in November, you will compete in the 35-39 age group for your April event.  So there you are:  5:00am, still recovering from your nightmare of hitting T1 without a helmet, Starbucks is closed, both your arms grasping onto superfluous (aero) gear, and some over-caffeinated volunteer is asking you to perform the equivalent of long division while blinding you with their halogen high-beam headlamp.

- Related, wondering if that athlete you are chasing down is in your age group?  No worries, triathlon volunteers generally marker the athlete age ("age up" of course) on one of the calves of all participants.  About to finish your event and run up on someone not in your age group it is almost a guarantee that your heart rate will settle a bit once you figure out that you "don't really need to pass him/her" as nobody will ever be able to tell on the results sheet.  As an aside, it has been reported that triathletes have used the markered age on the calf of the opposite gender as a way to help break the ice during the post-race festivities and bragging on one's achievements.

- Triathlons "sell out."  Yes, due to municipal permits, USAT sanctioning, safety precautions, and transition area dimensions/size (have to be able to handle X amount of bikes racked in the transition area) it is routine to see an event fill to capacity weeks or months in advance.  Rare is the occasion where a triathlete is registering for an event at packet pickup the day before (or day of) an event.  It can be easier to successfully apply for a passport and grab an international flight last minute than it is to get into your local supersprint triathlon in the days leading up to the event.  Yes, triathletes become masters of "planning ahead."

- Run a marathon recently?  Were you part of a "pace group"?  These don't exist in triathlon.  In fact, being paced by a non-competitor will earn you a penalty.  You want to be "paced" then you need to find a fellow competitor who happens to be moving along at the same pace you are (or desire to be), without drafting on the bike of course...

Rock N Roll Savannah  

Marathon/Half Marathon


by Charles Gheen

Savannah is a coastal city with a lot of history, a beach area (Tybee Island), southern charm and a port.  You could say it looks a lot like Pensacola.  Chatham County and Escambia County are very similar in population and each is seen as an enticing destination for visitors and tourists.

Along with 11 other runners I was a member of a Pensacola group, trained by jackie Brown, who completed the half marathon portion of this event.  We were joined by nearly 15,000 others who were registered for the race.

As with all Rock N Roll races, there was plenty of "hoopla" surrounding the race starting with the Expo in the convention center across the Savannah River from the city itself.  Packet Pickup was a smooth and flawless operation and the race shirt was a high-quality Brooks technical shirt that impressed everyone. The Expo had quality vendors with "expo" prices and also featured a lot of races who set up booths to push their events.

Parking in downtown Savannah on the morning of the race could have been a problem, but local law enforcement was out in substantial numbers and ensured traffic moved quickly and smoothly.  We got to the parking garage in downtown WAY too early and trekked about 10 blocks towards the starting area.  With the wind chill in the 40s, there was still too much time before the race to stay outside.  So we ducked into a hotel lobby and spent some quality time in the warmth while we prepped for the race.

Because historic Bay Street is relatively narrow, the start corrals stretched back for many, many blocks.  About 10 minutes before the race I finally came out of the hotel and hastily made my way back towards Corral 8.  Most of the field were already in their assigned areas as very loud rock and roll music blared throughout the entire downtown.  The corrals were clearly marked and very well controlled by well-trained volunteers. 

I settled into the middle of my group and the Elite athletes went off as each corral walked forward to wait for their time to begin.  I had a tough final long run and my left hamstring was still sore so I wasn't feeling very confident.  Finally, we were at the start and off we went with "Back In Black" ringing in our ears.

The majority of the runners are female (about 8000 in the HM along with 3400 males) and wore the latest and brightest running attire.  Neon greens, yellows, oranges and pinks made up much of the color panorama and it was visually stunning as we got into our rhythm of forward motion.  I stayed to the side to avoid any sudden movement by the crowd and tried to focus on my pace.

Shortly after the first mile we turned into what I'll describe as "poorer" neighborhoods.  There were modest houses, some over-grown vacant lots and a few obviously abandoned vehicles on this 3-4 mile segment.  Even though it was early and cold, many of the residents were out cheering us on.  They encouraged and inspired me the rest of the way as my hamstring began to ache.

Just like the corrals, the miles were well-marked and there was a clock at each one.  In the 13.1 miles of the half marathon, there were probably 8 aid stations with water and sports drink.  There was also a sports gel station.  We had 10 music or band areas along the way and that certainly helps with your attitude as you are starting to wear down.

You do eventually get back into the historic area and run on brick streets and past Savannah's many parks in downtown.  That was very scenic as I tried to focus on anything but my left leg.  One aspect of this race, as opposed to some other large races I've run, was that it was very crowded every step of the way.  Some of the streets are narrow and the field never thins out at all.  You are dodging people throughout the race and that does require extra effort and saps your energy.  There are also a LOT of turns on the second half of the course which causes the runners to bunch up and slow down.

The last three miles narrow further and I was doing the math in my head with respect to my goal time.  At Mile 10 I decided that was not achievable, so I tried to concentrate on a PR.  We made the last turn and I could see the Finish line three blocks ahead.  You could hear the race music over the huge sound system as well as the sounds of the live band tuning up for the post-race concert. It was a welcome cacophony as I crossed the line, maneuvered out of the chute and walked back to look for any of our runners who were behind me.

You have to give it to the Competitor Group.  Almost everything about the event was very professional.  They were very detail-oriented and checked all the boxes.  For the first time I was in a race that was probably too crowded because some of Savannah's streets are narrow and there were runners bunched up all the way.  Overall, however, it
 was a very good experience and touring Tybee Island after the race was great.
Tybee Island Lighthouse

Running During the Holiday Season


by Corey Dell




            Pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes, fried turkey, cookies, and cake are all typical thoughts for the upcoming holiday season.  The average American gains approximately five pounds during this festive time of year.  Five pounds does not seem like a hefty amount of weight until you start pounding pavement and find yourself struggling to breathe through a thirty minute jog.  I have crafted a few tips to not only survive the upcoming holiday season, but stay in shape at the same time.


Stick to your normal workout routine as much as possible.  If you get a little side tracked, get back on track as soon as possible!!  It's easier to take a few days off from running, as opposed to an entire week.


Don't give yourself a reason to need a New Year's Resolution.  Besides the heavy eating potential, the holidays can be a very stressful time with planning and/or attending events.  Running releases endorphins to actually help you relieve that added stress.  Think of running as an escape when life gets a little crazy during the holidays.

Stay motivated!!  Sign up for the Pensacola Beach Turkey Trot or the Pensacola Beach Run (this way you may not feel as guilty for grabbing that piece of cake after your meal).  At Healthy Lives Powered by Baptist Heal thCare we encourage everything in moderation especially during the holiday season.  From the Healthy Lives at Baptist Health Care team, we want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. 

Corey Dell From Healthy Lives

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. 
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