The Rundown
PRA photo
From the Top
PRA President, Courtney Peterson

This is my final address to the members before the annual elections so I'd like to use this opportunity to express my thanks, recap this year and talk about the future of the PRA.  First, we had another successful year in that all of our planned races went off without a hitch. From the Bear Lake Run to the Fiesta 10k/5k, all of the PRA events had excellent weather and participation. In May of 2010, the PRA was able to transition completely over to an email version of the Rundown which opened up the approximately $10,000 per year spent on mailing 200 copies of the monthly Rundown to be used for membership benefits and equipment upgrades. 

With those funds we used a portion of the savings to purchase professional mile markers that can be used for all of the PRA races.  They were used for the first time at the 2011 Fiesta Run two weeks ago and they looked great out on the course.  Some of those funds will be used to increase the budget for the Grand Prix awards and the addition of raffle prizes for a runner and volunteer.  Recently, the PRA was able to purchase website domain names for each of the large races to protect those names, dates and locations. That was done in preparation for the creation of websites dedicated to each of the large races so that they have more of an internet presence. This will also help distinguish the races from all of the other information on the PRA website and market the races better to runners outside of our area.  These are improvements that would not have been possible without the move to an electronic distribution of our newsletter.

I anticipate that, going forward, the PRA will be in a good position to continue improving member services and improving the quality, professionalism and fun at our races.  I look forward to returning to my position as "member" in the PRA and helping out as I can.  Thank you to all of the PRA board members and officers and the volunteers for making my Presidency a success and this year a success for the Pensacola Runners Association. I look forward to seeing you all out on the running trail. 

Yours in running,


TimoRunning Thoughts
by Timo Hartigan

Running Feels So Good

I have a sticker that I purchased for my car when my girlfriend and I traveled to Colorado last year.  It is a Kokopelli sticker designed to be placed on a window.  I'm not sure if you are familiar with Kokopelli, but he is a mythical, Native-American character; a long-haired individual, dancing and playing a flute.  He is a symbol of fertility, healing, replenishment, music, dance and mischief.  When Gloria and I came across Kokopelli in Manitou Springs, Colorado we were immediately drawn to the image.  In fact we each bought Kokopelli stickers and Gloria bought a silver Kokopelli to use as a zipper pull for her jacket.  Her sticker, a traditional Kokopelli, immediately adorned her 4Runner, while mine, a Kokopelli running, sans flute, sat on my desk at home.  That is, until today.  Now Runopelli, as mine is called, is stuck proudly on the rear window of my PreRunner.  

4Runner, PreRunner, Pensacola runner... I see a future column here...  But I digress.


I love the image of Kokopelli and in-fact wear a Kokopelli pendant also purchased on that trip.  I am attracted mostly to the person that would be that combination of symbols and the apparent carefree nature of Kokopelli depicted by the image.  So why did my Runopelli sit on my desk for 7 months while Gloria's Kokopelli was immediately posted on her vehicle?  Was it just that she is more organized and better at crossing tasks off a list?  Or was it something deeper, more serious, like depression perhaps from my running injury?  Does placing the sticker now, finally, have anything to do with the fact that I am running once again?  Or was I just waiting for the right time?


These are very good questions and although I am not a psychologist I do know that being able to run feels good.  I am only jogging now and doing some run-walking in between my jogging days.  But every bit of it, outdoors, placing one foot in front of the other, feels so good.  I can't wait for a non-stop loop around Bayou Texar, or a 10-mile out and back on the Blackwater Heritage Trail, (two goals that I'd better write down), no matter how long it takes.


For those who run, you know that it is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one.  For those that only know a runner, keep that in mind.  And stay tuned for more Running Thoughts...



Sign up now for the 2011 
Gary McAdams 5k Run/Walk

If you haven't already signed up for the 2011 Gary McAdams Sandshaker 5k Run/Walk, do so now. The event will take place at 7:30AM on June 18th at the Pensacola Beach Pavilion with the post-race party and awards at the Sandshaker.  Registration rates are $18 for PRA members and $20 for non-members thru June 17th.  On race day, registration goes to $25 for all. As in past years, proceeds from this event go towards supporting the Gary McAdams Scholarship fund which provides scholar athletes in the area with funding for a college education. The male and female athletes are named at the annual Senior Scholar Banquet hosted by the Pensacola Sports Association.  As for the party (excuse me, I mean race) course, it will begin at the Pensacola Beach Pavilion, travel East along the neighborhoods along Pensacola Beach and then return you back to the starting line at the pavilion. The post-race party will be held at the Sandshaker across the street and will include a live band, plenty of beverages and food and, of course, some beach-friendly awards.  Also, you'll want to make sure you are one of the first 500 registrants because the race shirts will be a coveted item as it includes a great piece of artwork by local artist, Bill Addair. You can register now by completing one of the attached race flyers or by visiting and registering online on Active.   See you on the beach!

Runner's Profile
 by Erika Smith
Mike Kirk - Runner


Capt Kirk
Mike Kirk

           Mike Kirk began running competitively in the 9th grade, after joining the "fledgling cross-country team" at Collierville, Tennessee High School. Mike explains that after one year of cross-country, he put a hold on running and "unfortunately decided to play football for the 10th thru 12th grades and rode the bench."

He laughs that he returned to running and continues to run today "to balance my legendary sweet-tooth." (I can vouch that I have personally witnessed Mike destroy two competitors/local runners in an ice cream eating contest!). Caloric expenditure aside, Mike explains that he loves running "because there is some ineffable part of my soul that is happiest when I'm running". Although there have been times in his life when he has drifted away temporarily from cycling and swimming, he has always continued running, even if only once a week. Mike can be spotted most frequently running the trails at UWF. He enjoys "the quiet, the scenery, and the rhythm you get into on a sweet section of twisting singletrack." In fact, Mike recently returned from enjoying the trails in the Highlands, North Carolina.

Mike's favorite local races include the popular Double Bridge Run "because it's very cool to run across 2 bridges" and The Great Pumpkin Run because one of his local hero's Grace Ruckstuhl started the race many years ago (and because the race features tasty home-made desserts like pumpkin bread and pumpkin ice cream - remember the paragraph above!).  His favorite out of town race is The Uhwarrie 20-mile Trail Run in North Carolina. His favorite cycling event is the intense and challenging Six Gap Century in Dalonega, Georgia, which he describes as "one of the hardest and most rewarding 100-mile bike rides in the country."

When he's not running, Mike enjoys yoga classes at Abhaya Yoga Center. As noted above, he also enjoys swimming and cycling and explains that he has gone through two intensive periods of triathlon training in his life thus far, including 1995-1999 and 2005-2006.  His triathlon training culminated on a very warm and humid day in September 2005 when he completed the Great Floridian Ironman (but did not follow up with the tattoo!). For Mike, it all started in April 2005, after he completed a 10-day self-supported bike tour of Wales. Then, in July 2005, his townhouse was destroyed by hurricane Dennis and he wanted a challenge to "take my mind off the nightmare of rebuilding." Mike relays that after talking with well-known, local physiology expert, Jay Yanovich, he decided to pursue his dream, with only 10 weeks to train. He smiles as he recalls his crazy Sunday workouts, beginning with a 70-100 mile ride in the morning with the Wheelman, followed by an hour swim in the sound later that afternoon, then a long run at 7 PM in the exceptionally hot and humid conditions that us gulf coast residents know all too well. Mike also relays that he was fortunate to train for his Ironman with a local, amazing triathlete, Meri Asmar, who "inspired me to truly push myself in my training". Through it all, running, particularly his Sunday evening long run, was always his favorite part of his Ironman training.

For fun, Mike loves traveling, both in the U.S. and abroad. He's completed two 6-week trips out west, and journeyed to Australia, Lebanon, Costa Rica, and other destinations. Mike's other loves include reading "literally anything and everything - from Hemingway to Carl Hiaasen" to poetry. He is also a music lover and is known to travel great distances to see musicians like Pete Yorn and George Winston perform live. However, his true passion is sailing.

Captain Kirk first learned to sail in 1988 and has been "hooked" ever since.  In 2003, he completed a 2-person, 35 day, nonstop delivery of a Condor 40 sailboat from Spain to Key West. He and his girlfriend also recently returned from a two month sailing adventure to the Exumas in the Bahamas. After 12 years of IT work with companies such as IBM and Ericsson, he decided to pursue his dream and begin a sailing charter company - Condor Sailing Adventures! Unfortunately, his launch date was April 20, 2010....the day of the BP oil spill. As in any endurance event, Mike's determination has led his business to thrive, despite the many challenges created by the oil spill. And, Condor Sailing Adventures generously gives back to our community - donating sailing trip packages to local fundraisers, such as the Run for Their Lives 5k, and raising over $10,000 last year for local charities, such as the Special Olympics and Covenant Hospice.

Mike is a great partner to share the trails (or a sail) with. Just be sure to bring your own dessert!

A Thank You Note from 

Ray Yarbrough

Do You Tri?  

Want to give it a Tri?     It's Membership time for the 2011-2012 season!  The 2011 triathlon season is now in full swing, and TriGulfCoast is ready to help you whether you are ready for your first tri or if you are getting ready for an Ironman.


Check out our updated website with details about the Mere Mortals summertime program and added training events which are all included in the price of your annual membership. Individual yearly dues for 2011/2012 are still $40 (just over $3/month). Family yearly membership is $60 ($5/month).

We are very excited about all what Tri Gulf Coast has to offer for renewing members and new members. Want to join or renew? Just go to our website's membership page and follow the instructions.


Mere Mortals - This successful Sunday morning training program has helped with preparing not only many new triathletes but also existing triathletes for the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon. Tom Henderson (local, veteran triathlete) has stepped up to lead this program again this year and the schedule he has put together looks terrific.
Discounts - Many of our sponsors will offer a discount if you mention you are a member of the club.
Kits - As a member, you have a chance to order these popular items.
Members Only Triathlon - Strategically scheduled to help lead into the SRI Tri in September.
Mentors and Friendships - It is amazing how much easier it is to get through runs and rides become when you have a fellow triathlete as company.
All Abilities Welcome - Work out and train with some of our local elites and pick up some training tips.
Year End Party - Always a good time!  

Issue Number 10

May 2011

In This Issue
Running Thoughts
Gary McAdams 5K
Runner Profile
PRA Thank You
Tri Gulf Coast
Featured Article
Quote of the Month

Youth Patches Awarded

Fiesta 10k/5k Run - 4/30/2011

Riley Green         Baker Inter Carthage, TX

Colby Green        Baker  Inter Carthage, TX

Landyn Green    Baker Inter Carthage, TX

Hadley Green     Libby Elem  Carthage, TX

Tim Frei                   Cordova Park Elem.

Tommy Peterson     Pensacola Christian 

Carsen Arrant       Jay Elementary

Joshua Zajac          S.S. Dixon

Dylan Fletcher      Sand Rock Middle School

Emory McClean    Scenic Heights Elem.

Jack Minard            First Methodist Preschool

Jacob Leonard      Alethia Christian


Upcoming Races

LuLu's Hot Trot for ARC 06/18/11


Firecracker 5K  07/02/11


Quick Links

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Photos wanted!

Please send us your photos from running and racing in the area for inclusion in upcoming editions of the Rundown.  Also send comments, suggestions or articles to:
Quote of the Month
"...the PRA will be in a good position to continue improving member services and improving the quality, professionalism and fun at our races."
From this month's        
From the Top 
Got an interesting quip or quote about running in the community, send it in with "Quote of the Month" in the subject line.  If we publish it you'll win a free entry into a future PRA race.

 Sign Up Now

Summer is the perfect time to enter a race.  Register for a 5K to sharpen your focus and fitness.


Goal 1: Just Finish... Do two 30 minute easy runs during the week.  On weekends, increase your long run by a half-mile each week until it's a half-mile longer than the race distance.  Do your long runs about three minutes per mile slower than your weekday runs.


Goal 2: Finish Strong... On one of your two weekday runs pick up the pace for the last mile, then walk for 5 minutes to cool down.  Increase your weekend long run to two miles farther than race distance.



From the June 2011 issue of Runners World,

Tips for Beginners from an Easygoing Coach 

Promotional Rates
If you'd like to have an event promoted in an upcoming issue of The Rundown, contact us at for our rates.  We can add a link to your on-line registration, a link to your race application download, an article, or simply a mention in "Upcoming Races".
Lou Gregory
Spirit Award


Lou Gregory Spirit
2011 Spirit Award Winners Lee & Carol Wright presented by PRA President Courtney Peterson at the Fiesta Run
Fiesta Group
Past winners of the Lou Gregory Spirit Award taken at this years Fiesta Run
Photo Journal
David and
David M
Matt winning
charity Judy Tatum
PRA donates shirts to Alabama community hit by recent tornadoes. Pictured: Richard Dickinson, PRA Board Member and Judy Tatum tornado volunteer.
3 Winners St John's
Until next month... Happy running!