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

The months of December and January were stellar months for the Pensacola Runners Association. The Pensacola Beach Run (PBR) and Bay to Breakfast runs had very strong numbers of participants thanks to some very mild weather and a great bunch of volunteers that made sure the courses were in good order.

Even more impressive was the number of new members to the PRA and the number of registrants for the 2011 Grand Prix.  There were 28 new members that joined the PRA at the Pensacola Beach Run which was the largest influx of members outside of our annual Membership Run. Although the Grand Prix series has traditionally had a lower participation level of around 40-50 people, thanks to the guidance of the outgoing director Bruce Barillas and the planning of our incoming director Steve Miller the Grand Prix registration grew to 139 for the 2011 season. GREAT JOB!  There were nearly 70 registrants on the final day of registration at the Pensacola Beach Run Expo.  Don't forget, PRA volunteers, you can get credit towards the volunteer raffle for a basket full of goodies and gift certificates when you help with any of the PRA events. You just need to print out a Grand Prix form from the Grand Prix page on our website and the volunteer forms to have the race director or volunteer coordinator sign off for you to submit. See the Grand Prix page for more details.

Overall, the organization is growing thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, board members, committee members and officers. However, we could use more help.  Specifically, we could use a few more people to help with volunteer positions at upcoming races, help with managing our membership database and filling some upcoming board positions that are coming open in May.  Please contact one of us if you have questions about these positions and might like to help out your PRA.

Best regards,


TimoRunning Thoughts
by Timo Hartigan

A Pure, Natural, Healthy Joy

Someone once said, "I feel sorry for people who don't drink because when they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're gonna feel all day." 


I think the same can be said about people who don't run (or walk).  While it may be true that beer drinkers feel pretty good while they are drinking, the afterwards is sometimes a different story.  For runners however, there's a pure, natural, healthy joy that comes from running.  Afterwards you feel good all day... maybe even all week!


For me, my creative and problem solving juices flow on a long run or even with a long walk.   While I'm drinking a beer, I also come up with some great ideas...  At least I think they are great ideas at the time.  But often, upon sobering, what I can remember is not very bright at all.


There are drinking challenges and running challenges.  Most runners enjoy the challenge to run farther or faster than some time before.


Another similarity is the addictive nature of both endeavors.  Everyone knows you can catch a buzz from a few beers and most people have heard of the "runners high" caused by the release of endorphins into the blood stream on a long run.  But did you know the body actually develops cravings for alcohol and for endorphins?


Runners and drinkers are also highly social beings.  Drinkers enjoy their drinking buddies while runners enjoy their running buddies. Runners often go out in twos and threes and fours and carry on a "running" conversation.  Pun intended.  The social gatherings post race, are also evidence of the social nature of runners.  They enjoy each other's company on the course and afterwards, often while sharing their triumphs over a cold beer.


But alas, there is also a major difference.  With running comes a strong sense of accomplishment from the healthy release and a distance achieved...  A very healthy additction... And that is something we can live with.


"Yes, I feel sorry for people who don't run (or walk).  When they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're gonna feel all day!"



2011 Pensacola Beach Run

What a great way to kick off the 2001 Pensacola race season. Before going into details about this years race we need to send out a big thank you to everyone that made it happen. First of all thank you to those that ran, walked, and came out in support.  You are the reason the PRA is here and why we put on these races. Second we need to thank this years sponsors, The Grand Marlin, Publix, Musculo Skeletal Center, Razors Edge Fitness, Running Wild, Waterboyz, Baskerville Donovan, The Sandshaker, and Vince Whibbs Automotive. These generous sponsors are the reason we could put on a great expo, a professional finish line, and a fun after party. Last and definitely not least, we have to thank our great volunteers.  We could never put on a race without them.

PB Run
Start 2011 PBR

 This year brought us great weather.  After last years monsoon anything would have been better, but this year weather was perfect. It was about 5:30 AM and as the team was setting up the all-new finish line design we were greeted with a beautiful sunrise that foretold the beauty of the day. As the competitors began arriving, the start/finish line music got folks in a festive mood and ready to race. Lining up to start, everyone was treated to the talent of Angela Baroco singing The National Anthem... And right before the gun they got their second treat, the UWF Cheerleaders doing a cheer and pyramid for the crowd.

This was a great year for the Pensacola Beach Run.  We set a new record for the course this year and over one third of the runners competed in the half marathon distance. We had 171 people respond to the post-race survey and 96% gave it very high marks for overall satisfaction.  The shirts were loved by all this year... And we heard you about running out of food for the Half Marathon runners.  Next year will have food just for you.  Thanks.  


The race should be even better in 2012. The committee that put on this year's race has committed to do it again next year and several of our sponsors have recommitted as well.  Make sure you keep up with our Facebook page and tell all your friends they should "like" it too. We are planning next year's run already and will keep the information current.  Send the Facebook page to your out-of-town friends so they can join us next year. Thanks again.  We can't wait to see you on the beach next year! 

Runner's Profile
 by Erika Smith
Seth Fell - Runner



Although Seth Fell began running just over one year ago, he's already claimed 1st place overall at a local 5k and surpassed the 5k PR's of most runners who have shared a race course with him. And....he just turned 11 years-old!

        Seth got into running after his mom and dad took him to the 2009 Turkey Trot 5k. At his first race, he placed 2nd in his age group with a time of 23:05. Just one year later, he competed in the 2010 race, improving his time by over three and a half minutes and placing first in his age group with a time of 19:31 (that's a 6:17 pace!). In fact, Seth finished the race 12th overall out of 399 participants. Soon after, he won the St. Ann's 5k, setting a new PR of 19:08. For those reasons, St. Ann's is currently his favorite race. In the past year, Seth also competed in the National Junior Olympics' Regional Qualifying Meet in Tallahassee. There, he placed 1st in the 2-mile and 3rd in the 1-mile, leading him to qualify to compete over the summer at the NationalJunior Olympics in Norfolk, Virginia.                Seth's mom, Courtney, also grew up running. She ran cross country for Catholic High and UWF. She laughs that she and her husband, Sean, "used to run with Seth, but now we can't keep up." She goes on to say, proudly, that in the short time that Seth has been running, he's "already shattered all of my PR's."

            Seth is currently a 5th grader at Gulf Breeze Elementary, where he attends running club on Wednesdays. He participates in many sports in addition to running, including football, skateboarding, surfing, and soccer. His favorite is skateboarding. In fact, you can often spot Seth skating with his brother, Jackson, age 9. When he's not playing sports outdoors, he likes to play Mario Kart on his Nintendo Wii. He also has fun going to the movies and going bowling with his family.

            When he grows up, Seth hopes to follow the lead of his parents and become a business owner. Seth's mom and dad, Courtney and Sean Fell, own the local surf and skateshop, Waterboyz. (In fact, Waterboyz also has a print and graphic design shop that printed our race t-shirts for the PRA's Pensacola Beach Run and Bay to Breakfast Cross Country Challenge.) Seth's mom is also co-owner of Fitness on Board, a unique fitness opportunity which combines stand up paddleboarding with boot camp and yoga techniques. It's easy to see that Seth is a member of a very active family.

            Be sure to look for Seth at his next race - the Double Bridge Run 5k. I'm sure that we'll be seeing and hearing much more about Seth Fell in the years to come!

If I Were Your Coach

     by Michael Bowen


About two years ago, I wrote an article about clothing needs for road racers, especially during
the Gulf Coast's winter months. The article was much a piece of advice as it was a tongue-in-
cheek observation of the runners and attire I witnessed during PRA's Pensacola Beach 5K/10K/
Half-Marathon Run.

Naturally, the well-worn joke holds true, especially along the Gulf Coast: If you are happy with
the weather conditions, chances are good it will worsen. If you are not happy with the weather
conditions, chances are good it will worsen.

During the years I've participated in the run, and in the photographic evidence from years where
I have not, most participants are dressed for standing on the side of the road and watching a
race rather than for running. The casual runner doesn't often consider a human body exerting
energy is going to put off heat through either perspiration or water vapor. Those sweatshirts,
sweatpants and parkas over the course of 30-to-60 minutes get progressively uncomfortable,
especially at the last minutes when they weigh much more than when they started the run.

Chalk it up to inexperience, I guess.

It also amazed me, especially while watching female runners, how many of them are self-
conscious about the view from behind. So, I mentioned a few pithy words of counsel in the
article, namely: Arm warmers, running skirts, and the concept of "less is more."

As I've "grown up" in running I've begun to think more about what happens after the run as much
as during the event. Freeze your behind off in low-20-degree temperatures after a race like one
Suzanne and I ran in early January last year, followed by a one-week work trip to Hawai'i, and
you'll learn quickly. The ability to enjoy the social aspects of running have become as important
as performance and comfort on the run.

The Wednesday evening Capt'n Fun Runners group on Pensacola Beach is as much about the
socializing after as the run before. Naturally, four-to-eight miles in 90-plus-degree weather
during the summer can make even the most "cool" runner a little moist on the edges. On the
other hand, thermal tights which seem perfect for that chilly winter run in the dark shows a little
more curvature than some folks are comfortable with "revealing" during the following social hour
(Personally, I'm not all that concerned. If you're worried it's because you're focusing too closely
on me.). So, a few seasoned runners, by their example, taught me the benefits of clean, dry
clothing and travel-sized personal care items.

Late last autumn, my wife and I began to run and socialize with a group who enjoys running
along trails and drinking beer every couple of weekends. The term "trail" was expanded to its limits
and usually includes water of varying quality and depth, and brush of a thickness rarely seen outside
of a Humphrey Bogart movie.  Even the most tame run provides my dog, Rubin, a smorgasbord of scent he
never experienced after our long training runs.

At that point, it was high time for me to develop "the bag."

I'm not the first one to think of it, by any means. My coach, Dale Fox, used to carry a plastic
milk crate with a couple of extra towels, a dry pair of shorts and a t-shirt in the back of his SUV,
in case we decided to do breakfast after a track workout. My wife often recommended we do
something like that in ours, but it always seemed like too much trouble to refresh the
"emergency storage." Now, my clothing and gear bag sits in the kitchen near the washer/dryer;
the grungy items go from there to the wash, the clean, dry items return to the bag from whence
they came. I also keep a whistle and a plastic mug in there; I'm never without a way to get a
drink after a run. The folks who run trails with me know the whistle's significance.

The late, great running philosopher Dr. George Sheehan listed what he felt were necessary
items for a ditty bag in his seminal work "Running and Being." I like Sheehan's definitive words
for "the bag:"  Perennial and universal.

Since we live in an area of the country where the weather changes on little-to-no notice, it's
always good to err on the side of sartorial caution. Besides, you never know when a wardrobe
malfunction might require you to have a little "more" coverage than you initially preferred.

In his book, Sheehan recommended shoelaces, tape, Vaseline, a handkerchief, safety pins,
nail clipper, folding money, nasal spray, antacid tablets, aspirin, a ballpoint pen and paper, ski
mask, gloves, turtleneck sweater, extra sugar cubes and a can of soda. I agree with Sheehan
on most of these, but I'd adapt a little here and there...

My bag also includes at least one running hat, visor or baseball cap, (cheap!) sunglasses, a
short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirt, a pair of shorts or wind pants, two pairs of socks, and a
pair of shoes for kicking around or running in, just in case I leave the house without the ones in
which I planned to race.

Often, a friend from outside of the area will recommend lunch or another beer, or both, at a
dining establishment after the post-race festivities conclude. So, travel-sized personal care
items, such as underarm deodorant, a small towel and liquid soap or shampoo can also be
carried. If you prefer to go more simple than that, a small container of baby wipes will do the

The operating strategy for "the bag" is K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Stupid. If the items get to be
too much, or too hard to refresh after a race, then it might need to be simplified. Figure out
what works best for you; your environment, and your own sense of style. Because sometimes
it's not what happens during the run which is memorable, but after.




Until next month... Happy running!
Issue Number 7

February 2011

Featured Event
 Sweetheart 5K/10K Race starts and ends at the Hangout in Gulf Shores this coming weekend.  Don't miss it!
Click on the above link to register via or on the below link to
a race application.
In This Issue
Running Thoughts
Pensacola Beach Run
Runner Profile- Seth Fell
If I Were Your Coach
Upcoming Races
37th Annual Fiesta
10K and 5K
Bear Lake Trail Challenge
4 Mile Run
Quick Links

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Comments, suggestions or Rundown material
Send comments, suggestions or material for future Rundowns to
Quote of the Month
"The upside of running early on a cold day is that you are out before the dog poop thaws."  
Submitted by                Kathleen Gilmore
Congratulations, Kathleen.  You've won a free entry into the 37th Annual Fiesta 10k/5k Run/Walk.  Check your email for details.  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 could earn a free entry into a future PRA race.

24 Ways to Boost Your Confidence

From the Personal Best column in March 2011 issue of Runner's World Magazine



Don't wait to enter a race until you're fit enough.  Register early so you have a goal to work toward and a guaranteed spot in the event.


Afraid you won't finish?  Aim to complete three runs one to two miles longer than the race distance.  Marathoners may stop at 22.


Tell yourself that you're capable of achieving your goals--and say it out loud if that helps.  It may sound corny, but if you think you can't do something, you probably won't.


Do you always race in the same shorts or do the same warmup?  Good.  Experts say following prerace routines can make you feel more confident and physically prepared to run your best.