The Rundown
PRA photo
From the Top

PRA President, Jehan Clark 



It is hard to believe that I only have one more month as president. It has been such a great year with lots of great races, not only PRA ones but also many of our other great local races. I have truly enjoyed this past year, and the preceding years in the various roles I have held for the PRA. The board has rallied around me and made my job much easier and it is so great to see the membership step up and get engaged and involved in such a great organization. We have several of those members getting ready to take board positions in May and many more that have come to us and asked to be able to help in some capacity even though they could not commit to a board position. You will see an article below about this year's Fiesta 10k/5k, which is setting up to be one of the best ever. Make sure you come out and take part in what will be the 38th year of one of the oldest and historic point-to-point 10k races in the area. We also have 2 new race directors for this year's Bear Lake Trail Challenge, with all kinds of new premiums and fun. I look forward to seeing many of you there as I pass the torch on to a great vice president, Laura Harris!


Thank you for all of your continued support. See you on the roads or trails!


Thank you!   




In April of 2011 I volunteered to lead The Pensacola Runners Association application to be designated a Runner Friendly Community by The Road Runners Association of America. Having been a runner in the Pensacola area for the better part of 12 years, I wanted to do my part in highlighting what I and many of my fellow runners already know. That Pensacola is a great place to run! We have the ability to run almost 365 days a year, and enjoy the opportunity to run with the Gulf of Mexico or Pensacola Bay as our backdrop, run through parts of America's First Settlement, or for those looking to commune with nature, over 100,000 acres in The Blackwater State Forest. We live in an area where thousands of people travel hundreds of miles to enjoy a few days in Paradise!


Each applicant city was judged by its' availability of sidewalks and or trails with the ability to run or walk 3-10 miles with minimal road crossings and vehicle traffic control. Bonus points were awarded for parking, restroom facilities, and water fountains. With the assistance of Jeff Schmitt, Associate Director of Recreation & Athletic Facilities, The University of West Florida provided us with a letter allowing use of the universities track when not in use.

Each city was also judged by the amount of community support in the way of businesses that support and encourage runners. Business such as McGuires and Seville Quarter, that not only have a dedicated night welcoming runners, but also host some of the better 5k's in the area! They are also judged for the availability of a running specialty store such as Running Wild.

The final criteria in which a city is judged on is the relationship with local government. Does local government encourage and work with the local community. For those that have run in other cities, I think you will agree, that having a uniformed officer at major intersection during our races makes for a pleasant experience.


So after about 6 months of phone calls, e-mails, meetings, begging and pleading, I sent off Pensacola's application. And waited. And waited, and waited. Then finally on December 9th, I received word that The City of Pensacola had joined cities such as Dallas, TX, Monterey, CA, and Fredericksburg, VA as a Runner Friendly Community!


On Thursday April 12th, 2012, I, along with PRA President Jehan Clark, will present our award to ThePensacola City Council, and our plaque will be displayed in the lobby of the Pensacola Sports Association.



Congratulations Pensacola, you deserve this!


38th Annual Fiesta
10K Run & 5K Run/walk
The 38th Annual Fiesta 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk is fast approaching. This is one race you sure don't want to miss. Why? Because the race committee is working hard to make the BEST Fiesta race ever! The course alone is reason enough to enter the race. The Fiesta is a point-to-point race with the 10k starting at Pensacola State College on Airport Boulevard. Participants in the 10k will face a moderate hill early in the race. At the top of the hill they will run through an oak tree canopy in a scenic residential neighborhood leading them pass the 5k start near Cross and 12th. As all the participants approach downtown Pensacola the course becomes a fast downhill race, passing the Confederate War Memorial, several beautiful old churches and finishing in historic Seville Square.


Do you need more of a reason to join the fun? Well here it is.... all 10k finishers will receive medals, there will good food, good drinks, music by ClassX, the first 900 to register will receive high quality technical t-shirts and your race bib will get you free same day entry into the Fiesta of Five Flags Crawfish Festival! Oh by the way did I forget to mention that we are bringing back the cash! We have PRIZE MONEY for the top three male and female finishers in the 10k!!


We invite you to sign up today. Visit the PRA website to get more information on the race or to download a manual registration form. Register online here at imAthlete:




Follow our Facebook page for up to the minute info on the race

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The Lou Gregory Spirit Award is provided once a year at the Fiesta Run. It is given to a runner who has demonstrated great leadership and enthusiasm in helping to promote and maintain the sport of running in the Pensacola community. Some years it has been given to two runners.

The Lou Gregory Award is named in honor of Pensacola's most famous runner. Lou Gregory placed 10th in the 1932 Olympics 10K. Although he has passed away, he still holds National and World Records in his age group and won hundreds of races. In 1932 Lou placed tenth in the 10,000 meters in Los Angeles. He was a world class runner in the 30's and 40's winning 19 National championships and placing second in the 1941 Boston Marathon.

After he moved to Pensacola he began his second career as a master's runner where he rewrote the record books setting scores of age group records. One accomplishment was a time of 43 minutes in the 1976 Fiesta of Five Flags 10K at the age of 76.

Locally Doc was the long time coach and teacher at Pensacola Junior College.

His track and cross country teams won 10 state championships over an 18 year period. He retired in 1975 and died in 1989.


Nominees must be members of the PRA. They do not need to have served on the board, but must have made a major contribution to the PRA or to the running community at large. This contribution should have occurred over a long period of time and not just for one year, unless the contribution was of such a scale as to warrant immediate recognition.


Please send all nominations for the Lou Gregory Award to






We have training plans to prepare us for races, but have we spent the time on a race plan outlining every detail of our big day?  


Whether it is a marathon or an Ironman, I am a big believer in having a race plan. I train hard physically for my race goals and I want to be sure I am mentally prepared as well.


My race plan for the 2011 New Orleans marathon outlined what I would be doing the week of the race and how the race itself would be executed.

The week of the race included many tapering activities: light running, stride outs, stretching, swimming, a light massage, and plenty of good food and water.

My schedule for race day includes wake up time, food and drink pre-race, stretching, and getting to start line. I build in time for pre-race potty breaks and a warmup run with stride outs.

I had studied the map and knew I would hold my goal marathon pace (MP) -- NO FASTER-- for the first 13 miles. I would pay close attention to running the tangents which I had practiced. I should drink water at every other aid station and take a gel at miles 6, 12, and 18 if I could stomach it. At mile 13 I would allow myself music and any pace faster than MP -- this is where I could bank some fast miles. I had a friend meeting me at mile 18 and she ran me to mile 23'ish where another friend jumped in and ran me to 25.5.

My three segments of the race were miles 0-13: steady MP; miles 13 - 22: bank fast miles; miles 22-26.2: hang on for dear life.

I have mantras written in my race plan: I am strong; I have done the work; smooth, light, easy, fast; I feel good, I feel fresh; the Lord's prayer. I include reminders in my plan: thank the volunteers, encourage others, smile for the cameras.

I read through my plan for a week prior to race day. I visualize myself in each segment -- feeling good, feeling fatigued, feeling gnarly. I practiced my mantras in my training runs. I visualize the finish line and the clock with my goal finish time on it.

Preparing my body for a race is very important, but neglecting my mental preparation would be a huge mistake.

Thank the volunteers, encourage others and smile for the cameras!!


Runner's Profile
 by Erika Smith
Elizabeth - Runner



Elizabeth has always been an athlete. She grew up playing lacrosse, soccer and field hockey, but it was in college that she began running "as a sport of its own." Elizabeth explains that she started running "in order to keep my activity level high, challenge myself in a new way, and be a part of another type of camaraderie, like I once had on sports teams." She describes the challenges she faces with a pair of running shoes and the open road as "truly remarkable" and unlike anything that she has ever experienced while playing team sports. For Elizabeth, running "breaks me down hard and also gives me the greatest feeling I've ever experienced within." Thus, she views running as wonderful training for all aspects of life, allowing her to challenge herself both physically and mentally, while continually pushing herself to new limits.


            Although she's competitive in any field, Elizabeth runs because she loves running, not to race. How cool! When racing, her favorites include the PRA's upcoming Fiesta 10k, the popular Double Bridge Run, and the Pensacola Gulf Coast Half Marathon. Her upcoming race plans including the Gulf Coast Marathon and several triathlons. When she's not running, you can find Elizabeth biking, swimming, and strength training at her gym.


            Elizabeth is the Women's Assistant Cross Country Coach at UWF. She describes her involvement with the team as not only a wonderful job, but also "the part of life I find most rewarding." She loves being a coach and mentor to young athletes, "giving back all the lessons, values, and guidance" that she received from her own coaches over the years, who she views as the most inspirational people in her life. That guidance is going a long way, as the women's cross country team recently advanced to the NCAA championships for the first time in school history! She herself is a recent graduate of UWF and former women's cross country team member. In addition to coaching, she is actively involved in our running community in other ways and is your new Editor of the Rundown!


Elizabeth is currently working towards her nursing degree, which she will be completing soon. She jokes that although she has been focused on her education, she will "never get too busy making my living that I forget to make my life."


            Be sure to say "hello" to Elizabeth when she makes some appearances at our local races over the next few months. She's one of the most humble runners I've had the pleasure of meeting, so good luck getting her to tell you about her accomplishments and PR's.

Issue Number 16

April 2012

In This Issue
Runner Friendly Community
Featured Run- Fiesta 10k/5k
Lou Gregory Award
From TGC
Runner's Profile

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.

Upcoming Races

Bear Lake Trail Challenge05/19/2012
Gary McAdams5K Run/Walk06/09/2012

Quick Links


LuLu'S HOT TROT for ARC  Saturday June 16, 2012  ***7:30AM***  5K Run & Race Walk and 1Mile Run


 LuLu'S Gulf Shores, AL


7:30AM 5K run/walk


By Robertsdale Rotary Club Through Robertsdale Rotary Foundation (501�3) entity Benefit Association for Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County Where LuLu's at Homeport Marina Gulf Shores, AL When Saturday June 16, 2012



1 Mile after 5K is completed Fee $20 Postmarked by June 4, 2012 $25 after 6/4/12 Students (K-12) $15 prior to 6/5/12 Pick-up Friday 6/15/12 2PM to 6PM at LuLu's Day of 6:00AM day-of registration and packet pick-up


Race, Run Club or Training Photos... Send them to us!

We Want to Publish Your Pictures!

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:

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".

Select Physical Therapy Offers FREE Sports Injury Hotline
Melissa McShan

Shin Splints

It's the one injury almost every runner has experienced, yet hardly anyone knows an effective way to treat or prevent it. "Shin splints", also known as tibial stress syndrome, can affect any athlete regardless of sex, age, or conditioning level. Shin splints can feel like sharp radiating pain or dull achy pain. They usually appear bilaterally (in both legs) along the front of the leg along the length of the tibia (shin bone). Athletes will complain of pain during or after activity and will only find relief when they rest.

Shin splints can be caused by a number of medical conditions. Fallen arches or "flat feet", stress fractures, compartment syndrome, and overuse/irritation of lower leg muscles can all be to blame for the discomfort in your shins. The only way to know exactly why you are having pain is to see a doctor for diagnostic testing and evaluation.

With rest and a little patience shin splints will usually resolve on their own. You can use ice and over the counter anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) to relieve pain. You can also try arch supports or inserts for your shoes to help with shock absorption. Using a lower leg neoprene sleeve may also help and you may consider buying new shoes if yours are showing signs of age or wear.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy for strengthening or prescribe custom-made orthotics for chronic problems. It is not uncommon for shin splints to take 3-6 months to heal completely. Changing your daily routine and incorporating cross training, like swimming or biking, can help you stay in shape without re-injury. As always, if your symptoms persist, call your doctor or the Select Sports Injury Hotline at 850-619-2862 for further information.



Until next month issue... Happy running!