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

This month I'm writing this letter with some sore legs, still reeling from the PRA Cross Country run (mostly because of poor training on my part) held at UWF on December 4th.  The run was hosted by the UWF Men's and Women's Cross-Country team and Coach (and PRA boardmember) John Bergen.  I'd like to thank both of the teams and Coach Bergen for putting on an excellent event and making sure we had a perfect cross-country course that was well-marked and well-manned with a team member at every turn to keep runners on course.  Great Job! 

As we wrap-up 2010 with the Christmas Parade Dash on December 11th, we begin to look forward to one of the premier events of the PRA, the Pensacola Beach Run on January 15th. I believe you all will really enjoy this event based on all of the hard work your race directors and volunteers have already put in to make this run a seminal event for Pensacola and the Southeast. As I did last month with the Cross-Country run, I'm going to promise you that the weather will be better this year for the Pensacola Beach Run. 

Finally, in the past two month's Rundowns we posted the PRA's Balance Sheet and some of you had questions about the amount of money that was shown in Cash and cash equivalents by our organization.  First, you should envision that a Balance Sheet is a snapshot of an organization's finances at a moment in time.  The keyword is "snapshot" because although the report is a good picture of our finances, by itself the report doesn't tell you the history of the organization's finances and subsequently what is about to happen.  In this case, the Balance Sheet report was made within days of receiving most of the revenues from one the PRA's largest races, the Seafood Festival 5k.  At that point, the PRA's Balance Sheet showed a little over $57,000 in our checking accounts as of 09/30/2010. However, very few of the expenses (liabilities) for that race were received or entered into our accounting. After the expenses were entered and paid over the next two weeks our Balance Sheet showed that our assets decreased to $48,700, which is within range of our prior three year's balances. We do keep about $30,000 in emergency reserve funding in the event of natural disasters.  After Hurricane Ivan the PRA's reserve fund was used to help defray losses so that our organization could continue to function.  If you have any further question or thoughts about our organizations finances, please feel free to contact myself or Janet Boylan, the PRA Treasurer. We'll be happy to provide any reports for you and answer your questions.

Until next month, I hope you have a safe and fun Christmas and New Year's Day. 

Best regards,

Courtney Peterson

TimoRunning Thoughts
by Timo Hartigan

A Strange Addiction

This has been a tough year... and it started with such promise.  My workouts were tougher and more frequent and the results were showing.  In fact, I was just counting my blessings early last spring for running injury free for almost 5 years.


Then the unthinkable happened.  It was during a track workout at Pensacola High School.  I was doing 400's and 800's when my right achilles gave out.  I thought I could run through it and in fact, it only really hurt when I stopped running.  But the next day, I could hardly walk.  And that has been my experience off and on since that early March day.


When I was younger, I was a multi-sport athlete and competition brought me joy.  As I've gotten older, I get that joy from running, whether I'm racing or just on an easy training run.  When I can't run I feel like something is missing.


For those that don't, running can seem a strange addiction.  For those of us that do, we understand the peace and the calm and the joy that comes from running.  It's hard to explain, but it's more than a runner's high.


Next time you see that lonesome runner on a cold and rainy winter's day, you'll know why he's smiling.   Additionally, when one of your running friends is unable to run, be extra kind, he may be having a tough time.

The PRA/UWF Cross Country 5K was raced on December 4th.  The race is sponsored jointly by the UWF CC Team, it's Coach and the PRA.
Board Members get Sweaty at Cross Country 5K

from UWF CC Run
Fom left: Ben Bogan, Jehan Clark, John Bergen, Randy Maygarden, Courtney Peterson, Richard Dickinson


















On Saturday, December 4th, the Pensacola Runners Association, in collaboration with PRA Board Member and UWF CC Coach, John Bergen and the UWF CC Team, held a challenging 5k run through the beautiful and winding trails at UWF. With the race well-organized and staffed by members of the cross country team, many members of the board were able to participate in this event. Vice President, Jehan Clark, relays that it is important for the board to participate in all aspects of PRA events, including racing whenever possible. Many of your PRA Board members were able to run in this event and in fact, several took home an age group award.  Board member, Ben Bogan, took the trophy for Overall Master's Male. It's great to know that our board members love running as much as, (if not more than), coordinating and volunteering.  By competing, thy know first hand what things we want in our races. Thank you UWF CC Team Members!

 One of the favorite races in the local area, the PRA/UWF CC Team 5K, is held each year on the trails at the University of West Florida.  This year the weather was perfect, the trails were in great shape.  Below are the overall results:


Overall Winner:  Nick Mascardo  18:43

Overall Femaile Winner:  Monica Malavassi  23:33

Male Masters Champion:  Benjamin Bogan 21:10

Female Masters Champion:  Kelly Fisher  30:57

Male Grand-Masters Champion:  Gary Lambert 21:32

Female Grand-Masters Champion:  Lisa Fairbanks  24:29

Male Senior Grand- Masters Champion:  Jerry Tharp 29:44

Female Senior Grand-Masters Champion:   -----

PRA Grand Prix Begins Next Month for 2011

Make things a bit more interesting this year between you and your running friends (or fellow volunteers) while putting yourself in the mix for a great raffle.  This next year's Grand Prix registration is now open to all PRA members.  You can find the registration form on the PRA website, at Running Wild and the Pensacola Beach Run expo on January 14th at the Grand Marlin.

A Grand Prix series is a fun, friendly competition with some cool awards and prizes. Winners of the Grand Prix overall and age groups will receive a prize consisting of a piece of running apparel (i.e. technical shirt, singlet, hat, or visor). In order to qualify, however, entrants need to be a PRA member and complete a minimum of 6 PRA races during the season with 2 of the races being long runs (over 5K).

The great part about the PRA Grand Prix is that there is no additional fee to register and everyone has a chance to win a great award. Participants who do not win their age category, but register for and complete at least 6 of the PRA races during the season will also receive a "frequent racer" award similar to the overall and age group awards.  Also, each time you register and participate in a PRA race as a Grand Prix member, you are credited with one raffle ticket for a grand prize to be given out with the Grand Prix awards at the Pensacola Beach Run in 2012.  One grand prize raffle winner will be given out to a runner and one will be given out to a volunteer. So even if you can't run, but help out you have the opportunity to win. (Only one prize will be given out per person so if you ran and volunteer, you can only win one of the raffles).  These will be quality raffle prizes to be announced shortly!!!

The registration for the Grand Prix series ends January 15th so be sure to sign up now before you miss out on this opportunity to make 2011 a more exciting running season. 

Last Call - The PRA is Accepting Applications for the Jim Harrington Award

The Jim Harrington Memorial Award was established to commemorate Jim's love of running and the camaraderie that brings athletes together. The Memorial was founded in 1998 to honor athletes who have used running and physical activity to overcome adversity, or to recognize persons who returned to the sport of running after overcoming serious injury or physical illness.


Jim Harrington was a dear friend to the PRA and the running community in Pensacola. Many remember Jim as an accomplished runner who lived by the notion, "The older you get the better you are."


The PRA is accepting nominations for this distinguished award. Please submit a letter of nomination to the PRA by email to OR by USPS Attention: Jim Harrington Award, P.O. Box 12552, Pensacola, FL 32591) POSTMARKED by December 20th. The recipient will be announced at the Pensacola Beach Run on January 15th 2011. Previous winners have been Mike Hall, Beverly McElwee, Glenn Windham, Ray Yarbrough, Gary Upshaw, Terry Ramos, Brad Donahue, Charles Gheen, Gary Bunde, Thad Kopec, Brian Casey and Jennifer Dutton.

Runner's Profile
 by Erika Smith
Mamie Wu - Runner


          In the words of Mamie Wu, "There was nothing like a pending midlife crisis to get me moving!" Mamie relays that several years ago, she was "out of shape and overweight with the BIG 4-0 looming." She decided that she wanted to make changes in her life and become a triathlete, so she signed up for "Mere Mortals", the popular triathlon training program held at Pensacola Beach. Mamie relays that she began swimming "more like a slow crawl", biking "on my mom's bike, complete with a kick stand", and running "from telephone poll to telephone poll with walks in between." Before she knew it, she was ready to compete in the SRI TRI, had become involved in the local Jeff Galloway training group, and had set the goal of completing her first marathon before her 40th birthday!

            Two months before her 40th, Mamie completed the Pensacola Marathon. She describes Charles Gheen, Jackie Brown, and Chris Baughn's support and guidance as instrumental in helping her to accomplish this goal.  Since that time, she has completed many races, both locally and out of town. Her favorites include the Double Bridge Run, the Sacred Heart Cathedral School Great Pumpkin Run 5k, the New Orleans Rock N' Roll Half Marathon, and the Marine Corps Marathon. In fact, Mamie's favorite race-related memory comes from MCM, when she was motivated in an "I am a Rock Star" moment by a crowd of college students shouting her name as she ran through Georgetown (her name was written on her shirt with duct tape).

            In addition to running, cycling, and swimming, Mamie is a regular at "Adventure Bootcamp with Kent Morgan" held at UWF at the wee hour of 5:30 AM. She describes the class as helping her to focus on prevention, strength, and flexibility. Her upcoming race plans include the Disney Half Marathon in January and the New Orleans Half Marathon in February.

            Mamie was "born in Hong Kong and raised in the Mississippi Delta". She moved to Pensacola during her middle school years, graduated from high school here, and then attended college at George Washington. Later, she graduated from PA school (with PRA Board Member Laura Harris). Mamie currently works as a Physician's Assistant at the VA.

            When she's not exercising, Mamie loves going to the bookstore with her son, Brett, and enjoying a soy latte. She also loves spending time with her daughter, Yenny, whether watching her play volleyball or sharing a laugh with her while watching "Glee". Mamie also has a passion for travel - she describes her favorite memory this summer as "walking through a sage infused hiking path overlooking the ocean and cypress trees."

            Mamie's "ultimate goal" is to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon. She jokes that, "I might have a shot at it, if I run my current pace at age 80, and I hope the PRA will do a follow-up piece on me when I reach that goal in 38 years!" After completing this interview with Mamie, it was easy to tell that she has a great sense of humor and that she embodies her motto: "Live life to the fullest with no regrets." We predict that Mamie will complete her goal sooner than expected, so be on the lookout for that follow-up story!

East Hill's Annual Santa's Helper Run

     by Gloria Whitehurst

 Santa's Helper Photo

 East Hill Hare & Hounds Running Club


The low temperature combined with the high winds on Sunday morning caused many people to change their plans and opt for the warmth of an indoor activity.  The extreme weather certainly didn't deter the members of the East Hill Hare & Hounds Running Club.  December 12th marked this group's 55th run and was celebrated with a Champagne Brunch Run.  Runners met at the McGuire's double-decker bus at 9 a.m. dressed in a myriad of Santa's Helper outfits. 


Runners and walkers, both members and guests, enjoyed refreshments and champagne mimosa's while huddled within the circle of vehicles that had their heaters running and Christmas tunes blaring from the cars' radios. 


After a brief opportunity for socialization and a rundown on the hash markings by the Club's General Manager, the walkers started off and were followed shortly thereafter by the runners.  With mugs hanging from the lanyards around their necks, a whistle or other noisemaker readily available, and a hunk of colored chalk, the members started their journey.  They braved the extreme temperatures and weaved their way through the streets of downtown Pensacola reading chalk marks, following arrows, and navigating intersections until they located the beverage stop near the half-way point where they replenished the contents of their mugs and enjoyed a brief respite. 


The quizzical looks of motorists and pedestrians were comical as the group of runners straggled past.  The colorful costumes and interesting headwear definitely attracted attention, as did the men and women wearing bright red and green tights with their running shoes.  The variety of elf and Santa impersonators running in a seemingly haphazard fashion down the roadway was a sight to behold.  The real Santa would have been proud. 


At the completion of the 5K run, the group gathered at the McGuire's bus once again for more refreshments and to memorialize this event with a group photo.  The 55th Running of the East Hill Hare and Hounds Running Club culminated with a wonderful brunch hosted by our friends at McGuire's Irish Pub and Eatery. 


If you're interested in joining in the camaraderie offered by the East Hill Hare and Hounds Running Club, please visit or visit their Facebook page.  The club meets
 two Sundays each month at different locations. 


Issue Number 5
Merry Christmas!
In This Issue
A Strange Addiction
Membership Benefit
Nominations for Harrington Award
Runner Profile Mamie Wu
Annual Santa's Helper Run
Upcoming Races
Pensacola Beach Run
5K/10K/Half Marathon
Jan 15, 2011
Bay to Breakfast 8K
Jan 22, 2011
Quick Links

running wild logo

comments, suggestions or Rundown material
Send comments, suggestions or material for future Rundowns to
Quote of the Month
"I was a multi-sport athlete and competition brought me joy.  As I've gotten older, I get that joy from running, whether I'm racing or just on an easy training run."
From Running Thoughts.

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.