The Rundown
PRA photo
From the Top

PRA President, Laura Harris President


I recently had the pleasure of working the PRA water stop during the Pensacola Marathon. We were located at mile 7 of the half marathon and at mile 16 of the full marathon on Summit Blvd. This has become somewhat of a tradition for me, since I last ran the race in 2008. I enjoy encouraging and cheering on the runners, especially because I know what it feels like to hit those certain mile markers. The other pleasure it brings is a coming together of many people from many walks of life. Yes, there are those of us who are PRA members and show up every year to hand out water and sports drink but, inevitably, somebody brings their coworker, friend, relative, or child who may or may not be a runner. I think this is great exposure for the PRA, as well as for them, who may be encouraged to pick up running or at least consider challenging themselves in their established endeavors after witnessing this distance being conquered by so many. Please see the picture of our diverse cheering squad included in this Rundown!


For those of you who have ever had your picture taken while running, you might get a kick out of this article I recently read on the New York Times website. I know I can relate to those who never look quite right in race photos:   


New York Times Article


Lastly, the PRA has two FUN races in December and one in January. The UWF Cross Country 5K will be held December 1st, and the Christmas Dash will be held immediately before the Pensacola Christmas Parade on December 8th. The Pensacola Beach Run (Half Marathon/10K/5K) will be held January 12th on Pensacola Beach. You can find more information on these races below Visit our Website. 


Happy running!


Laura Harris




PRA 40th Birthday Celebration 

Post Report 

The Pensacola Runners Association hosted its membership and volunteer social on October 24th in honor of the Association's 40th birthday. PRA thanks all of the members and volunteers who came together to celebrate 40 years of running in beautiful Pensacola. A few new members were welcomed into PRA while many of our longstanding members gathered to enjoy fellowship and recount days of running gone by. We were honored to have some of our Lou Gregory winners present who shared in on the celebration. It proved to be a spectacular birthday party with great food, free beer, a huge cake, door prizes, and fantastic music! Congratulations to all of our door prize winners!   We hope to see you all at the upcoming PRA races and be sure to mark your calendars for next year's social. You won't want to miss it.

Runner's Profile


by Erika Smith


Charles Gheen has been an integral part of our running community for many years. He began running during the early 80's, in the days of headbands and neon, competing in all of the PRA races and many others, including the Azalea Trail Run, one of the premier 10K road races in the United States. After a period of time away from running, he returned to the sport in 2001 as part of his training for his first tri - the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon (SRITRI). Little did he know at that time that he would become the future USAT Certified Race Director for SRITRI!


Charles views running as a very important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. His favorite road races include the PRA's Fiesta of Five Flags 10K and the Double Bridge Run (of which he has also been the Race Director). He says that he has run the popular Peachtree 10K in Atlanta and Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston and found them to be "great races, but ours are better." (PRA Thanksgiving fun fact: Charles is also a former Race Director for the upcoming Turkey Trot 5k).


Charles is one of only a few individuals who have been awarded both the Lou Gregory Award and the Jim Harrington Award by the PRA. He voices feeling honored to have his efforts to promote and maintain the sport of running recognized through an award bearing Lou Gregory's name. The Jim Harrington Award, given to a PRA member who has used running or physical activity to overcome adversity or to recognize persons who have returned to the sport of running after overcoming serious injury or physical illness, is also special to him, as it "symbolizes my physical comeback from some pretty serious cardiovascular problems I had in 2005".


Charles has assisted with many of the races here in Pensacola over the years. Although he is a skilled Race Director, he is also the person who you can always count on to take some of the less favorable roles - such as picking up trash and cones at the end of a race. Charles has also served in almost every position within the PRA, including as President, Vice President, and Secretary. He is currently a member of the PRA Board and remains passionate about his involvement with the organization, citing how much the PRA gives to the community to encourage running and fitness in Northwest Florida.


For cross-training, Charles enjoys training for triathlons. He also works out at the gym three plus times per week. When he's not exercising, Charles can be found going to the movies.


Charles was born in Tennessee, but moved to Florida at the age of 5. As a teenager, he spent three summers working at Pensacola Beach and so feels very connected to Santa Rosa Island. Charles graduated from the University of Florida and later returned to Pensacola where he earned his Master's degree at UWF. He worked in Information Technology for the Department of Defense for many years, traveling continuously while working on global computer systems. He's been enjoying racing and traveling (and combining the two!) since his retirement.


You'll have many opportunities to say "hello" to Charles at the upcoming races or at next year's SRITRI - but, be sure to register early, as the event has sold out for the past three consecutive years.


Board Member Profile - Jim Readdy


Jim was born in Germany and spent many years overseas as a dependent and later on active duty in the Air Force. He has always played sports including baseball, softball, tennis, cycling and weight lifting.


In 1996 he and his wife, Sherry, moved back to Pensacola from a six-year tour in Saudi Arabia.  Upon their return, he was surprised to learn that McGuire's Irish Pub no longer held their St. Patrick's Day Street Party. However, he was pleased that their annual 5K run was still being held with a huge post-race party. This inspired him and the McGuire's run was his first race.


Jim joined the Pensacola Runners Association in 1999 and has really enjoyed being a part of the organization. He started running 5K races and then added 10K races. He and his youngest daughter (active duty Florida Air National Guard) wanted to do a Half-Marathon so they began training together and continued running 5K and 10K races. These races lead to them completing the Double Bridge Run 15K and later the Seaside Half-Marathon.


Jim's running career ended a few years back due to knee issues. He had knee surgery and was told he needed to have both knees replaced. Unable to perform some of his favorite sports, Jim became an avid walker. He also became a volunteer for area races, running clubs, and other community and sporting events. He is a founding member of the Krewe of St. Patrick. The work he does as a volunteer in the community keeps his spirits high and reinforces his love for Northwest Florida.


Jim currently works at NAS Whiting Field on TH57 Helicopters. He is a member of the McGuire's Running Club, The Capt'n Fun Running Club and the Order of the Toucan Social Club. In their "spare" time, Sherry and Jim make an attempt to visit their oldest daughter yearly who lives on the Island of Curacao. With all of this, he still makes time to stay physically fit, alternating walking and weight training.


He says it seems to get harder as he gets older, but that inspires him to "keep plugging away!" You'll see him down the road on the race course, either as a competitive walker or an enthusiastic, energetic volunteer.
Christmas Dash

Please plan to join us in Downtown Pensacola on Dec 8th for the annual PRA Christmas Dash.  This fun 1 mile run follows the Christmas parade route and takes place at 5 PM just before the parade starts.  All participants will receive a lighted Christmas tree Santa hat and a giant candy cane.  The top male and female runner will each receive a $50 gift card.  Please be sure to mention the school you are representing on the registration form.  The school with the most runners will receive a $250 cash award. 

Finally, this race is also our last Grand Prix race, so if you need one more race to qualify for the Grand Prize awards (you have to run five of the eight races) this is your last chance. 

Please be sure to stay after the race to enjoy the Christmas parade.


Click Here to Register 




UWF Cross Country 5K
December 1st, 2012

The 2012 PRA Cross Country 5K will take place at 8 am, Saturday, December 1st,  at the multi-purpose field at the University of West Florida. The challenging course, which is almost entirely on the UWF cross country trails, in the Nature preserve area on the University of West Florida campus, will provide a true cross country experience. While much of the trail is wide and straight, there are plenty of quick ups and downs, roots and hair-pin turns to navigate. The course presents a race to compete against others and not necessarily the clock. With a course record of 17:34 in 2009 by Tallahassee native Jared Black, the race is more of a survival of the fittest. The women's course record is also from 2009 by Beatriz Labrada of Sandy Springs, GA who ran 22:09.


The 2011 Cross Country title went to 30 year-old Mark Millika in a time of 18:48, which was 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Steve Harris of Pensacola. Meanwhile, 31 year-old Shalimar native Nina Kamp took the women's title in 23:22. 


A total of 49 runners completed the course and the youngest finisher was 6 year-old Connor Daland.  Eleven yea- old Seth Fell was the 7th place overall finisher in 21:32. The most distinguished finishers included a pair of 73 year old runners: Dan Keely covered the course in 32:18, while Barney Walsh completed the run in 38:57. The youngest female finisher was 11 year old Gabriella Levine of Navarre.


Award winners for the Masters Division included Pensacola resident Michael Kohler, who finished 4th overall in a time of 20:02, while the Women's Masters winner was Lisa Fairbanks of Gulf Breeze. Fairbanks was the second overall female finisher in 24:27. The Grandmasters champion for men was David Hambrick, who finished 12th overall in a time of 22:41, while the Women's Grandmaster champion was Ali Gerold in 27:34. The Senior Grandmasters champion was Molino native Robert Bath, who completed the run in 31:45.


Pre-Registration takes place thru November 29th. Registration can also take place at packet pickup the night before at Running Wild, and on race day from 6:30 to 7:45 AM.  We hope to see you there!


More information and a link to the race flyer can be found at:


Click here to Register   



Issue Number 23

November 2012

In This Issue
Seafood Festival 5K
Runner's Profile
Board Member Bio
Christmas Dash
Seafood Festival 5K
PRA Water Stop
Select Physical Therapy
PRA 40th Bithday Party
Pensacola Beach Half

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.

Quick Links

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.  Send comments, suggestions or articles to:

PRA Water Stop

Pensacola Marathon 

PRA Board Members and friends were happy to be a water stop supporter in the recent Pensacola Half/Full Marathon.  Congratulations to all of the runners that completed this race!

Promotional Rates

To have an event promoted in 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


Treating and Preventing Tendonitis


Because of the repetitive nature of the sport, runners tend to have a high incidence of tendonitis. The most common types of tendonitis in runners are patellar tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis.

Tendons connect muscle to bone and are made of super-dense collagen fibers. While tendons are considered to be some of the toughest tissue in the body, they tend to sustain micro-tears when subjected to repeated excessive stress. Tendons are avascular, which means they do not get access to the nutrients blood provides (unlike other tissue, such as muscle). Because of this characteristic tendons have a hard time healing quickly. Patellar

tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendon that runs directly below the knee cap. Sufferers of patellar tendonitis will complain of pain in the front, bottom part of the knee. Pain is usually worst at the beginning or end of a workout, and is aggravated by jumping or changing running surfaces.


Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendon at the bottom of the calf. Athletes with Achilles tendonitis will notice a gradual onset, beginning with pain in the Achilles first thing in the morning or immediately after finishing exercise.


Treatment of tendonitis follows the RICE principle: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest is the key component in expediting healing, as it allows the tendon to heal without re-injury. Chronic tendonitis sufferers can also benefit from heat application before activity, as well as physical therapy to strengthen supporting musculature.


It is MUCH easier to prevent tendonitis than treat tendonitis. Prevention measures include gradual warm-up and stretching before activity, strengthening of all muscles to prevent stress on the tendons, and appropriate training progression to avoid doing too much too soon.


If you have any questions about gait analysis or to schedule your appointment, please call 850-619-2862.  


Tri Gulf Coast News



By Evan Malone

Someone once asked me what it is that I enjoy about the hobbies of triathlon and running.  I flipped through many worn-out, hackneyed responses in my mental memo pad and gave some vague response along the lines of "it's a healthy addiction," "I can eat what I want," all my friends do the same thing," "running gives me time to think," "I grew up running and swimming so it just made sense to continue on," "every roadrace has free beer afterwards," etc...

Some many days later I stumbled upon a passage wherein the author made mention of how despite the solo, sometimes boring endeavor(s) we all share (collective "we" and "us" refer to the age-group, recreational runner and/or triathlete), we share them with the professionals who have chosen our hobby as a career.  I guess it was his way of diverting his mind in the middle of his long, boring training sessions -- knowing the pros do the same thing.

That resonated with me.

I have since added another layer to that notion with the understanding that "we" (again, the age groupers) are what keep road races/triathlons and pretty much the entire industry afloat.  In fact, without "us" (you get the idea, the collective of age groupers) many industry developments such as the high-end shoes, the most aerodynamic wheels and helmets, the $1,200 wetsuits, and the most cutting-edge power meters perhaps would not have been developed and would certainly not be accessible to any of us and likely only available to a very limited amount of the professionals.  Taking it a step further, I contend that without us the prize purses at most road races and triathlons where professional compete for the gold (and the green) would be non-existent.

Yes, the professionals need us -- the masses, the consumers of hobby-related products, and the supporters of events.

Without getting too deep, besides the notion of "hey professional triathlete/runner, you are only here because I am," what do we get back?  Tons really.  We get the opportunity to be the consumer of the many cool new toys and accoutrements, the same ones the pros use.  We actually, believe it or not, get to take advantage of cheaper registration fees (I just paid the 'cheap' fee of $672.50 for IM Florida 2013) as without a pro field there would not be the same level of sponsorship interest so the fees would have to increase in order to offset those losses (IM Florida would probably be $1,000).

But, most impressive to me is another, under appreciated feature of our hobbies -- we get to race ALONGSIDE the pros.

Think about it.  How many other hobbies out there allow the age-group athlete (or sport-specific equivalent) to share the course, court, or playing field with the pros, the best in the world?  Not many.  Can a recreational tennis player have their name added to the draw at Wimbledon?  Can the middle-aged golfer compete to make the Friday cut at Augusta National?  Can the ex-high school quarterback signal for a snap behind a line of three-hundred pounders in the Superbowl?  Can the guy with degenerating knees chase down a fly ball in the outfield of the World Series?  Can the car junkie with a completely tricked-out hemi compete for the pole position in Daytona?  No on all accounts.


We are extremely blessed in that we have the ability to remit payment, sign a waiver, string together some training plan which fits between work/family/kids and toe the line knowing that on that course, at the exact same time, in those same conditions the pros are out there setting world standards. While we may be getting chewed up and spit out by the conditions of the day, the pros are generally doing the opposite by chewing up the course and spitting at whatever gauntlet Mother Nature throws down.


So, the next time you have the opportunity to participate in an event where "we" are out there with the elites and the pros take some time to appreciate this unique opportunity. This very thing has happened to me many times just this season. And, as I reflect on a few of my races, I smile as I think about the many phenoms I was able to share the course with. This, to me, is something which keeps me coming back-racing with the pros.



 Pensacola Beach Run
Half Marathon/5K/10K
January 12, 2013

Don't wait! Sign up now for the Pensacola Beach Run Half- Marathon & pick-your-distance 10K/5K happening January 12th, 2013 on Beautiful Pensacola Beach. This year is going to be even bigger and better. The first 1000 registered runners will receive a long-sleeve tech shirt. We will have a larger and easier-to- navigate expo with more vendors this year again at The Grand Marlin. We will have a much larger centralized post-race party with a live band, PLENTY of food for runners of all speeds and some very unique awards. The Half- Marathon starts at 7:30 and all runners in the half will receive a one-of-a-kind finishers medal. The 10K/5K starts at 8:00 so if you are not running the Half, but want to support someone who is,  you can still see them start, run a 5K or 10K and then cheer them in. We also have a very special � zip tech pullover for the 1st 250 registered for the � marathon, register today to guarantee yours while they last. Early registration ends on November register today!


Click the imATHLETE link below to register online now!