Race Report – Pensacola International Airport Runway 5k

This race didn’t start until 10am on Saturday 12/6, so I didn’t have to get up earlier than I normally would, and that was a really nice plus to this race.  I did have to arrive early to get my race packet as I was busy the evening before, and couldn’t make it between 3-6pm to pickup the packet.  We had an abnormally warm day that morning, and quite frankly, it felt hot compared to our (relatively) freezing November in the Florida Panhandle.  Below are the high points – comments and questions are welcomed!


Weather at the start of the race: Sunny, 77 degrees, light wind

136/550 Participants

11/26 Age Group (35-39)

25:58 minutes

8:23 average pace

Finish line selfie @JasonOfFlorida

What Went Right

  • Fuel – I woke up at 7, and had a filling bowl of Oatmeal with Honey, Cinnamon, and Brown Sugar.
  • Goal time – My goal was to finish this in under 26 minutes; achievement unlocked. However, I could’ve stood myself if I’d run a bit faster.

What Went Wrong

  • Pre-race walking – Airport parking, I guess I should’ve expected this. I parked at the first parking lot we were allowed to park in free.  This lot was also the furthest away – to make matters worse, I parked at the far edge of the parking lot, as is my habit in any parking lot.  So after my walk to the packet pickup area (which I’m guessing was .75 miles away), I had to return to my car.  Then I walked back to the pre-race gathering area, and then walked probably another ½ a mile to the start line.  I’m not complaining about the arrangements, but I surely wasn’t at my fastest due to the heat and walking 3 miles prior to the start of my 5k.
  • More walking – maybe worse than the actual distance was that there was a real lack of sidewalks when traversing to and from these areas – this made me pretty uneasy, there was actually a stretch where I had to walk down the main airport road; I suppose, if I had searched, I could’ve found a sidewalk that would’ve made my distance double…
  • I invited my two oldest boys (10 and 7) to run this race with me. I can’t get either one consistently interested in running, though they both do forms of it for various sports.  Alas, they decided they didn’t want to do this run.  And, that made me a little sad – but now I am more determined to find a way to share this experience with them in the future.


  • Scenery – well, it was an airport runway, and while this airport likes to call itself an International Airport, there is no international flair there.  Grass, barbed-wire fences, runway lights and a few planes.
  • Runways look flat – but I can attest they go slightly uphill or downhill, depending on which way you’re running.  I didn’t expect this slow upward climb.
  • Swag and Entertainment – There was a live band that played mostly 80’s country and few rock songs.  There were a few vendors that gave out t-shirts, koozies, key chains and the like.
  • Food – Pizza Hut gave away pizza (which seemed counter productive.  Considering I just burned 300 calories, do I want to eat 800 heaping calories of lard?) *Yes I did btw*.  There were more carbs in the form of bagels, and some oranges and bananas for those who preferred something less filling.

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