Bushwacker 5K Goes Downtown Thanks to Dennis


Sat Aug 6th Pensacola Fl.


How do I start? So many clichťs, so little space. The Captín Fun Runners had the misfortune (opportunity) of replanning a race. I am sure everyone is aware of the difficulties hurricanes have inflicted on this area over the last year. I realize that in the big picture scenario, putting on a successful race is very insignificant. However, we as a group decided early on against canceling the race. So we plodded on.


After obtaining all of our permits for our usual course from Gulf Breeze to the once beautiful Pensacola Beach, Dennis forced us to change our route. We, as well of our loyal runners love our course. It is well laid out, challenging, and so well supported by the City of Gulf Breeze, the SRIA, and Escambia County. However, after surveying the damage and talking to the SRIA, it was clear to us that we had to move the race. What do we do? Less than a month before the race and no race course!


Enter Bob Kelly, PRA board member and Captín Fun Runner. I contacted Bob and asked for his help. He laid out a course in his head, yes in that head. He and I met on a Friday morning and wheeled out the course and low and behold he was within about 200 feet of a perfect 5K. Next step, we called in the big gun, Mike Bowen. Mike measured the course a couple of times and provided us with an impeccable map, including not only mile markers, but also Ĺ mile markers. So now we had the perfect alternate course. Now we had to get approval from all of the key players in Pensacola. Once again, Bob Kelly took care of this for me, as I had to leave town. When I returned he had everything signed and approved. New course: Done.


What next? The party of course. Our loyal runners know we Captín Fun Runners take great pride in making sure our running guests are rewarded for their efforts. The party is usually easy to put on. The Boardwalk, the beach, Main Street Band, and the GREAT hospitality of the employees at the Captín Fun bar. What else could you ask for? Well, we set out to keep as many of these ingredients as we could. Main Street took their act inside and the Captín Fun guys came inland with us. Letís just say we put on an indoor, in-town beach party. Based on the feedback, we were pretty successful.


Finally, race day was upon us. We were hoping for at least 700 runners (about Ĺ the number we would have expected at the beach). We ended up with 874 runners and walkers. So far, so good. The morning started out pretty smooth. We started setting up at about 5AM. Everything was going pretty smooth, until about 7:20. Then came the rain. Logistically, the rain was a nightmare, but I am sure the runners loved it. The race went off on time and by all accounts it was a good course. Our male overall winner was Samson Kipchirchir of Mobile with a blazing time of 16:03. Our overall female winner was Anna Greskovich of Pensacola with a time of 19.23. If you would like to see all of the results and photos, go to http://www.captnfun.net/ and click on Bushwacker 2005- Results and Photos.


Considering everything we endured, I think the race was a success. I want to thank all of our runners, our sponsors, Running Wild, Dominoís Pizza, and Captín Funís, and the City of Pensacola and Pensacolaís finest who helped make our race a safe one. As always the Captín Fun Runners came through and put on a great race and party. The benefactors of all of this hard work will be Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, a great organization that helps kids from single parent families. If you are interested in getting involved with this group, call 433-KIDS. The friendly people there will give you all the information you need.


In closing, I would like to invite everyone to next yearís run back at the beach Hopefully, things will be back to somewhere near normal and all of our out of town running friends will be able to return to Pensacola and join us.††