Sure, folks love Pensacola and Perdido for our laid-back coastal vibe. However, for those of who like to run, bike, swim and challenge yourself before you appear in the light beverage commercial, we have a scene for you too.
Packing your fitness gear? If you do everything we talk about here in April, here’s a checklist of items you might need:
- Running Shoes
- Swim Goggles
- Swimsuit (duh – we’re not THAT laid-back)
- Heavy-duty firefighter gear (optional)
- Mini Golf for Dummies Handbook
- Mad-Crazy Corn Hole skills
Gulf Coast Half Marathon: 10-mile and 5K – and a Highly Functional Medal
This out-and-back road course cruises along Pensacola Beach into the heart of Gulf Islands National Seashore. The course is long, straight, beautiful – wait for it, hill-haters – and it’s flat as a beach road.
Like many races in the Pensacola and Perdido Area, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon welcomes the go-fast types with hot competition in all age groups, but the running community here is all about celebrating running and walking itself, so whatever your pace, whatever distance you choose – you get a finisher’s medal and a great party afterwards.
And this finisher’s medal has a purpose. It will open your beer. Finally, a medal that won’t gather dust!
Race starts at 7 a.m. at the Casino Beach parking lot and finishes at the Santa Rosa Island Authority building on Via DeLuna Drive.
Swim, Bike, Run Like a Mullet: The Mullet Man Triathlon
Mullet famously fly at the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package. But the Mullet Man Triathlon lets you run, bike and swim along the beautiful Perdido Key and Alabama Gulf Coast.
It starts with a quarter-mile swim in the Gulf behind the Flora-Bama (may want a wet suit – can be chilly). Transition to the 17-mile bike section and you head into Alabama on a paved road and return for the 4.2-mile run.
The post-race celebration is Flora-Bama style, with plenty of food, bevvies and foot-stomping Flora-Bama Lounge music! A portion of the proceeds benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Bike helmets are required. Participants must walk their bikes through the transition area. For your last transition, the 4.2-mile run at the Flora-Bama will head west again turning around under the Perdido Pass Bridge, and finishing back at the Flora-Bama.
Pensacola Beach Firefighter Challenge is Hot Stuff
Ever wonder what it takes to be a firefighter? To do firefighter things – not counting the slide down the pole?
Our proud Pensacola Beach Firefighters, who also have a Jetski, host the annual skills competition that brings crews of firefighters — and non-firefighters — to test their skills. The broad field includes teams of firefighters, individual firefighters, civilians and even a corporate team challenge! NOTE: Civilian competitors will be given gloves and won’t be wearing all that gear.
And get this – it’s all done in the sand. All the obstacles. The firefighters will face off on two, side-by-side courses and race the clock. They’ll crash through things and drag heavy hoses through thick, powdery sand – to save dummies – all while wearing fully-structural firefighting gear, including boots, gloves, air packs (breathing on air), helmets, and masks.
Civilian competitors can do all that stuff without the heavy gear.
- Forced Entry
- Charged Hose Drag
- Kaiser Sled
- Dummy Drag
- Hose Hoist
Even if you don’t compete, seeing it will give you a great perspective of what our firefighters do every day. It’s worth watching.
The DeLuna Beach Games: Can You Run, Swim and/or Cornhole?
This fun, family-oriented sports festival blends athleticism and downright fun with six events along our white, sandy shoreline. You can do any or all of the events, with small fess involved for some of them. It starts with a sunrise run, an open-water swim and includes a scavenger hunt, Go-Cart Race, Putt Putt Golf and, finally, a Corn Hole Tournament.
Pensacola Sports aimed to provide a sports festival for participants of all ages and skillsets – without having to leave the beach. Participants can choose their events when they register.
DeLuna’s Beach Games was named in honor of Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna, who landed in the Pensacola area in 1559, many many years before the first Putt-Putt Golf was established. Without mini golf, and short on supplies, the settlement was hit by a hurricane. The Spanish lowered the first flag over what is now Pensacola and sailed home. But the games will go on!
2019 Delunas Beach Games Timeline
6:05 -- Sunrise Beach Run
7:30 -- Open Water Swim
9:30 – Noon – Beach Chamber Challenge Scavenger Hunt
11-3 – Go Cart Racing
11-3 – Putt Putt Golf Tournament
10-3 – Corn Hole Tournament
4 pm – Awards Ceremony
It’s all fun and games, but remember. There can be only ONE!
Pensacola Triathlon: Choose Your Distance and Enjoy the View
Now in its second year, the Pensacola Triathlon sponsored by Running Wild features a challenging course that covers beautiful scenery of Pensacola’s waterfront.
The US Amateur Triathlon-sanctioned race offers the International and Sprint distances. International:
- 1.5-kilometer swim (almost a mile)
- 40-kilometer bike (25ish miles)
- 10K run (6.2 miles)
- 500-meter swim
- 20K bike ride
- 5K run
The swim starts at the park in Pensacola Bay, then the bike segment traces along a scenic out-and-back course. It ends with a run through Historic Pensacola neighborhoods and along the waterfront. Race Headquarters (Transition area and Post-Race party) is at Maritime Park, next to the Blue Wahoo's Stadium.