Don't miss this Blue Angel Replacement (about: 2005)|
Cheryl Murdock from Pensacola, Florida (7/22/05)
50+ previous marathons
| 1 Pensacola Marathon
2005 marked the first year of the Pensacola Marathon after the Blue Angel Marathon held by the naval base was canceled due to Hurrican Ivan. Paul, the race director and owner of the local running store (a marathoner and triathlete) and a few others put together the Pensacola Marathon in just a matter of weeks. What a refreshing change from the Blue Angel's boring course. No, we were not treated to the passing over of a jet, but were treated to the sun rising over Pensacola Bay at Veteran's Park where a scaled replica of the Vietnam Veteran's Wall can be seen among other war memorials. The course took us under the famed railroad underpass known by locals as 'graffiti bridge,' over Bayou Texar and onto the rolling hills of Scenic Highway. A challenging course, but pleasant. Then through the 12th Avenue 'Tree Tunnel' and on towards downtown Pensacola. We then hooked up to a portion of what was part of the Blue Angel course, over the Bayou Chico Bridge and eventually back towards downtown Pensacola.
There were not a lot of spectators, but water stops were manned mainly by fellow runners from the Pensacola Runner's Club, Seville Quarter Milers and Capt'n Fun Runners. All were fantastic.
This is a marathon that is sure to grow in popularity and will only get better and better. It has certainly gotten publicity and the support of local business that the Blue Angel Marathon never got in over twenty-some years. Talk is the course will be modified this year to take in more scenic parts of Pensacola.
If I lived where that four-letter word 'snow' was mentioned all winter, this is one marathon I would not miss here along the sunny Gulf of Mexico where there are no hurricanes in February.