Over the years I have done hundreds of races, from 5ks to marathons, from sprint tris to an Ironman distance event. Running has taken me so many places I never imagined when I began–from a 35k bush run in Australia to running with Joan Benoit, from blogger meet-ups in other states to the upcoming Runner’s World half marathon weekend. I am grateful for all of this and know I am a lucky, lucky lady.
One thing that’s been on my unfulfilled bucket list, however, is to serve as a pacer for a race. Now it looks like I’ll be able to cross that one off, too. My running club has an annual Metric Marathon (26.2 k) in mid-November. Last year the club began offering pacers for runners looking to reach a goal time. I knew I wanted to get in on this so I let the coordinator know and I am now one of two pacers for the 9-minute group!
I’m really excited and also a bit nervous. If you’ve ever used a pacer for a long race, you know there are good ones and bad ones. Good ones know how to motivate their group, know how to keep their group on pace, and know how to keep a group together. Bad ones do things like start out way too fast, hoping to “bank” miles. Or they fail to talk to those running with them, offering zero interaction and motivation. I want to be in the first category.
Thankfully, I know my fellow pacer and he’s an incredibly experienced, talented runner. I feel like he’ll be a perfect leader for our group–hopefully I will more than hold up my end of the deal, too.
So if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic area and looking for a fun, challenging race come Nov. 11, join us here in Howard County for the Metric Marathon. I’ll be the one under the big 9:00-minute sign, smiling and talking your head off as I keep you on pace!
Have you ever served as a pacer? Would you ever want to do it?