I’ve got myself a pacing gig!

metric marathonOver 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? 

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  1. says

    Congrats on getting a pacing gig :-). Pacing is a tough assignment because you have to be consistent in your times, but you are a great motivator, so that part will come naturally :-). The best part is you are giving back to our sport and helping other runners :-)
    Harold recently posted..Skora Base–Initial ImpressionsMy Profile

  2. says

    Aghhhh!!! SO jealous of this!!!! I actually was on the Clif Bar website last night trying to find out how to become a pacer for them – talk about a coincidence =)

    I know we haven’t met IRL yet…but based on how supportive and encouraging you are on my blog and to everyone on twitter, I know you are going to be an amazing pacer!

    Congrats on being chosen for this!! =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Birth StoryMy Profile

  3. says

    I have never paced a race before, I’m horrible at pacing! I can’t even keep my own miles even, let alone lead someone else! lol.

    I’ve had one good pacer at a race and a few bad ones, it sounds like you’ll be a great one, though. Good Luck!
    Ashley recently posted..Ash & Diz do CrossFitMy Profile

  4. says

    Oh I bet you’ll be great! I’ve never paced anything but a quick 5 mile relaxing run at a running event. That said, I would LOVE to be a half pacer someday (I don’t ever think I’ll feel confident enough to do it for a group in a full). I can honestly say I would not have gotten my BQ if not for the most fabulous pacer whom I’ve ever met last Spring. He was the 3:35 group and started with 8 women trying to BQ and every single one made it due to his dedication!

  5. says

    How exciting, I’m sure you’ll do great. I’ve been contemplating being a pacer myself (1/2 marathon), but haven’t had the courage to look into it. Can’t wait to hear all about it.
    Robin recently posted..Fall’s ComingMy Profile

  6. says

    That’s so cool!! Nice to get another bucket list item on the checked side!

    I have had horrible pacers in marathons and have had people let down being paced (a client just ran with the 4-hour pacer in Denver last weekend….they crossed in 4:02. Sucks if you were trying to BQ!). I’m not sure I could tackle the pressure, I’d be way too stressed, even if it were many minutes slower than my pace. I’m just too weird like that – hah!
    Jill recently posted..Denver RnR Weekend by the numbersMy Profile

  7. says

    How great! I would love to be a pacer but would be ultra nervous about it.
    The pacer I followed in the Air Force marathon was fantastic. She motivated constantly. On the few up hills or tough areas, she had a joke to share which made everyone stay with her…had to or they wouldn’t hear the punch line. She was excellent!
    Joanne recently posted..FOFF Pasta with RicottaMy Profile

  8. says

    You will be a great pacer! Lucky people who want a 9 minute pace!

    I had a *great* pacer for the NYC Marathon in 2005, then not-so-great pace experiences last year. I’m probably going to try again at CIM. I need all the help I can get.
    Terzah recently posted..Cold, Iron, and ShoesMy Profile

  9. says

    I’ve never been a pacer before, but I would love to do it! I get so excited about people running their first marathon or trying to hit a big goal and everyone out there has a goal and a purpose, I would love to give back and help support and motivate others. I think it’s great that there will be two of you, that will make it a lot better and I’m sure you’ll do great!
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..Blogger safety & Infuse Your Mood reviewMy Profile

  10. says

    Congrats! I loved the pace-man from the Irongirl 1/2. He talked to us, gave us advise, congratulated those that passed him (he was the 13 minute man) and gave a high five to me when I passed him at the 10 mile marker. He did stop to take a pee break (which left me in a bit of despair), but quickly caught up with the group.

    I’ve been getting e-mails about the metric marathon, but think I’ll pass this year. If I happen to be watching from the sidelines and see you I’ll give you a shout out!
    Michelle recently posted..Building My Business – Business CardsMy Profile

  11. says

    That’s awesome! I applied to be a pacer for the Oakland Running Festival Marathon but haven’t heard back yet! I would love to come and run with you; I just wish it wasn’t on a holiday weekend! I think that distance sounds like so much fun! You are going t be a great pacer!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Do and Do Not (4): RunningMy Profile

  12. says

    They will be so lucky to have you as their pacer! I think it would be really awesome to help other runners to reach their race day goals. Maybe some day when I’m a more solid runner and can pace myself more consistently…. :)
    Raquelita recently posted..September in ReviewMy Profile


  1. […] be extra special because 16 miles of it will be spent leading a pace group in our club’s Metric Marathon. I’ll do two miles before the race, then line up with my “pacees” and lead them […]