I’ve got myself a pacing gig!

Metric logo 300x208 Ive got myself a pacing gig! 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? 

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  1. I love this post as Ive never quite understood pacing, pacers and who did it.

    Miz recently posted..Blog reading: fun relaxation or necessary evil?My Profile

  2. That is very cool! Congrats! I have the worlds worst internal pacing system so I’d be terrible at leading others, lol.
    Kris @ http://www.Kris-Lawrence.com recently posted..Coming in (to taper) HotMy Profile

  3. 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

  4. that’s exciting!!! It would be an amazing feeling to help others achieve their goals on race day! You will be great at it!
    Kristy (@KristyH5) recently posted..Sciatic Nerve Update and Weekly RecapMy Profile

  5. congratulations! I love it when I can cross things off my bucket list.
    Carli recently posted..Proverbs Prayers by John MasonMy Profile

  6. That’s awesome! I’d love to help pace a race sometime.
    I have no doubt that you will fall in the first category… your 9 minute miler folks will be lucky to have you!
    Laura recently posted..Vlogging the Drink Chia Sampling ExperienceMy Profile

  7. Yay!!! Congrats! You’re going to do great! I saw a pacer once with no one around him whatsoever! I thought he was just a weird guy with a balloon around his waist!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  8. That’s so cool!!! Enjoy it!
    Kierston recently posted..Start to Finish: My First Half-Marathon!My Profile

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Wow, that is sooo cool!! It is something I will never be able to do, unless some miracle happens and I can actually run
    Scott recently posted..2012 Race BlingMy Profile

  12. 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!

  13. Cool! I have no desire to pace (as if!) but I have run with a pace group that was awesome. I do hear lots of horror stories about ones that go out too fast but I’m sure you’ll be great!
    Teamarcia recently posted..One, Ok Two Small ThingsMy Profile

  14. That sounds awesome! What a great experience to share your love of running to help other achieve their goals.What a rewarding experience that will be!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..In an instant my Dream becomes a RealityMy Profile

  15. Very cool! I think you’ll do just great. I’d love to have you pace me any day!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Good HabitsMy Profile

  16. 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

  17. Contrats on being a pacer. BTW: I am doing the 5k in PA on Oct 20.
    Darlene recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  18. Awesome!! Congratulations!! I am sure you are going to enjoy it and have a great time motivating others to hit their goal time!!

  19. So cool! You will do a great job:)
    hikermom recently posted..Luck Has Nothing to do With ItMy Profile

  20. If I run another ultra, maybe you can pace me? Or better yet, run it with me! :)
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  21. That is so awesome!!! Congratulations!!! I am sure that you will be the best pacer out there and get some more gigs too. If I was in the area I would totally run this.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..ResolutionsMy Profile

  22. 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

  23. After my horrible experience with pacers last year at Hartford, I would love to be a pacer and actually bring people in at the promised time. I bet you’ll be awesome!
    Kari @ Running Ricig recently posted..Three things ThursdayMy Profile

  24. 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

  25. You’ll be great! Did you complete an Ironman along the way?

  26. Awesome! Pacers are the best!!
    shelly recently posted..Running in CirclesMy Profile

  27. Awesome! I think you will make a really great pacer.
    Johann recently posted..Current StuffMy Profile

  28. You’ll make an awesome pacer!!! Will you run with a pacer at CIM?
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..PRing with DEAN KARNAZES!!!My Profile

  29. You’re gonna rock this!
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted..Thoughtful Thursday Blog Hop: MythbustersMy Profile

  30. AWESOME!! I’ve always thought this would be the coolest way to give back! Those runners are lucky to have you!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..GNC Gonna Make You Sweat Workout!My Profile

  31. Whoa, back. up. the truck.

    Does this mean you’ll be wearing a GPS watch?
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Nutrition and Predicted TimesMy Profile

  32. Good for you – you’ll be FANTASTIC in this role!
    I’ve considered pacing – but never sought an opportunity. Can’t wait to hear how your experience goes!
    That Pink Girl recently posted..Fat and HappyMy Profile

  33. 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

  34. Being a pacer says a lot about your skill set and talent as a runner. I have full faith that you will be in the first group. That was the “good pacer” category, right? THAT one.
    Pavement Runner recently posted..Playlist Thursday: Electronic-Techno-House-Whatever-THIS-Is-CalledMy Profile

  35. So cool. Congratulations, you’ll be awesome! I hope to some day be a pacer for a race.
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..5 Feet of FocusMy Profile

  36. 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

  37. I would so be there if I wasn’t running Richmond the day before. Such a great price for a marathon too! You’re going to be awesome!!
    ‘Ama_Runs recently posted..Fitness+Blogging = Fitbloggin’ 2012!My Profile

  38. Good on you. I think you’ll find it a really rewarding experience, being able to help people reach their goals.
    Char recently posted..Toby’s Bucket List and Cheating on TestsMy Profile

  39. Congratulations!!! What a great opportunity. I only ran once with a pacer and she hardly talked and had to pee at mile 20, so I never saw her again. But still, I enjoyed the pacer. It helped to stalk my Garmin less and just run. I knew as long as I follow her I’m good. You will be a great pacer!!
    Christine recently posted..Marathon Training: Review, Goals and Race StrategyMy Profile

  40. This is awesome! You will do such a great job! I only wish I was closer so that I could run with you!
    Jen recently posted..The most important life lessons- Embracing the Suck yet againMy Profile

  41. Awesome!! I am sure you will be a great pacer and you calm but encouraging attitude is just what people will need. Have so much fun!!!
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Denver trip recapMy Profile

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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 [...]

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