Why does Dream Runners Half Marathon put together a pacing team? Every major quality running event has a team of pacers running in various time slots. This is done so that runners can keep aside all the headaches of pacing and run along with the pacer knowing fully well that they will reach on time and with certainty. It helps to think of the pacer as a on-course concierge.
What is the background of the Pacers?
The pacers are chosen to be able to run the distance well within the target pace time. If they were racing and not pacing then they would be atleast 10-15 minutes faster than their pace times. Thus they have considerable spare capacity so that they can run the distance slower, with a smile and cheer you along. All of them are very accomplished runners.
What’s in it for the Pacers?
Pacers register just like you and spend their own money for taking part in the event. And yet they have decided to forego their own race in order to pace slower runners. Believe it or not, Pacers do this (as they do in every race around the world) without any expectation of monetary reward. They do this only for the satisfaction of giving others the thrill of the Personal bests.
Oh Wow!!! did not know that. Ok, as a runner what do I have to bear in mind?
– Decide your optimum race pace. – Interact with him / her on the Facebook group. – Meet with your pacer in the pacer meeting area before the race and identify yourself. Let him know that you are going to be part of this team. – Run a few meters ahead or behind him. Avoid running abreast since this might block other runners who want to go faster. – Keep in his pace. If you think he is running too slow in the beginning, remember he knows what he is doing. He has a well designed pacing plan and is geared to the task better than you are. – At water stations hand out water to other runners so that there is no bunching / tripping. – Feel free to talk to the pacer and pick up tips. Make light conversation. It helps lighten the air. – If his plan includes walk break, then take walk breaks. Remember he knows what he is doing. – If you feel fatigued and want to slow down, do not expect the pacer to slow down for you. Similarly if you have cramps, pains etc do not expect him to tend to your needs. You have to finish the run on your own legs.
Great .. I had a swell run and the pacer really helped me get my target time. Now what?
Express your gratitude to the Pacer. That is his only reward for having taken the time, incurred the expenditure and forgone his own race. We know you will not begrudge him that small return favour.
Have a fantastic run!
Team Dream Runners