Beginners and Beyond

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Pacer question (Read 434 times)

runmomto3boys


    Is it common to have 2 pacers for a given finish time in a marathon?  This race only has 2000 participants and I was surprised that a bunch of the pace groups had 2 pacers.  Anyway, how does it work when there are 2 pacers involved: is it just a big group of people running w/these two pacers, or do the pacers both run with separate, smaller groups, but nearby one another, or what?

      Is it common to have 2 pacers for a given finish time in a marathon?  This race only has 2000 participants and I was surprised that a bunch of the pace groups had 2 pacers.  Anyway, how does it work when there are 2 pacers involved: is it just a big group of people running w/these two pacers, or do the pacers both run with separate, smaller groups, but nearby one another, or what?

       

      Yes, pretty common, although maybe not for such a small race. I think in most cases the pacers work together in a big group. It gives a lot of leniency if one pacer gets hurt, needs to use a bathroom, stuff like that.

      So_Im_a_Runner


      Go figure

        Pretty common. I've seen both pacers run together from the start, which can be nice because it does allow for the potential of having a struggling or speedy group separate. It also helps in that the pacer doesn't have to carry the sign the whole time if they stay together. I only carried the sign for 4 miles when I paced a half and that puppy got heavy. More likely, especially for faster times, is having the second pacer swap in for the first at the halfway point. That can present challenges, but if the pacers are good you shouldn't notice. Just from my brief experience, if the pacers are from a running club, there may not be a lot of pacers that can do the 3:00-3:10 marathon or 1:30-1:35 half. Splitting the race in two gives more pacer options.

        PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)

        runmomto3boys


          Thanks for the information, guys!! Super helpful!
          Butter Tart


            At some races here in Canada there are two pacers because one of them is running continuously and the other is doing 10s and 1s (run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute).

            xor


              "How does it work" between pacers is different depending on the race.  If you have a chance to meet them beforehand, ask them how they are going to handle it.  There are lots of ways they can.

               

              sirdizzy


                Yea I am pacing the STG half next weekend and we have 2 pacers for every timeslot, I like it as it takes a little pressure of me if I need to back down as I have been sick the last 2 weeks and haven't been able to run.  That race normally gets 2000-2500 runners which is big in this area for a half.  I am also pacing in March for the Zion National park half and I am the only pacer for the 2:10 slot for that race but that should be small as this is its inaugural year and is twice the cost of a half here like $80.

                LRB


                Dreamer

                  When I paced in October there were two pacers assigned to each group.  We mostly talked between ourselves and the runners.  It was good to have another there to help keep track of pace.

                   

                  When I ran with pacers for a half marathon and a marathon, there was only one official pacer per group.  Both of those times the pacing was all over the place.  Although I wouldn't say it was because there was only one of them, they just were not good pacers.

                  MRT: This too shall pass

                  So_Im_a_Runner


                  Go figure

                    Although I wouldn't say it was because there was only one of them, they just were not good pacers.

                     

                     

                    I think this comes down to the groups that "put on" the pacing not having enough people that can meet the paces. I'd say one shouldn't be pacing anything that's not at least 10 minutes slower than the pacer's own PR, but even my group had people pacing slots that were pretty much equal to the pacer's PR.

                    PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)

                    xor


                      For full marathons, Cliff Bar typically slots people for pacing gigs about 30 minutes slower than their PRs.  And you have to nail it... if you are more than a minute off, you have 'splainin to do.  More than a couple minutes, mucho 'splainin.  But lots of races slot pacers themselves or utilize local running clubs that perhaps don't have standards quite this stringent.  I recall two years ago trying to talk a gal out of being the 3:40 pacer when I found out it would be a big PR for her and she herself was trying to BQ.  That's potentially good reasoning for running with a pacer... not so much for acting AS the pacer.

                       

                      So_Im_a_Runner


                      Go figure

                        For full marathons, Cliff Bar typically slots people for pacing gigs about 30 minutes slower than their PRs.  And you have to nail it... if you are more than a minute off, you have 'splainin to do.  More than a couple minutes, mucho 'splainin.  But lots of races slot pacers themselves or utilize local running clubs that perhaps don't have standards quite this stringent.  I recall two years ago trying to talk a gal out of being the 3:40 pacer when I found out it would be a big PR for her and she herself was trying to BQ.  That's potentially good reasoning for running with a pacer... not so much for acting AS the pacer.

                         

                         

                        Yeah, pacins' not racin', so I totally agree that one should not be working to get her own BQ. And 30mins is great because that drops it down to the pacer's easy pace. But you're right, smaller races don't likely have the options.

                        PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)

                        sirdizzy


                          When I signed up as a pacer we were told it should be 10-15 minutes off our prs for the half, so I chose the 2 hour group for the one and the 2:10 for the other (haven't run the course and heard it is uphill a lot so wanted to give myself some room).

                          Vegan Ang


                          Formerly sdnyc99

                            Yes, I think 2 pacers is fairly common.  And every time I've seen 2, they just run together.

                            Angela 

                             

                             

                             

                            LRB


                            Dreamer

                               I recall two years ago trying to talk a gal out of being the 3:40 pacer when I found out it would be a big PR for her and she herself was trying to BQ.  That's potentially good reasoning for running with a pacer... not so much for acting AS the pacer.

                              Wow that's crazy.

                               

                              I wouldn't pace anything faster than my easy pace just out of respect for the task at hand.  I mean, I wouldn't want to work for the pace I am setting, it should come easy.  Unless you're using it as a training run and have experience then sure.

                              MRT: This too shall pass

                                When I was supposed to pace a marathon last spring (marathon got cut due to early morning storms, but they still ran the half), there were two people for each time slot. Though for the 4:00 slot, two of my friends were going to split the distance  - one would pace the first half and the other the second, because the 4:00 was a bit fast for them to feel completely comfortable with it.

                                 

                                This spring, a friend and I will be leading the 2:15 group in a local half; that's almost a half-hour off our PRs, so it should give us plenty of leeway if we want to move back and forth in the group to encourage runners who may be lagging and still comfortably pick it up back up.

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