I was asked to fill in as a Pacer for the Everett Half marathon on April 12th, 2015. I’ve paced a number of races at the 2:00 hour finish time and was happy to help out my running group.
Race morning I picked up my pacer buddy Stefanie and we headed to the Everett marina. After some confusion about parking and 20 wasted minutes sitting in the traffic line for the navy base (oops) we were parked and found the rest of our fellow SGLRG pacers.
We learned that the race had failed to provide us with pacer signs. For those who are unaware, a pacer is a runner whose job it is to hold a pace for a preset finish time (2:00, 1:50, 1:45 etc) for the racers to follow. Typically we are given a dowel with that finish time taped to the top which allows runners behind us to see what finish time we are aiming for.
After some quick thinking we improvised pacer signs by writing our finish times on Masking Tape and taping them to our pace. Some of us had lost our “signs” by the end of the race.
There wasn’t much to do besides get set in the starting shoot and wave when the race director pointed us out to the racers. The course was an out and back with really only one significant hill on the way out and back.
We had a decent group of people around us for a few miles, a tail wind on the way out aided us in reaching the halfway point with plenty of time banked. We had a couple people who had mentioned they wanted to break two hours and whenever I hear that I make it my mission to assist in accomplishing that goal.
As we reached the last few miles it was clear that we had plenty of time banked and that the runners still with us would break 2 hours. We crossed in 1:57:37. One of the gentleman who was aiming to break 2 came up to thank us for a monster PR.
Seeing the joy and appreciation on runners faces after they cross that line and reach the PR is an amazing feeling. A great way to give back to the running community that gives us so much joy.