After running in several larger races, I have learned to appreciate the value and the commitment of a Pacer.
In my observation - here are the things that many don't realize:
1. They carry a stick for an entire race. Not just any stick, but a stick that reaches a few feet above their heads. I don't know about you, but if I as much carry a piece of candy in my hand for 1/10 of a mile, I go nuts. They carry this stick for 13.1 - 26.2 miles.
2. Good pacers are Motivators. They know the responsibility of ensuring their micro team gets to the Finish Line. They become the coach for the 2-5 hours.
3. They have to CONSTANTLY check their Garmin to ensure they are on pace. Their race-day depends on it. Not too slow and not too fast. That would annoy me, having to check my Garmin every 10 steps.
4. They keep their responsibility after the Finish Line. I saw several pacers at the LA Marathon herding their race-day to ensure they ate, drank and got medical attention. That really impressed me. If they were Running Coaches, I would hire them in a heartbeat.
5. They give up their own PR goals for that course, to help others achieve their dreams to set a PR.
6. They genuinely care about their race-day team. I have seen them celebrate at the Finish with each of their races. I have seen hugs, high fives and lots of tears.
My hats to all of the pacers, everywhere! You may rarely, if ever get any thanks - but know you are appreciated and MANY PR's have happened because of your Leadership on the course.
Have you ever been a pacer? Or has a pacer helped you achieve your goals? Please share
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter