There's just over two weeks left now until Dublin Rock n Roll half marathon, where I get the amazing job of being the 3 hour CEP pacer again. So, I thought that it's about time that I reflected the experience of being a CEP pacer at Liverpool Rock n Roll ready to give both pacers and runners at Dublin a heads up of what they can expect.
I was really lucky that I have the best pace partner ever at Liverpool Rock n Roll. Me and Alison paced the three hour half at Liverpool Rock n Roll, crossing the finish in 2:59:35. We were really pleased with how well we did but we weren't surprised, we check our times at every mile marker against some pace bands that I made the night before (And then using a pace calculator on my phone when the pace band vanished). We had a small group of runners that we'd see every so often during the race but we just kept to our pace and let them do their own thing. It can be hard to leave runners who you have been encouraging but if you can't keep them with you then you just have to keep going because you don't know whether other people in front or behind you are using you as a guide for a specific time. After we crossed the finish a number of runners were waiting to say thanks. They'd used us as a marker to stay in front of the entire time and we'd helped get them the time that they wanted. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I'd highly recommend everyone having a go at some point.
So, for those joining us in Dublin...
To the runners: Running with a pacer can make your race, especially if you're after a
specific time. We get to the race early and go through all of the prep stuff so that we can be waiting in the relevant corrals when you get there. We'll then do our best to try and get you round the course within the specified time (We're only human and we're still running a race too so sometimes we can have the same issues that any other runner can, so please be nice if thinks don't exactly go to plan). Most pacers run an even pace throughout the race but your pacer should be able to tell you their plan. You don't right next to us either. If your pacer has a group of people around them that puts you off running with them just keep an even distance in front or behind. At Dublin we'll be wearing a bright red CEP t-shirt and socks so we're pretty easy to spot in the distance. We're usually quite a friendly bunch so don't be afraid to ask questions. There is a 'Meet the Pacer' session planned for 1pm at the expo on the Saturday before the race but more details will be available on the Dublin Rock n Roll website, facebook page and twitter.
To the pacers: I'm be no means a pacer expert but I thought I'd share my knowledge. These are just my opinions, feel free to ignore.