In all this running I've done over the years, there are still plenty of things that are new to me; like being an official pacer at a race. No longer am I a virgin to pacing though, last weekend I scuccessfully paced the 8:00 group for the 5/3 River Bank Run 25k. It was a lot of fun and I'm excited to follow it up with pacing the Cleveland Marathon this weekend!
I ventured north to Grand Rapids with a group of running friends from the EPIC Crew Saturday morning bright and early (5 am!!!!). There were actually a lot of us from Kzoo pacing this race so it was pretty cool. I think there were 8 of us including my buddy Nick who was my co-pacer in the 8 min group. It was funny because every other group had at least 3 pacers, most with 4. Our group was the only one with only 2 pacers, not because someone dropped, but that's all they planned for apparently. We told everyone that it was becauase we're just that good haha. Clearly with all this experience I've had from previous pacing gigs ;-) Speaking of previous experience, I went out last Wednesday and ran at an 8 min pace for 6 miles, just to practice and get used to slowing the pace down and I had no idea it would be that much work to slow down. (not trying to brag here but try it yourself, go out and run 45 seconds slower than you would on your LSD runs and you'll see just how tough it is to show restraint lol).
|C'mon who wouldn't "guitar joust"...|
|Lining up for the race, Tom, Nick and I|
Nick and I kept the party going throughout the whole race. I really hope we didn't offend or annoy many people (I started to sing aloud the Bloodhound Gang song because it was stuck in my head, but stopped just short of the line "put your hand down my pants and I'll bet you'll feel nuts" thankfully I realized it was probably innapropriate...) We made fun of everything we could think of, cracked jokes and told stories of our plans for a beer mile and a chicken Mcgnugget ultra mile. I'll tell you about those later.
|More people starting to line up|
|Why yes I did take photo at the 1/2 way point|
I seriously had so much fun during this run, I even said I may never race again and just pace everything! (I will definitely still race but I won't balk at an opportunity to pace a race here and there either) I took a couple pictures and a video on my phone mid run, and even tried calling my friend Dan who was pacing the 9 minute group, during the run. He didn't answer. Jerk.
Before the race Nick and I started talking about fun things we could do as we crossed the finish line and we really wanted to use the pace signs as paddles and act like we were canoeing across the finish, but unfortunately we abandoned the signs at the earliest we could because they were more like wind blocks than pace signs. We totally pussed out. Instead we went with a jumping high five. Nothing too exciting but I'm hoping there is at least a good picture of it.
The best part of pacing was standing in the finish chute area and having people come up to us, shake our hands and thank us for keeping them on pace and entertained. It was a pretty awesome feeling. Usually I'm just out there for myself so it felt nice to know I might have helped someone meet their goals.
So yeah it was a lot of fun, and like I said I'm pacing the Cleveland Marathon this weekend. It's gonna be HOT HOT HOT! I'm gonna be tackling a 3:40 on Sunday and hopefully it goes as well as it did last weekend. I've never been to Cleveland before and it will also be the first time I've raced in Ohio so I'll be able to check another state off my list!
I'll be looking forward to taking Memorial weekend off from racing, but I'm considering a 5k that Saturday so we'll see. It's been a busy month for racing and I think I could use a break. I'm thinking about shooting for a PR at the Charlevoix Marathon the end of June so I don't want to push it. We'll see how I feel after Sunday.
Hope all is well with you guys!
|Hanging out with the guys in pacer "hall"|