This weekend I'm going to be pacing the 2:00 group at the Hamilton Half Marathon! This is something I've wanted to do for a while, and decided that the "off season" would be the best time to step up without conflicting with my own training and racing schedule.
I contacted the race organizers earlier this year and secured the position. Pacing the 2:00 group is most appropriate since I ran my very first sub-2:00 half marathon at this race back in 2008.
I'm excited about the opportunity to give back to the community and hopefully play a role in helping others achieve this milestone. I've tagged along with various pace groups over the years and although I've never stuck with one throughout an entire race, I can definitely say that they have helped me achieve my own goals along the way. While you should never rely on a pace bunny 100% (they are not robots, afterall!), they can be an excellent guideline for pacing and provide support along the way. I hope I can live up to the expectation!
A 2:00 half marathon is pretty close to my happy "run easy" pace. So in theory, this should be an easy task... but of course we all know that anything can happen on race day! What if I can't find/hold the pace? What if I have to go to the bathroom? What if I'm still too tired from the marathon to run 21K? What if I just have a bad day for no apparent reason? I suppose those are all possibilities, but I'm ready to give it my best shot and I'm pretty confident that I will do just fine.
Over the weekend I headed out for my longest post-marathon run, a 10-miler with the goal of nailing the target 2:00 half marathon pace. I came within a few seconds on every kilometre and it felt great.
The most challenging part will be reeling in the pace along a significant downhill portion - there's a 142m (466 ft) drop from 5K to 10K. I'll be hitting the brakes and my legs are probably going to hate me. Sidenote: if you're looking for a fast course, this is it! Come visit! :)
If you're going to be at the race, look for me in my rainbow tutu and pink bunny ears. Let's have some fun! Good luck to everyone else racing!