Thursday, November 03, 2011

Trying on my Pace Bunny Ears

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!

35 comments:

yumke said...

Oh, 2 hours! You'll be fine. The biggest danger is going out too fast. If you plan to gain some seconds on the downhill, then let the people know you'll do that in order to slow down later. But probably be better to tell people to save energy on the downhills for the end. You'll love it!

One thing I found challenging the two times I did it is finding encouraging things to say to your group or do things like give them an extra water/gatorade you pick up at the station...

macnic said...

I shall be behind you at the start for sure! I'm glad you'll be wearing somthing bright! See you on Sunday!

kristen said...

Ok- Hamilton is now on my radar for next year. I'm sick of running up hill!

Good luck being a bunny! I know my husband is hoping to be a pace bunny at the Ottawa marathon next year. He'll be running Boston in April and won't be back into race shape by the end of May but still wants to be involved in Ottawa race weekend because it is such a great race. Who knows- maybe I'll run it :)

Run with Jess said...

So cool! I always think the pacers are so wonderful to offer that service. good luck to you!

misszippy said...

You'll do a great job, I'm sure. Pacing is something I've always wanted to do. The Balt. marathon is one I hope to pace some day...there is a long wait list to pace, so not the easiest thing to get in to!

Laura said...

You will be your usual awesome self I am sure. At least you will be easy for me to spot on Sunday!

TNTcoach Ken said...

That is soooooooooo cool! Be sure to tell your group of all your planned surges and have plenty of jokes to tell......

Jesse said...

I'm running the full, but I'll be on the lookout for you anyway! I would have loved to run with you...a 2-hour half is my spring goal for next year :)

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

My last half was 2:01 and if there was a pacer for the 2 - I would have loved it! Good luck, I'm sure you will have problem sticking to the paces.

destination262 said...

This sounds like such a great opportunity for you. I would have similar concerns being a pacer, but you I know you will do great. Just go out there and have fun!! :)

Aneta said...

i really really wanted to do this race when i found out that you were pacing. but after my last race, i promised the bf a little time of from anything longer than 10k. but next year for sure! i really really hope that you pace this race again next year. good luck this weekend.
u r gonan love it!

Teamarcia said...

Go pace bunny go! You'll be great! Have fun--how cool this was your first half--times change!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Great job helping out! I'm going to volunteer at the Ironman AZ this month I thought it would be a good idea to be on the other side!

Emz said...

Soooooo awesome
Marlene!!!!
Love the ears & tutu idea. So fun!!

Looks like a great course.
Those 2:00 peeps are going to love you!!

Deb said...

That is so awesome. The 2:00 group seems like a great one to pace too. Breaking 2:00 is a major milestone for a lot of people (as you know) and it will be awesome to get to share that!

Runners Fuel said...

How awesome!! I love my pacers, they do such a great job and so will you!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

SO COOL!!! I really want to pace at some point too, love what pacers can do for runners! Have a blast

Robin said...

Have fun, I'm sure you'll do great. Can't wait to hear all about it.

51feetunder said...

Good luck pacing Marlene! I'll be pacing a friend of mine at Hamilton albeit slower than your group. If I get a chance I'll come by and harass you. As for the hill, maybe you could/should(?) ask your pacees what they'd like you to do? i.e. use the hill to bank some time/take it easy/use it to compensate for the slower portion at the start? Just an idea.

Cheers!

Denise said...

you are going to love it!!! it's such a fun experience and you're going to be perfect at it.

keep in mind that the downhill could be used to make up some time, too.

good luck!

J said...

Good luck pacing! You are going to great! Love the elevation profile for the race! That is my kind of race!

I am slowly working the idea to run Chicago onto my running buddy here. We will see! Still, the race is a long way off.

Marky Mark said...

Good luck and enjoy! I think the otehr thing in 2008 was the headwind the last few k's so check that out as well. Looks like a beautiful day and maybe they still have post-race pizza!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Have fun!! I bet you'll be a great pacer!!

dietitianontherun.com said...

Pacing in costume?! Hah, you have a fun day ahead!! You're going to do awesome - I love that you'll be part of a milestone race for those racers!

Char said...

I spent a bit of time near a pacer in my last half and it was such an interesting experience. This guy talked the whole time - really loudly - I found I was getting a bit annoyed by him but I must say he really kept you focused on the job at hand.

I'm sure you'll do great. And if you have to go to the toilet just send them on ahead and tell them you'll catch them.

Jess said...

Good luck as a pacer! You'll be awesome.

ajh said...

You'll be great. I would LOVE to race with you as my pacer. There will be some lucky runners in that race who end up with you.

Joanna said...

Your nervousness about this is endearing. You've so got this! And the outfit will help the people following you who need some inspiration. :)

MCM Mama said...

Have fun! Some day I'll be in the kind of shape where a sub-2 is possible again.

Jill said...

Have a blast!!! :)

Kerrie T. said...

How awesome! Can't wait to read about it!

Fran said...

I think you are going to be a great and excellent pace bunny!

Here in Holland we have pacers too at half and full marathons. However it stops at about 2 hours for a half, if it takes you longer to finish it, there isn't a pacer available. I don't know how it is at marathons witht the times.

Have fun!

Aron said...

Have SO MUCH FUN! I have always wanted to pace a race but haven't yet... one of these years :)

lindsay said...

oh finally! we'll get a race report withOUT a "surprise! i PR'd!!!" ;) hopefully for your pace groups sake anyway...

hope you had fun! or have fun, if it's tomorrow.

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