I felt so honored (and nervous) about being a pacer for the Santa Cruz Half Marathon yesterday. I’m going to have to say that it is one of my favorite ways to volunteer at a race.
Remember, as a pacer, you cannot change your mind during a race and start racing. You must stick to your assigned pace, otherwise, you will be in danger of being a big gigantic doof.
The Running Addicts, my running group, is very experienced and real good about supporting each other and being awesome to all the racers out there. We had some sweet pacer shirts, making sure we stand out in a huge crowd:
^(Pictures courtesy of Linh). BTW, I was chuckling so hard in this last picture when someone said, “Aww, man! I blinked!” Hehehehe 😉
I was real good about checking my Garmin constantly and looking at the timing band to make sure we were on pace:
Like I mentioned yesterday, I had a co-pacer with me for most of the race (Erika!):
The people who were running with us were so incredibly friendly and thanked us for keeping a good pace. Once in a while, people would not be so excited about seeing us because they were trying to stay in front of us and chase the 2:00 pace group. Oh, well. We then became their rabbits.
I talked to a few people who said they are running one of their fastest races even though it felt easier to run this race… probably because we kept a good, even pace throughout the course.
Some runners also asked if it is difficult to run with the stick:
The answer: “Not at all.” Luckily, it was not windy, so it really didn’t create any problems. It is also super light, and I’m used to carrying things in my hands while I run (such as my camera).
The course was just a tiny bit short, but it’s no problem. Just look at how scenic the course is and how perfect the weather was!
I know. So unbelievably pretty, yeah?
So now that I’m not a noob pacer anymore, I won’t be so nervous when I line up to pace my next race (Brazen Western Pacific Marathon/Half/10K/5K, 2:10 pace group!).
Oh, and if you’re wondering… the course was a little short, and I had to slow down a LOT at the end. I came in 39 seconds under 2:05. Not bad for the first time around, yeah?
One of the reasons I love running and participating in races is the awesome mix of runners and adrenaline-and-endorphin-laced atmosphere. The excitement, the push at the end where you give it your all, the celebration at the end when you cross the finish line… SO MUCH FUN!
You’ll enter into a whole ‘nother world when you start racing. It’s so crazy to think that there could be races every weekend, in nearby neighborhoods, and you wouldn’t know it unless you look for it.
Once I was hooked to that feeling of crossing the finish line, I couldn’t look at an empty calendar with no races on the schedule. I love looking forward to the next race.
And what is my next race?
BIG. SUR. INTERNATIONAL. MARATHON. HOLY. MOLY.
I actually won’t be racing this one either. This will be my last long run before before my actual race, M2B in Ojai, CA. I’m hoping to PR there, and for Big Sur to just be fun and scenic. I’ll bring my camera along and take pictures 🙂
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
What and when is your next race?