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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Decalogue to a Pacer

The following are the things that I observe when I get the opportunity to pace a friend in a race.


Image Source: http://catholic-resources.org/Art/Koch-ChristianSymbols.htm


1. Your Runner is your responsibility.

  • Always look after the welfare of your runner.
  • Make sure that you can keep up with your runner. It will be funny if you exchange roles (your runner paces you instead).
  • When pacing a group of runners, and some must run ahead of the pack, provide instructions to those who are faster, and join those who are slower.
  • Familiarize yourself with the route. It will be your fault if you get lost.

2. Be selfless.

  • You are there to help your runner to finish the race.
  • Your runner should be at the spotlight and not you.

3. Respect the distance.
  • Be committed to the agreed distance that you and your runner will run.
  • Never leave your runner at one point to meet him/her again in the next point that is nearer to the finish line.

4. Your runner should cross the finish line ahead of you.
  • Remember, your runner is the one who is racing, and not you.

5. Ensure that your runner is well hydrated and nourished.
  • As much as possible, ask your runner to hydrate/nourish at every available station.
  • Hydrate/nourish your runner, then yourself.

6. Keep your runner’s mind busy.
  • Do not allow negative things creep in your runner’s mind.
  • Tell your runner how you appreciate the things that you see along the route. This will keep your runner’s mind busy.
  • Crack jokes, even the corny ones.
  • Talk about other things aside from running (e.g. hobbies, movies, etc.).
  • Remind your runner of the beautiful picture (medal, families, friends, etc.) that awaits at the finish line.
  • Tell stories that would encourage and lift your runner’s spirit.

7. Listen to your runner’s body.
  • If you have to slow down, then slow down.
  • Introduce stretching and first aid if necessary.

8. Create small victories along the way.

  • Congratulate your runner every meter, every kilometer that you cover.
  • Bargain if you must (e.g. we will walk the next 2 minutes if we run now for 1 minute).

9. If necessary, be ready to switch to SURVIVAL mode.

  • Be ready to run in any condition (scorching sun, nasty storm, etc.).

10. Register to become an OFFICIAL pacer.
  • Make your participation in the race legitimate. There are Race Directors/Organizers who permit official pacers. If none, then register yourself as one of the runners.
  • Do not “bandit”. Would you like gatecrashers to your party?
  • If you don’t want to register, then provide nutrition/hydration for yourself and do not get what is allocated for registered runners.

6 comments:

Di May 26, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

I was able to do a personal best with a pacer with me for over 18 miles. A PR Marathon made possible by an (angel)PACER.

jazzrunner May 26, 2010 at 3:19 PM  

Nice post, fafih! May pinatatamaan ka ata, ah.:-))

Tracy Carpena May 27, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

Familiarize yourself with the route. It will be your fault if you get lost. --> Waah, I didn't! Good thing there were enough markings. :)

Gail May 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

Amen to this! :) Thanks for pacing me Jet. Mwah!!!!

:) May 28, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

wow! I think there are only few runners who have that innate ability to become a pacer. It is a gift -and anybody having a pacer must be grateful. I salute your dedication in helping fellow runners achieve their dreams.

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