Pacing – a very rewarding experience

After 2 weeks of missing Eastleigh parkrun, this morning I was back and was pleased to be running!

As the event was being held at Wide Lane, I was thinking that I should try for a PB but as I drove down to the venue, it started to rain so I thought I’d take things a little easier and save the PB for another time.

At Eastleigh, we’ve had several pacing events and this morning saw another. It looked like we’d have a limited number of pacers but, in the end, we had sub-20 (Kev Yates), 22 (Dave Williams), 24 (Karen Hazlitt), 25 (Gareth Jones) and 35 (Robert Spencer). There was a clear slot for a sub-30 pacer and I decided to go for it.

As I walked to the start line, there were quite a few runners hoping to beat 30 minutes. The pressure was on! Having never paced a group before, I was definitely nervous.

I went off too quick and had to reign it in. I didn’t want the group to blow up at 1km. Having struggled at 10min/mile pace during recent training sessions, I had to keep things on pace and even. It probably wasn’t wise to mention the struggle to the group but I knew that the target finish time was over 6 minutes slower than my PB.

As a pacer, I wanted to keep the group motivated and kept those within hearing distance informed of our pace, how far we had left to run, etc. I think this was appreciated.

At the 3km point, it looked like we could finish in 29:20 which I felt was a little too quick so I eased the pace a litle more.

Some of the group decided to keep the pace up though and this meant beating 30 minutes with a clear margin.

I crossed the line (after a little, ok a lot of, showboating!) in 8 seconds under 30 minutes. Not bad for my first attempt at pacing.

I knew that I’d helped 4 or 5 runners PB and that felt great. Even more encouraging was the thanks I received from them as I crossed the line. Very rewarding.

Garmin stats are available at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/114908364

Will definitely pace at our next pacing event on the 15th October.

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