Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pacer Times

To answer your question, Grellan and Rick, yes, I did carry that sign over the entire marathon distance. Since the handle was rather short, the sign itself was usually at head height, which was probably not the most visible place. I did hold it up high at times, but obviously not for long. My one feedback to the organisers was to get a bigger stick next year. It did come in handy for whipping up some support from the spectators over the last few miles though.

I'm not sure how I managed to misread the time on my watch at the halfway point, but I did. The official timer has me at 1:44:31, just like the two balloon-carrying pacing team mates had said. From a pacing point of view, that's bang on time.

For the record, my mile splits (originally from my Garmin but adjusted for the difference between 26.2 official and 26.49 Garmin miles), together with the average HR over 5 miles are:

8:26, 7:57, 7:53, 7:48, 7:59 (155)
8:07, 7:55, 7:51, 7:53, 7:48 (155)
7:49, 8:03, 7:48, 7:54, 7:51 (154)
8:06, 7:47, 7:48, 8:03, 8:08 (156)
8:05, 7:57, 8:04, 8:05, 7:56 (161)
8:05, change (168)

I thinks that's very consistent, but I definitely can't claim for it all to be my work, it was very much a team effort between the three of us. I found the rise in HR over the last 6 miles interesting. I think that's what triathlon coach Joe Friel calls decoupling.

The quads were surprisingly sore on Tuesday, at least I was surprised, Niamh was not. It was enough to convince me not to go running, which is the one thing that DID surprise Niamh. I'm better today, though. I did 4.5 very easy miles in the morning, and while the quads were still sore over the first mile, they loosened up quickly. Later in the day I managed to climb the 96 steps up (and down!) the tower from the Dublinia exhibition without wincing, which I felt was quite an achievement, albeit an unheralded one.

We were really lucky with the weather, the conditions on Monday were absolutely perfect for marathon running, cool and no wind. Tuesday would have been a lot worse with wind and rain and we had some of that today as well, but on Monday we were seriously spoiled.

I managed to find myself in the “official” videos (same site as the timing results), but only because I managed to spot the 3:30 sign. Good luck to anyone else! Another video was kindly posted on youtube, taken at the same spot as the photos in my race pace report (and by the same guy no less). The one thing that surprised me was the sheer size of our group; especially at the finish there are 10 times more runners than I remember. It shows just how many people were depending on us to get them home in time. Maybe it's a good thing that I was not aware of the real number – the pressure I felt to remain on pace at all times was big enough as it was. But having succeeded in our task, I think I can speak for every pacer out there on Monday, it was a great and very worthwhile experience and one I can highly recommend to other experienced runners. Running gets a bad rap from some people as a selfish form of entertainment (something I do not agree with at all – solitary does not mean selfish), and helping a sizable number of runners achieve their target is a good way to share.

26 Oct
27 Oct
4.5 miles, 38:55, 8:39 pace, HR 143


  1. Spotted you Thomas! That man saying "Well Done" to everyone - you wonder how long he was able to keep that up for!

  2. Pacers are great!

    Running is such a normally solo thing, it must feel very different to have 'responsibilities' during a race.

  3. That was a seriously big group!