Pace runners Hull Marathon

Hi all im in the taper down weeks of my marathon training im doing the Hull Marathon April 8th.

The training times I've been doing indicate I have a shot at sub 4 hrs (I have been recording my times and with fatguie slow down its acheiveable) but could be slighty over I will have to see on the day.

The web site of the marathon stated they will have pace runners for 3:30 4:00 and 4:30hrs on the day.

This is my first marathon and I only starting properley running about a year ago and did the Humber Bridge half last june so I dont have much race day experiance.

I was wondering would I be best to run with the 4:30hrs pace runner then increase my pace to go past if im able to, or would I be best to go with the 4:00 hrs pace runner and adjust though the run as to what im capable.

Also sorry to rattle on what balance of pace would a pace runner do? would it be slower first half then faster second or vice versa or just a level continous pace?

I just wanted to prepare best I can and also have my mind at rest for the day

Any advice and knowledge is very much appreciated.

Many thanks


  • Interesting question. Not sure how a pacer will run a marathon but I'd guess they'd be going for a steady run with the view of trying to encourage runners not to go off too fast too soon. It's quite a jump from 4:30 to 4:00 so only you can answer your question. Perhaps you should go for 'death or glory' - stick with the 4 hour pacer, and if it doesn't work out on the day, at least you gave it a shot. If you stick with the 4.30 pacer and you feel good, it's a big jump to 4 hours and you might simply not have enough race left to bring your time down. You sound well trained so if you go for a sub-four and it doesn't happen, you will still finish the race. The last few miles might be a bit rough though image I think you'll find it all sorts itself out one way or another on the day - you'll either have it or you won't (as I discovered). Fascinating business pacing; I pace in the Durham parkrun a lot and it's a really interesting thing to do.
  • Hi there Dougie thanks for the reply yes to be honest I was thinking that following the 4:30 pace maker would leave me to much to do if I want to increse my pace later would I should be capable of doing.

    WIth my recorded times for 15,18,20 miles and if I add on a min a mile for the final 6.2 miles I can still slide just under 4 hours.

    I did the Jane Tomlinson 10k last May then the Humber bridge Half Marathon last June so I have built upto this and tried to train properly so im holding upto the distance and pace better that I thought I would.

    Mind you on the day and the extra miles it might shock me yet lol

    I have also done the Hull Park run which like you say can be good to get a feel for pace.

    The only thing I wondering is to pace say 1:55 first half then second half 2:05 to pace me for the 4 hour mark then anything even single second under I'll be happy with. I do releise also though I might have to rethink and adjust to how im feeling during the run.

    I was thinking just to get around 6 months ago now pace tactics have come into it and im not sure what to exspect lol its all a learning curve mind.

    The help and other thoughts from anyone is much appreciated.

    Many thanks all

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