Pacers at VLM 2012

Thought it might be interesting to share experiences of running with a pacer. 

First marathon for me and I stuck with the RW 9 min pacer from Red 5 until Narrow Street.   I think his name was Justin, very encouraging, shortish bloke with a short 9 lollipop, might have been a Kiwi.

I had "Joshi" on a Hospice in the Weald vest and wondered how he and other followers got on after I separated.

Comments

  • I was 2 pens behind the one (10 min) I wanted to follow, we were held back for ages so he will have been well away. After a slow start I saw his sign about 20 metres a head of me a while after tower bridge, think I spent too much time weaving and trying to pick up lost time as after a 2 hr 12 half I finished in 435 and never got to the Pacer!
  • hey hilden bro are you from Hildenboroug in kent?
    i am from hildenborough. ran london yesterday and met a lady who was also from hildenborogh. i wanted to follow the 9 min pacer from blue start. but he was at the front of my pen and didn't chatch up with him until mile 6 then ran just behind for.amile or so until i had to.stop for pee. never saw him again
  • I only saw one pacer and that was at the start and slower than I wanted to go, I did have success with my luzocade wrist pace band though!!!
  • I couldn't have done it without the 9 min mile pacer. I ran 3.56.42 on my first marathon and it's all down to him. If anyone knows who he is (older gentleman with a northern accent) please could they thank him from me. I was with him from mile 8 until the finish.

    WHAT A LEGEND
  • Tommygun2 - Yup, another Hildenborough resident- we've probably nodded to each other as we've run along Tonbridge Road!

    Barney - sounds like he did a cracking job but good on you for staying with him.  Was he from the Blue start? 

  • Hilden Bro - I don't know because I started from Green and only found him at around mile 8. I had to leave everyone and go faster at mile 25 as they were running 7 mins slower than my starting time and I wanted to make sub 4hrs. Pacer highlight - singing all togther now by the farm at the top of our voices at about mile 22. What a day.
  • No, but I did hold up one of signs in the pub afterwards.
  • Even better Barney- you must have felt like you were in the Olympics, kicking at 25 miles to leave the pack for the gold medal!

    Or perhaps it's just me who uses sporting imagery like a ten year old...

  • Hilden Bro - Complete tortoise and the hare scenario. I ran 9 min miles pretty much all the way round (thanks to the legendary pacer), it's a pace I'm comfortable with and I didn't deviate from it – chuffed to bits but my toes are the worst the St John’s team had seen at that point. I felt my toes pop several times during the race. Nasty. 
  • I ran with the 3 hour pacer for the last mile, or at least tried to, he slowly pulled away and must have finished in 2:58 something since I did 2:59:31 having crossed the line only 10 seconds after the gun. I'm guessing he was a little ahead of schedule since he didn't seem to have a lot of people running with him. I ran the last 2k at 4:19 pace which is almost exactly 3 hour pace sop he really shouldn't have been pulling away from me. I wonder how many of the people he was pacing were dropped by him over the last mile or more...
  • Did anyone run with the run/walk pacer? Was just wondering what time they crossed the line
  • one of the run/walk pacers had a 5:14 target ...on blue start and he did 5:13:45...if that helps
  • Wow seren - that's really helpful - thanks! Good job I couldn't find them at the start then!
  • A freind of mine paced a sub 4:00 group. Not sure which colour start he was on, but his finishing time was 4:00:02. Pretty sure he would have stopped short of the line and got all his group over the line before finishing himself
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    The Pacers did an absolutely sterling job and they get my full praise! It's a shame that more racers don't do it.

    The guys that I ran with (I ran with a few...) were all smiling, helpful and making sure that everyone was ok. The guy from 11 Minute miling (we called him Jesus because we were all following him...) made a point of announcing each mile with a huge cheer. It was great to see!

  • I caught up with the 3.56 pacer at mile 25 and overtook him slowly, so finished just a bit in front. My chip failed so I would love to know what his time was as my gun time was 3.58.50 something. (thanks to a QuickQuack for finding my gun picture) less the time it took me to cross srart line from two thirds back in pen five. I couldn't see the pacer from where i started in pen 5.  I have no official time, no splits and no photo's apart from the one mentioned image.  All I can do is take 1 min' off the 3.56 pacer's time I guess?
  • black and tabby...........his sign said run/walk 5:14 so there might well have been a slower pacer out there.....not sure what times they were this year......
  • The other run walk pacer - red start -  got around in 5:13:06

    The run/walk 5.14 group is the slowest pacing group at VLM.

     It was the perfect day for it, my group had a ball (I hope!)

  • Hilden Bro - Did you manage your sub-4? You and I were both following the 9-min/mile pacer for a few miles, and then I ran into you again some time after we'd both lost track of him (I was the girl in the white t-shirt with red pattern and dark hair in a ponytail). I never saw the pacer again after that. I take it you didn't either? Anyway I managed my sub-4 all the same (3:57:58) so I was really happy. Relied on my trusty Garmin to pace me instead!
  • Does anyone know what the 9 minute pacer finished in who started in pen 5 on the blue start?  Think he was called Andy?  I lost him about 20 miles (ish) can' really remember.  His mile splits were a bit quicker than 9 minutes & think that's why I struggled with the last 10k.

    Managed to finish in 3.59.21 but legs buckled just before the finish line and had to be helped across - it was agony!

  • I didn't see a pacer all day. How do they line up when it can take 10 minutes to get over the start? And did each zone have its own. Don't know how it works to be honest.
  • Sphinx wrote (see)
    Hilden Bro - Did you manage your sub-4? You and I were both following the 9-min/mile pacer for a few miles, and then I ran into you again some time after we'd both lost track of him (I was the girl in the white t-shirt with red pattern and dark hair in a ponytail). I never saw the pacer again after that. I take it you didn't either? Anyway I managed my sub-4 all the same (3:57:58) so I was really happy. Relied on my trusty Garmin to pace me instead!

    Great to hear from you and am really pleased you got sub 4.   

    Did you have a black Nathan belt bag?  And/or a Scottish accent?!!!  If you're who I think you are, I think we had the briefest of chats when we crossed paths after losing him: I think you clocked I was flagging and said something empathetic like "It's tough going now".  I think I grunted in reply!  I did think about trying to stay with you but just didn't have it in me and finished at 4:01:02.  I'm really chuffed though because my second half was only a minute slower than the half and I felt like death.  I had a post-finish wobble but not as dramatic as yours sounds!  I take my (white running) hat off to you to have found the strength to push on because you must have got some really decent second half splits.

    Will message you, off-thread!

    [EDIT: Don't think I can message you for some reason!]

  • Johnny Blaze wrote (see)
    I didn't see a pacer all day. How do they line up when it can take 10 minutes to get over the start? And did each zone have its own. Don't now how it works to be honest.


    The RW pacers were at the back of pre-determined Pens.

    eg. 9 min/mile in Pen 5.

    Justin's gang from the start included me and some  of the others I clocked were Brian (from Hendon!), Tony, Louisa and Lord Rickus.

     I think Sphinx (above) came from a Pen further back.

  • Johnny - they were in various pens on various starts.  They start their watches when they cross the line
  • Aha. Ta. So really you need to be near them right from the start.
  • Yes or ask them what time they have on their watch - if your brain can still work at that point to do the calculations!
  • Hilden Bro - Yeah that was me! Scottish with the Nathan waistpack - well remembered! Anyway, glad to hear you finished in around the four hour mark too.  That was Naughty Girl who had the spectacular finish though, not me.  I crossed the line looking pretty awful (judging by the photos...) but managed to remain upright, thank goodness.

     JB is right - I only caught up with the pacer later on in the race (around mile 8) because I started in pen 7 on the blue start.  I was totally amazed to have caught up with a 9 min/mile pace group because I had no idea I would manage a sub-4. 

    Anyway, it was fun to follow the pacer for a while, but wow it was hard to keep track of him in amongst all of those crowds!  In the end it was defintely easier just to keep to my own pace, rather than constantly trying to weave in an out of people, in an effort to keep him in sight.

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