My most recent race was the Cinco de Julio which was not held on July 5th but actually July 9th. Why the name? It originally was the Cinco de Mayo but because of the Cap City Half being the same weekend, they had to reschedule the race. They kept the name and idea as 2010 - Patron Palomas at the end - they just had it in July instead.
I was asked to pace the 14 minute mile pace for the 4 mile race. 14 minutes is fairly easy for me at this point which is exciting to me since I have come such a long way. We started out with a fair amount of walkers and runners around us but as the race went along, they dropped off. Either they began to move faster than us or they started to move slower. Which is okay! The weather was hot and humid! It was a pretty straight course - we started at The Bluestone and heading about 1.5 miles into the back side of the Franklin Park Conservatory. We weaved our way through Franklin Park and back out. It was nice - there were a lot of little ducklings in the park and the overall park was not lost on me! We turned and headed back up Broad St. straight into the glaring sun! This was the first time the whole race I was glad I had the pace sign! I was able to use it to block out the sun! It was hot!! For most of the last miles, we would catch up to walkers or runners who didn't want us to catch them. They'd run past us trying to get faster than the 14 minute pace. I was beginning to get a complex. The mileage for the race was about a tenth off so I thought we were not going to pace a perfect 56 minute race, so we sped up a bit. As we were finishing, the race director said "Here comes the 14 minute pacers at a perfect pace!" We did our jobs! I checked out the results and no one came in at 56 minutes with us but there were a lot of people right around the same pace. Overall, we did our job and hopefully kept people on pace. It was hot enough that people moved to the sidewalks to get out of the sun! My favorite part about M3S Sports races is that they have a philosophy that no one will be last. They have a balloon crew that will walk the pace of the slowest person and they come in last. I know a lot of participants who have been excited about that!
I love pacing races! It is fun to try different times and see how I can do! Learning to pace has been relatively easy for me and I am trying to make sure I choose paces I am comfortable with so I can help others meet their goals! Next up for pacing? The Emerald City Quarter Marathon in September! First time for me to do the race & I am looking forward to it!