We began offering pace leaders for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon in 2009. This year, pace leaders are available for the following times: 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5:00, and 5:30. We’ll feature our pace team leaders here on the blog every Wednesday and Friday through March.
If you’re interested in running with a pace leader or just want to know more about the program, please be sure to read this post. While registration is not required, we would love to get a sense of how many people plan to run with each SkiRack Pace Leader. Please contact our SkiRack Pace Team coordinator, Jack Pilla, at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which pace group you plan to run with. No worries if you change your mind between now and race day and decide to run another pace or opt out of the Pace Team.
I am SO happy to be coming back again this year to pace the KBVCM! I have many different techniques which I use to help get my group through the marathon when I pace. I explain everything right at the start line before we head out, so everyone knows the bathroom break suggestions, water stop situations, and then I have other things to “distract” my group. I DO use walk breaks. I will always sing out the mile marker as it it coming our way. Then, at each marker, I ask for dedications and we will dedicate that mile to someone. This helps people get to know one another in the group as well as lets us think about something for a mile, besides when we are going to see the next mile marker. I will tell stories the entire 5 hours and just try to motivate and support everyone who is in my group. I tell them at the beginning that this is all about having fun, so if they don’t want to have fun, they better not run with this pacer.
The reason I run marathons IS to pace. It is a passion that I have, and it makes me feel SO good to get someone a PR, a BQ, or just get them across the finish line for the very first time (or 2nd or 3rd or 19th!). I tell everyone that I am an elementary school phys ed teacher and I teach children how to be physical and keep moving during the week, and I teach adults on the weekends (how to run and enjoy every step of the way). Last year I dressed with “cow” gear, but not sure what I will do this year. I usually wear a hat when I pace, indicative of the race or city. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come back to this fine marathon and take part as a pacer. I can’t wait to see you all again.
In case you’re curious, here are some other things I do other than pace: Coach high school tennis team, coordinate the Kids of Steel Marathon program, coordinate Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart with the American Heart Association. I do triathlons, including the World Championship IM that I competed in last October in Kona. I also do ultras, including Western States, Badwater and Comrades in S. Africa.
The big day is still eight weeks away! I hope everyone’s training is going well. When the first day of spring is welcomed with a heavy snowfall, like it was here in Montreal, I find myself doing a lot of “character-building runs”. How do you stay motivated to complete the typical 16-week marathon training program? Motivation is as varied as the individual, and is constantly evolving. What motivated you to go out for that first run? Are they the same motives now? My list of motives is long, and now running legend Kilian Jornet is on it. Ever since he quietly, softly, effortlessly ran past me and my family on the trails of the Marathon du Mont Blanc from Argentiere to Chamonix, France last July, I understood that this is the state we all strive to reach in our runs. Who can’t feel motivated after reading this article?
In your marathon training, it’s important to plan and prepare, especially for the long runs. Having enough fluids is key, as the weather gets warmer. Along with carrying water, put some bottles of water along the course or do a loop where you know you can get more fluids. Practice eating on the long training runs so you know what you can stomach. Thankfully, the KBVCM has food at miles 11 and 18, as well as candy at mile 15. Lucky runners will even get popsicles around mile 14!
On marathon day, don’t change your usual routine. Wear the same running gear you’ve trained in. Plan to wear an extra layer at the start that you can give to a friend or family member, or that can be donated. Pack some kind of slip-on shoe to wear after the race; your feet will thank you!
This is the start of the peak of your training period, so good luck as you complete those long runs! I like to call these long runs (3 hours + ) the “character builders”. If you can do these, then you’re golden for the full 26.2! Make sure to honor the tapering in order to arrive rested and ready for marathon day!
Why did I decide to be a KBVCM pacer again this year? I want to give back to this fun race that I did for the first time in 2010. Thanks to the SkiRack and Mizuno for sponsoring the pace team! I’m eager to meet all of you who plan to run a 5 hour marathon with me!