Negative pacing the Carlsbad Marathon


Start line pep rally with our friend Michelle 1st time marathoner

We returned to Carlsbad as pacers for the Full Marathon 3:25 group. We upped the challenge by not pacing together.

Roger did the first half with the Palomar Airport Road hill; pace was calculated for a 26.3 distance at 3:24 (7:40)…. Roger clocked 7:48 at mile 9.4, which is on target for 26.2. People complained about being slightly fast at the start, but we needed time in the bank for the hills. Coming in 1:41:xx at the half where Roger handed off to Bessy to take over. Afterwards, Roger took off on his own trying to catch the 3:10 group.. so about 1:31 2nd half a forced negative split to finish 3:12 and 26.44 miles.

Bessy had to get herself from the start line to the mile 13 for the pacer stick exchange.  To conserve energy, since this was the first time she was pacing alone, she opted to bike along the course to the meeting point. Four miles into biking down the course, she gets stopped by a moto policeman to get off the course. After negotiations, he lets her through if she rides on the sidewalk.  Bessy carried on to hold the pace even to come in 3:22 and change. The group of 10 started dropping after mile 19, and after the merge with the half marathoners the full course became 2 ft wide separated by cones. This pushed Bessy to the side of the street instead of the middle for the most visibility. Only one guy reached his goal of 3:24:xx.

There were many newbie mistakes, such as :

  • People running with large jugs of water on well supported course – water every mile, gel every 5k.
  • Not having bathroom issues down (there are porta potties at the start!)
  • Wasting too much energy chatting from the start

You can only help people so much. At the end Roger came back a half mile to run in with Bessy, holding the pacer stick together. It was a great experience in doing this full for the first time, now we know the proper strategy to do this course, which is to negative split.



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