We paced the OC 26.2 @ 3:10 to get out of our comfort zone this past weekend. I got the call 5 days before the race to do the gig. Luckily I average about 70mpw (and 210 bike, 7km swim) when not marathon training to stay in shape. I felt like this was a try out for snails pace team, and we made it! This IS the team that helped me achieve my first BQ. They have been around for a long time so it is an honor to give back.
Victor and Chris paced 3:05, lots of speed from November Project SD.
My last pacer gig (fastest 3:15 at Carlsbad) didn’t fare so well, as I wanted. In Carlsbad you split the marathon… someone for the first half then another takes over. I decided to keep going and try to negative split to sub 3:10 old man BQ. Didn’t work out, as I had bronchitis/flu that day, yet still crossed in 10s under 3:15 … on a course of 26.5 miles. (they moved turn around cone further out @ Palomar Rd). But we are instructed to go 5s per mile faster in case this happens.
So besides this shadow of stress for OC full, I thought, sure, why not lets get it this time, plus it would be a great workout for my wife who is co-pacing. After I sign-up, I read the pacer list on website, and see “follow your pacer and they will get you 2 minutes under your goal for BQ time”. I’m saying Oh shit what did I sign up for… thought it was an easier cruise at 3:10 with good weather. I research the course looking at last year Strava results, and also use this great site to make a pacer band based on GRADE effort: (plug in 3:08) http://findmymarathon.com/pacebandresult.php?race=OC%20Marathon
This marathon starts at 5:30am! Logistics are important when traveling to a race, especially if the start time is before sunrise. We drove up Saturday for packet pickup, then decided to get as much sleep as possible by sleeping at the Start Line in our car (aka Honda Suites) to wake up around 3am to get ready calmly. After the race, we just took the shuttle to the Start Line again, which worked out really well. The alternative is to catch the 3:30am shuttle from the finish line to the Start line… but that’s more like NYC style logistics, I’ll skip all that if possible.
It would be nice if participants read the website on what the pacer plan is, and to look at course profile. We do not run even splits, because each race course is different. We ran mile 2 faster than what you would see on an even split (7:10) @ 6:50 because its a long downhill. Yet we heard people complain that we were going too fast as they looked at their watches. (planning a yelp review? lol) But guess what, on a legit course, what goes down, must go up. So later on things would even out when we slow chug on an uphill. How about not looking at your watch, and trusting the pacer, please! If you have enough breath to talk in the beginning, this is why you faded at the end. Let the pacers talk, but save your wind.
As for the race, I executed perfectly as planned.. 3:08:12. It was raining hard with wind for the first 10k, that my stick was destroyed. But I kept with my wife as both had pacer shirts. Sadly I crossed in with no one, my last runner held with me to mile 23 where I almost was lost on course and could have made a wrong turn. My wife did make a fatal mistake sometimes yelling to people instructions wasted vital energy… at mile 20 she began to slow down and asked me to take over the stick. Still she was determined to get in under 3:10… and she did with a 3:09:56. By chance she happened to get third place overall as female. Yes we pacers are human too. We both got 26.4 as our distance.
Snail Pace Team race specific tank top is GORGEOUS, and thin. I’m so in love with it!! The official race finisher shirt cut is very flattering cut and design also. The medal is huge and colorful. The funny part is I got a 3L ERDINGER glass… that’s for fruit right? hahah