Trying on my Pace Bunny Ears

This weekend I’m going to be pacing the 2:00 group at the Hamilton Half Marathon! This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and decided that the “off season” would be the best time to step up without conflicting with my own training and racing schedule.

I contacted the race organizers earlier this year and secured the position. Pacing the 2:00 group is most appropriate since I ran my very first sub-2:00 half marathon at this race back in 2008.

I’m excited about the opportunity to give back to the community and hopefully play a role in helping others achieve this milestone. I’ve tagged along with various pace groups over the years and although I’ve never stuck with one throughout an entire race, I can definitely say that they have helped me achieve my own goals along the way. While you should never rely on a pace bunny 100% (they are not robots, afterall!), they can be an excellent guideline for pacing and provide support along the way. I hope I can live up to the expectation!

A 2:00 half marathon is pretty close to my happy “run easy” pace. So in theory, this should be an easy task…  but of course we all know that anything can happen on race day! What if I can’t find/hold the pace? What if I have to go to the bathroom? What if I’m still too tired from the marathon to run 21K? What if I just have a bad day for no apparent reason? I suppose those are all possibilities, but I’m ready to give it my best shot and I’m pretty confident that I will do just fine.

Over the weekend I headed out for my longest post-marathon run, a 10-miler with the goal of nailing the target 2:00 half marathon pace. I came within a few seconds on every kilometre and it felt great.

The most challenging part will be reeling in the pace along a significant downhill portion – there’s a 142m (466 ft) drop from 5K to 10K. I’ll be hitting the brakes and my legs are probably going to hate me. Sidenote: if you’re looking for a fast course, this is it! Come visit! 🙂

If you’re going to be at the race, look for me in my rainbow tutu and pink bunny ears. Let’s have some fun! Good luck to everyone else racing!


34 thoughts on “Trying on my Pace Bunny Ears

  1. Oh, 2 hours! You'll be fine. The biggest danger is going out too fast. If you plan to gain some seconds on the downhill, then let the people know you'll do that in order to slow down later. But probably be better to tell people to save energy on the downhills for the end. You'll love it!One thing I found challenging the two times I did it is finding encouraging things to say to your group or do things like give them an extra water/gatorade you pick up at the station…

  2. Ok- Hamilton is now on my radar for next year. I'm sick of running up hill!Good luck being a bunny! I know my husband is hoping to be a pace bunny at the Ottawa marathon next year. He'll be running Boston in April and won't be back into race shape by the end of May but still wants to be involved in Ottawa race weekend because it is such a great race. Who knows- maybe I'll run it 🙂

  3. You'll do a great job, I'm sure. Pacing is something I've always wanted to do. The Balt. marathon is one I hope to pace some day…there is a long wait list to pace, so not the easiest thing to get in to!

  4. I'm running the full, but I'll be on the lookout for you anyway! I would have loved to run with you…a 2-hour half is my spring goal for next year 🙂

  5. i really really wanted to do this race when i found out that you were pacing. but after my last race, i promised the bf a little time of from anything longer than 10k. but next year for sure! i really really hope that you pace this race again next year. good luck this weekend.u r gonan love it!

  6. That is so awesome. The 2:00 group seems like a great one to pace too. Breaking 2:00 is a major milestone for a lot of people (as you know) and it will be awesome to get to share that!

  7. Good luck pacing Marlene! I'll be pacing a friend of mine at Hamilton albeit slower than your group. If I get a chance I'll come by and harass you. As for the hill, maybe you could/should(?) ask your pacees what they'd like you to do? i.e. use the hill to bank some time/take it easy/use it to compensate for the slower portion at the start? Just an idea.Cheers!

  8. you are going to love it!!! it's such a fun experience and you're going to be perfect at it. keep in mind that the downhill could be used to make up some time, too. good luck!

  9. Good luck pacing! You are going to great! Love the elevation profile for the race! That is my kind of race!I am slowly working the idea to run Chicago onto my running buddy here. We will see! Still, the race is a long way off.

  10. Good luck and enjoy! I think the otehr thing in 2008 was the headwind the last few k's so check that out as well. Looks like a beautiful day and maybe they still have post-race pizza!

  11. I spent a bit of time near a pacer in my last half and it was such an interesting experience. This guy talked the whole time – really loudly – I found I was getting a bit annoyed by him but I must say he really kept you focused on the job at hand.I'm sure you'll do great. And if you have to go to the toilet just send them on ahead and tell them you'll catch them.

  12. I think you are going to be a great and excellent pace bunny! Here in Holland we have pacers too at half and full marathons. However it stops at about 2 hours for a half, if it takes you longer to finish it, there isn't a pacer available. I don't know how it is at marathons witht the times. Have fun!

  13. oh finally! we'll get a race report withOUT a "surprise! i PR'd!!!" 😉 hopefully for your pace groups sake anyway…hope you had fun! or have fun, if it's tomorrow.

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