Come *Pace* the CHaD Half with UVRC
By: Mike Kokko
or about a decade now the club has provided pacing at our two largest local half marathons: Covered Bridges in the spring and CHaD in the fall. If you've run either race in recent years you have likely noticed a contingent of your fellow UVRC members running with snazzy "PACER" shirts and signs, balloons, or other paraphernalia while cheering on the runners around them. Maybe you've thought to yourself, "gee, that looks like a lot of fun, maybe I should give it a try!" Well, now is your big chance! The 2022 CHaD Hero Half Marathon is coming up on Sunday, October 9th and the race organizers have asked us for more pacers than we typically field for them.
We are actively recruiting pacers for CHaD, so if you think you might be interested please fill out the Google Form linked below ASAP: https://forms.gle/TzcVrD3okC8M6HNL6
We need to send the CHaD folks a pacing roster *this month* so please sign up now!
Maybe you're still on the fence? Maybe you're asking yourself...
Q: What's the big idea with pacing?
A: Lots of runners have goals. Maybe you can relate. Our job as pacers is to help people reach their half marathon goals by running a more-or-less consistent pace for the entire race and cheering on anyone and everyone along the way.
Q: How much experience do I need?
A: None! Well, you don't need to have ever paced a race before, but you should be comfortable enough running a half marathon that you can do it a little more slowly than usual so you have the bandwidth for cheering.
Q: Can I set a PR or win prizes while pacing?
A: Nope, sorry, but ask anyone who has paced a race before - it is a very rewarding experience in a different sort of way.
Q: How fast will I have to run?
A: That's up to you! We're fielding pacers for finish times between 1:30 and 2:30 at increments of 5min/mi (exactly as we do for Covered Bridges). There is a spot in that Google Form to indicate your preferences.
Q: How do I stay on pace?
A: Watches help. We recommend the GPS variety (and can help find some to borrow if needed), but checking a regular watch at the mile markers can be very effective as well. We'll give you a pace band with target times at each mile so you don't have to do any mental math while running!
Q: How accurate does my pace need to be?
A: We do our best to stay "on pace," but everybody runs a little faster or slower at times, especially around the hills. You don't have to be a perfectionist about this. Half marathons are pretty forgiving in that there are a lot of miles over which to average out variations in pace. The main goal is to get folks to the finish line a little before the target time.
Q: Will I be running alone?
A: Hopefully not! We'd like to field 2-3 pacers per pace group.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Nothing! In fact, pacers get free race entry as well as the aforementioned snazzy "PACER" shirts to wear. Pacers do not have a fundraising minimum, but you are welcome to raise money for CHaD if you wish to do so.
Q: Will I get paid?
A: Yes, in gratitude! But no, sorry, not in cash. This is a volunteer gig.
Q: Can I dress up like a superhero?
A: We ask that you wear your "PACER" shirt to remain visible to runners, but feel free to add superhero accessories around that.
Q: Is filling out the Google Form now a binding commitment to pace CHaD?
A: No - there are always roster changes due to injury, last-minute scheduling conflicts, etc. Please sign up if you think you might be interested and will be available on October 9th.
Q: What about COVID?
A: The CHaD folks are planning on an in-person race this year but reserve the right to make adjustments if/as necessary. To keep everyone safe we'd ask that you not pace if you have symptoms on race day. There's a statement to this effect on the CHaD website.
Q: Who will answer all of my other questions?
A: Mike Kokko (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rebecca Stanfield McCown (email@example.com)!
Pacing is a super fun way to participate in CHaD - we hope that you'll join us!