With running-mate and pacer, Melvin How in Gold Coast Marathon 2013.The difference to earning a new PB/PR in your running, may be more than just more training. Your choice of race, climate, and use of pacers can make a big difference in slicing minutes off your time, and finishing strong.
In my best races, I almost followed a pacer. The pacers are either the officially-appointed ones, or those I designated to follow - my friends.
In 2013, I was pacing with my friend Melvin How for the early part of the Gold Coast Marathon, until his injury side-lined him. He still held a decent pace and an honorable finish. I earned a PB and BQ, thanks to his early fast-pacing. We were holding a 4:30min/km pace, and both aiming a Boston Qualifier (BQ).
This year, I followed the official Gold Coast Marathon Pacers, until the 2km mark, where I had to pee. Costing me precious minutes, and losing sight of the 3:15min/km pacers, I had to catch up with familiar faces. I designated them (in my mind) as my pacers, and kept up with them until my pace led me to overtake them. A few of the F1 Runners from Singapore kept me company for parts of the first 21km. My occasional running and racing-buddy, Andrew Cheong was my other pacer, who I kept in my gun-sight for most of the 42.195km. I was concerned about holding my mild lead of less than one minute over him. This year, my focus on slopes and hills gave me more confidence over the mild rolls of the Gold Coast.
Thanks, pacers for egging me on!
Leadership Lessons: Be broadminded to run with faster runners. Ask permission to stick closely with these pacers. They can give us a massive psychological boost. The Gold Coast Marathon Pacers are so accurate that they guide you through to your potential PB. They also actively cheer you on, with positive energy and explicit encouragements. It is perfectly fine to follow them. Followers can prosper!