Pace This!

A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.

Steve Prefontaine

I start my post of tonight with one word: SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! Why such a choice in words? You have no idea, but you will agree with me after I explain the vulgarity. I am currently pounding my head on the table as I write this post.

If you know me well enough, there is one other goal I have besides Boston. I want to be a genuine marathon and half marathon pacer. For those of you who have no idea what that means, let me tell you. A marathon pacer is someone who is your “savior” during a race. It is a crucial job because you carry a key sign. That sign represents the time you will finish the race. Running is a sport, but when you have been in it for a while you get a feel for the time and it becomes like a metronome. You follow the beat of your feet and all of your miles are in sync. Some pacing groups are so strict you can only finish within 30 seconds of the time your sign has. Unfortunately, there is no hiding the sign at the finish line. If you mess up, bye bye pacing.

If you are lucky enough to be a pacer, you are a motivator. You get your “groupies” to finish. I first became interested in it when I sought to break the infamous 1:40 mark in a race. It was the Wineglass Half Marathon in Corning, NY. That was a great race. The pacer was awesome and I passed her at mile 9 and made sure I could see her all the way to the finish. It worked!

Pacers do receive perks, which is good for people like myself, who cannot afford tons of races. We get free race entry, clothing, sometimes shoes, a medal most times, a hat, and all sorts of wonderful things. I am in it to help people finish the race. I cannot wait.

So I was reading up about a race and they had a post for pacers. I wanted it bad. I submitted my information. I received an email tonight and he is interested in me being a pacer. He wanted to make sure I could run in the heat, which is pretty funny. I have run in all sorts of weather conditions.

“The Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon.”

This race is great. Here is my problem. The race is on July 13, 2014. The race is in Portland, Maine. I ran it in 2012 and loved it. The race does go near the highway, but you run by the ocean and on a farm. It was great and I finished in 1:50, even with an uneventful bathroom break (a rarity for me). I am going to a wedding at 2 p.m. (I will no skip he wedding) the day before in Syracuse, NY. The race is also the same day as the notorious Boilermaker. The Boilermaker is a 15k, but the beer is delicious. Shipyard beer is also served at the Old Port Shipyard half marathon. pac

What does one do? This has been a dream of mine and it is within grasp, but so is reality. What if this opportunity never comes again? Do I drive to Maine after the wedding and run tired? Do I give up on it for now and hope another opportunity comes? I don’t know what to do….I am feeling bummed…

So the only word I can think of is, “shit.” If it were any other weekend the entire year, I would be able to do it for sure.


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