The Pace Groups at the Baltimore Marathon take pacing to a whole new level…They are among the best pace groups in the country.
Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World
This year is the nineteenth year of pace groups at the Baltimore Marathon. We have grown since we started in 2002 but with each year we seem to get stronger and realize more and more how important it is to have consistent pace groups. Thanks to Corrigan Sports Enterprises (CSE), pace participants can sign-up for a complimentary pace group, receive a pace bracelet, and be led around the Baltimore Marathon race course by experienced pacers.
WHO ARE THE PACERS?
The Baltimore Pacers are a wonderful, fun group of diverse individuals who volunteer their time and commit to pacing months in advance. Although pacing is a huge responsibility, the pacers truly enjoy giving back to the running community and take their mission of consistent pacing seriously. Many of our pacers have paced year after year. Though the majority of our pacers come from the surrounding Maryland area, we do have many pacers who learned about how awesome the Baltimore Marathon pace groups are and come from around the country just to pace the Baltimore Marathon with our team!
WHAT IS THE PACE TEAM GOAL?
The goal for the Baltimore Pacers will be to run “even splits,” which means that every mile will be run at approximately the same pace. Exceptions to this will be in the beginning due to the bottleneck at the start and on the miles which may be slightly hilly.
Most of our pace groups will not be walking during the marathon. Fluid station philosophy, regarding whether the pace group will walk or run through it, is up to each particular group. The pacers will let their team know their strategy for getting back together after a water stop. The pace groups from 4:15 and slower will most likely be walking during fluid stations. Ask your pace group leaders at the start line what their liquids/nutrition plan is.
HOW DO I FIND MY PACE GROUP ON RACE DAY?
On race day when the pacers come to the start line with their enthusiasm, friendly smiles, pace group signs, pacer shirt (navy blue with gold lettering) and their incredible energy, you will find experienced marathon pacers from around the country ranging in age from the 20s to 60s. Overall, they have completed hundreds and hundreds of marathons! Our pace groups are responsible for meeting a specific time goal while running at a consistent pace.
When you come to the start line and find your pace group, every pacer is an instant friend to the pace group participants and tries to give the participant an overview of the course along with a boost of self-confidence before the race start. During the 26.2 miles, the pace team sets a consistent pace by wearing a wristband with time splits, and a GPS and/or split watch. Along the way the pacer makes it seem easy by talking to every person in sight, telling jokes, singing songs, asking trivia questions, getting the crowd to cheer for their pace group, and if you listen closely, some pace groups give their pace participants an historic tour of the city. Overall, running with a pace group is fun!
To meet up with your pace group on marathon day, look for us at the start, holding up large signs with the pace group finishing times printed on them, and wearing navy blue pace group shirts with gold PACER text on the back. Meet up with your group twenty minutes before the start (7:40 a.m.). You can introduce yourselves and ask any questions you may have.
Ten minutes before the start, your pacer team will give their “final instructions.” This will include any adjustments being made to the pace due to course conditions, as well as the group’s plan to meet back up and keep the group together at the fluid/nutrition stations. This is another great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have!
While all pace groups start out with a large number of participants, it is normal to see the pacers finish by themselves. Some runners may drop back to a slower pace. Although it is sad to have some runners leave our group, it is important for the pacers to stay focused on the pace for the rest of the team and the goal time. Of course, it is very rewarding to see other participants leave the group because they are having a good day and finish ahead of their goal.
What is a Pacer
Follow the Pacers on Facebook
Important Highlights about the Pace Groups:
- Participation is free to all participants who sign up at the pre-race expo booth on Friday 10/08/21. You will be given a pace bracelet (while supplies last) to alert you of your specific mile goals and you will have the opportunity to speak to one of the pacers!
- THERE WILL BE NO MARATHON DAY SIGN UP FOR PACE GROUPS.
- We will have pace groups for the following marathon times: 3:10, 3:20, 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5:00 and 5:15.
- Unfortunately, we will not have pace groups for the half marathon.
- We want you to run your own race. We are here to help. If you feel great on race day, and you want to go ahead to catch the next pace team, we’ll cheer you on. If it’s just not your day, slow down and wait for the next Pace Group behind to catch you. And if you want to just fall in and match strides with your Pace team, we sure will appreciate the company!
- To meet up with the our pace groups on marathon day, look for us at the start, holding up large signs with the pace group finishing times printed on them, and wearing bright yellow with pace group shirts with red PACER text on the back. Meet up with your group twenty minutes before the start (7:40 a.m.).
- All of the pacers hope you decide to join one of the 11 full marathon pace groups ranging from 3:10 to 5:15. For more information, please go to the Pace Group facebook page. Please look for us at the expo pace group booth to meet pacers, sign up for a pace group, and get your pacing questions answered.
- If you are interested in being a pacer in next year’s Baltimore Marathon, please email the pace group organizer ([email protected]) in the month of January.
- If you have any questions, please feel free to post them on the Baltimore Pacer page on Facebook which can be found at Baltimore Pacers & Friends. This will allow others to share their questions and answers. Or you may e-mail the Pace Group Organizer, [email protected]