How To Spot A Bad Pace Team Leader

If your pace team leader

If the 3:45 pacer goes out at 3:00 pace the first 10K to "bank" time, you might have made a bad choice.

If he or she says any of the following, there is a good chance my friend, that you might have made a bad choice.

Written by: Bob Babbitt

We’ve seen them at the races. They are the selfless souls who run 26.2 miles carrying small signs emblazoned with a target marathon time. Looking to run 2:50 or 3:15 or 4:00 hours and qualify for Boston? These are the guys and gals who have given up their own race and deal with arm cramps from holding that puppy up so that they can help you set that personal best and make your dreams come true.

These are the very special people who, when they aren’t setting the pace at races, are adopting stray dogs, loaning money to strangers, returning shopping carts even when they aren’t theirs and getting petitions signed to save endangered fleas. They are wired in a good way and are always looking to help others.

But let’s say you are a person looking to run your best time ever. You are trusting that your pace leader, your guide, will help get you to the promised land that day.  How do you know, how can you be sure that your pace leader has what it takes to get you to Boston? Ahhhh, GREAT question, grasshopper. If your pace leader says any of the following, there is a good chance my friend, that you might have made a bad choice:

  • “Hey, does anyone have a watch I can borrow?”
  • “I just read Born to Run. Everyone needs to take off their shoes and run this marathon barefoot.”
  • “Rule number one: Don’t bother to drink. Hydration is totally overrated.”
  • “Is anyone else hung over? ”
  • “This is so cool. I’ve never run a marathon before.”
  • “Let’s go out really hard for the first 10K and put time in the bank!”
  • “Pick it up, you guys. I think we can catch that group in front of us.”
  • “Are you guys okay if I stop for a smoke?”
  • “Remember, aid stations are for wussies.”
  • “I get confused. Is a marathon 22.6 or 26.2?”


About The Author:

Bob Babbitt is the founder and editor-in-chief of Competitor Magazine.

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