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nova_bang t1_irad19z wrote

don't think that's something that's decided close to the finish line. people just like to pick a nice round number as their target and then pace themselves for it the whole race (and training of course).


[deleted] t1_iraizvm wrote



johnniewelker t1_irauh6f wrote

That’s fascinating. Didn’t know this. Being a 4-hr pacer seems easy enough, but a 3-hr pacer should be competing in the main race. If you can confidently pace yourself for a 3 hour marathon, you definitely can run it at 2:30-2:40 mark


yogert909 t1_iraxqj5 wrote

I’m not sure about this. 2:30 is 20% faster than 3:00. That’s a HUGE difference over 26 miles.


V1per41 t1_irb12zx wrote

The point they are making is that if you are in charge of pacing people to a 3:00 marathon you need to be able to run that time fairly comfortably. If that time represents your max effort then there is a good chance you miss the mark.

The marathon that is hiring you doesn't want something like that to happen so they get someone who is capable of running a 2:40 so that 3:00 is a straightforward and easy effort for them that they are guaranteed to hit.


yogert909 t1_irbuc5y wrote

Right. I know what they are saying but I think that is wrong.

I’ve never run a marathon, but I’ve cycled for years. And at least for me, a 2-3% increase in speed on a long ride is the difference between a comfortable ride and possibly needing to stop and catch my breath.

I’m sure there are some 3:00 pace setters who can do 2:40 or 2:30 but it’s not as easy as it sounds.


V1per41 t1_irc70z9 wrote

I guess I might be confused about what you're saying then. Are you saying that people who pace for 3:00 marathon times only have a PR around (3:00 * 0.97) 2:54?

I think depending on the day / weather / how training went, a single person can expect a 10 minute swing in their Marathon time. This is why you would want some one capable of at least 2:45 to give yourself that margin of error.

I have no idea what marathon directors actually do, this is just my guess.


spyder994 t1_irclhk5 wrote

The marathon I'm running next weekend requires that pacers demonstrate that they have run a marathon in a time at least 15 minutes faster than their pace time.


yogert909 t1_ird6f8m wrote

Yea 2:45 sounds reasonable for a comfortable 3:00. A 10 minute swing sounds reasonable. But people were talking 20-30 min which seems excessive.


phyrros t1_ircbp1f wrote

I only ran a half Marathon once but i didn't train went out drinking the day before and am a smoker. I only ran because a friend got sick and asked me to run in her stead. I planned to stop after 5 or 10k but there was this guy with this timeflag in front if me so i just followed.

Long Story short: when my body started to tell me that He really wasn't in the mood anymore i was a Kilometer away from the finish line, so i finished...and spend the next month cursing my decision because everything hurt.

Anyway, i got offtrack because i misunderstood your debate: those time people are people which comfortably can run these times. So for sure a 3hr timesetter can run far below 3hrs


WWEtitlebelt t1_irb2bi0 wrote

Pretty sure the pacers don’t need to run the whole thing at that pace. Just do part of it and then tag in the next pacer to take their place for the next portion. A team of like 4 pacers could do it relay style


KumbajaMyLord t1_irbjj5t wrote

They usually do the entire race. They are just good, dedicated runners.

Kipchoge also has a team of pacermakers that pretty much only run to support him even though they probably could finish in the top 20 by themselves.


cswanger22 t1_irdi1vo wrote

I’ve done a couple of marathons and for the 3hr pacers they switch off at the midpoint. For slower finishing times usually a person can hold that pace for the whole race


Zerdligham t1_irb9rrz wrote

Never did a marathon, but I did a few big half-marathon. I don't think I ever saw a pacer below 1h40 (not that it can't exist, but it seems to not be the norm).


anonymousguy202296 t1_irbnmfp wrote

I think typically they will have multiple people pace over the course of a marathon, especially for faster times. Can anyone confirm


vialcoro t1_ircfupx wrote

Nope. Pacers have to race from the start, hence why the pacers for lead men and women often drop out between the halfway mark and 20 miles, depending on their fitness and endurance level. Pacers for the masses are different, those are expected to run the whole thing and are generally runners who can comfortably cover the distance in a faster time than what their pacing.

The one exception to this was Kipchoge's 1:59 marathon, where pacers rotated in an out, and that's one of the several reasons why it isn't an official world record.


truthinlies t1_iremc5z wrote

fuck, imagine running a marathon with a giant ass freakin sign catching the wind.


Car-face t1_irc7h7u wrote

I still think it's interesting that in a race to finish as fast as possible, so much of our speed is determined by mentality rather than just physical ability.

The human mentality of pushing for a target is a hell of a thing.


brett1081 t1_iratucc wrote

Yeah the technology right now is so good for people to really hit their marks. More data on a persons watch than pros had a decade ago