As defined in wiki.runnersworld.com, a pacer is as follows:
The term “pacer” is used to describe a runner who paces a racer during an ultramarathon. Most ultramarathons allow pacers to help racers during part of the course, not the entire race. The racer picks up their pacer at a certain aid station, and the pacer runs with their racer for a section of the race. Depending on the event, pacing sections vary from five or six miles, to a full 50 miles. Most racers use more than one pacer during a race, and the pacers trade off at a certain aid station.
A pacer’s duties vary, depending on the race, the racer and what the racer wants their pacer to do for them. At the Leadville Trail 100, a runner’s pacer is allowed to carry all of the runner’s equipment, like food, water and clothing, while pacing their racer through the race. In other events, pacers aren’t allowed to carry anything for the racer. In both situations, the pacer is running with the racer, but not pushing, pulling, or carrying the racer. The pacer may be keeping the runner’s splits, and/or carrying a card or sheet that says what time the racer wants to arrive at each aid station in order to reach their goal race time. Aside from pacing the runner, the pacer is there for encouragement and moral support. Pacers are often friends and/or running partners of the racer.
Pacing is done on a volunteer basis, and some runners choose to pace to get a taste for an ultramarathon to see if they’d want to enter one themselves. Some pacers are training for or recovering from ultramarathons of their own, and using the pacing as training while helping out a friend. Sometimes a racer needs a pacer and finds a total stranger through the race organization to pace them through their event.
I wonder why it’s defined that way. Ultramarathon? I like it anyway. This is exactly what I will be on November 14, 2010 as I will be pacing a new ultramarathoner. I hope to be able to keep up with the demand of this 8-hour long run…and finish smiling at this “fun run.”
Since 2009, I have been pacing people to their desired finish time. I’m glad to be given the same privilege this time.
For the 2nd time, I’d be an official pacer for the Quezon City International Marathon on December 5, 2010. My targetted finish time this time is 5 hours and 15 minutes. I’m in the early part of my training for it. I hope and pray that I’d be able to be in top shape by event day.