Some people like them, some, not so much. But for most runners, especially intermediate level ones, pacers are essential because they are the only ones who can push you to finish off that run in the time that you have to. Pacers are almost like running buddies in a sense, although you may only see them when you start lagging behind.
But who are these pacers?
We see them swerving in and out through running groups during a run and usually, they look like your average joe out running on a weekend morning. However, the similar thing they share amongst them is their incredible stamina. After years of participating in runs, the pacers I have witnessed don’t ever seem to run out of steam even after they have been running at 6-minutes per kilometre. The thing is, these pacers are runners who enjoy the sport and want to encourage those who are just starting out or wish to push themselves to go even further. They are regular runners like you and me, just more enthusiastic and maybe fitter.
Why do they do what they do?
There are a few reasons why pacers volunteer to do what they do (yes, most of them are volunteers).
1. They love running and want to help others to do better.
2. They want to be able to participate in a run without the frills.
3. They want to keep themselves motivated.
Yes, pacers are also human and they definitely also need that extra encouragement to run sometimes so a no-strings attached run works pretty well.
Click here for a list of running clubs in Singapore; many of them provide pacing services!
Do we need them?
Of course we do! When I am doing a good route, I always appreciate a pacer’s presence to get me to step on that gas pedal and move my legs just that bit more quickly to get to the finish line faster. Trust me, being a pacer isn’t as easy as it looks. You have to run the entire route and at the same time make sure you stay focused, positive and encouraging to the ones who are also running alongside you. You are required to be either be at the front or back of the pack so that you can either bring the fastest runner to victory or push the stragglers to complete the race with a better timing than they would have without any motivation.
The next time you are in a run and see pacers beside you, pushing you to do your best, just give in to it and let them propel you to your best finisher timing you can achieve.