Last Sunday, I was the lead pacer for the marathoners who wanted to finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes. There were 6 of us in the pace group. Our initial plan was to take advantage of the flat part of the route (running around 6 minutes/kilometre or faster) so that we could go slow going up the Kalayaan flyover and the BGC part of the route.
Before the race started, I was approached by a lady who said she works for Game Plan and that if it is ok with me, they’d interview me after the race and follow me during the race. I said yes.
The race started. I saw the camera crew following me. The first 10 kilometres was flat so we just enjoyed the route cheering runners along the way and exchanging stories about running. Other co-pacers did not know that the camera crew was following me and they somehow enjoyed having them with us. I got used to the camera as well. They would overtake and wait on certain points of the route which was fine.
I was enjoying having the camera crew as well and somehow it motivated us pacers and runners. Then came Kalayaan flyover. I would usually walk going up the flyover as it is really steep. I was thinking of walking but NO the camera crew is filming me so I had to run. I ran all the way up and then continued running as there was the camera. I only got to walk in the water station. Because of this, we were running faster than we should even in the most difficult part of the route.
Yeah blame the camera! I was having side stitch at kilometre 23 and quitting thoughts started to play in my mind. I was looking for the ambulance while thinking of my excuse not to finish the race. But of course I can’t do that as I am the lead pacer. I also have a balloon tied to my visor announcing my pace and that shirt that says PACER.
Looking at my watch, at kilometre 28, we were way ahead of time so I told my co-pacers to slow down. We started doing run-walk when we were 12 kilometres away from the finish line while encouraging runners we pass by to walk/run with us.
We were 5 minutes faster than our target time so we stayed by the finish line and encouraged runners to beat the 4:30 finish time. It was fun doing that and the camera crew was there as well to document it.
After having my meal, the crew was there again to interview me. The race was fun, it was all good but the camera crew was an added pressure to the pacer. Now I know how it is to be in a reality show. I could get used to it though. 🙂
Here’s a link to the Game Plan Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz1_shMRvsI
Good job pacers! Congratulation runners! Thanks Unilab Active Health for the opportunity to Pace.