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Chevron City to Surf for Activ Pacers will be returning in 2019 with Pacer groups available in the Half and Full Marathon events. Our Pacers are presented by Perth Run Collective & Lululemon AUSNZ along with runners from Perth Urban Runners and the Perth community.

Full Marathon Pacers will be recognised by Red Balloons and running at the target times of 3.30, 3.45, 4.00 and 4.30. Half Marathon Pacers will be recognised by Green Balloons and running at the target times of 1.30, 1.45, 2.00, 2.15 and 2.30.

The Chevron City to Surf for Activ Pacers are presented by Perth Run Collective, Lululemon, Goodr and Perth Urban Runners – we thank them for their support!

So that you know a little more about the role of the Pacer, we’ve compiled a short Q&A below. If you’d like to find out more about your Pacers before race day then look out for our ‘Meet Your Pacers’ blog in the next week. Better still, come along to one of our Community Run Club sessions and meet your Pacer there!

What is a Pacer?

Many big half and full marathon races offer the opportunity to run with Pacers. Pacers are volunteer athletes who are willing to run at a specific and consistent pace, holding a balloon for identification, while aiming to get you to the finish in your target time.

Should you run with a Pacer?

Pacers can give you that extra push you need and keep you on the right pace or even provide a distraction from the pain you’re feeling. So, you should absolutely run with one, just make sure that you’ve chosen a Pace group which you’re comfortable with.

Everyone Goes Out Too Fast!

Considering the weeks of training you’ve invested and the fact that you’ve been tapering in the lead up to race day, we reckon you’re going to be feeling pretty strong at the start line. Even the most experienced runners get caught up in the excitement, but you’ll have to be strong mentally to hold yourself back. Joining a Pacer for those early Kms can keep you sensible and possibly even save you from hitting the wall later in the race.

Running in a Pack is Easier!

We all know this right?! Herd animals know this. It’s safer to stick together than to go it alone. Do you really want to be the lonely gazelle that gets picked off by the lion waiting in the bush? There’s energy and strength in numbers so sit in and let the momentum of the group pull you along.

The Marathon is a Mental Battle!

Plenty of people hit all their training goals but fail to finish a marathon in their target time. Staying focused for 42.2 KMs requires mental toughness and a lot of discipline. Why not join a Pacer and distract yourself from the internal battles – this way you’ll be in it together.

It Never Hurts to be Reminded!

You may not think you need to take on more fluids or gels, and you could be right, but you may also sometimes need a reminder? Having a Pacer ask, “Has everyone been drinking water? Do you need more fuel?” can be like having your mother along. It might annoy you, but you’ll end up better off if you listen.

There’s no Commitment!

You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to pay, you don’t even have to give your real name when asked. Pacers are like moving GPS watches. They’ll just trot along, holding their balloons and maintaining an even pace. If the pacer has an irritating voice or is telling too many bad jokes, keep a distance but make sure those balloons remain in sight. Even if you’re feeling zippy, wait to speed up until later in the race.

You’ll Get a Tour Guide!

Pacers often know the course and can give you a preview of what’s to come. They’ll warn you about hills and may also point out interesting historic landmarks, geographical weirdness and local hot spots. Most Pacers have completed loads of marathoning miles and can offer tips and helpful pointers—everything from reminding you to relax your shoulders to telling you where to get the best espresso martini. When your body starts to tire, ask for advice. When your mind starts to wander, request a story.

You’ll Get a Cheerleader!

While you may have friends and family screaming for you from a couple of points on the course, your Pacer really wants you to meet your time goal and will say things to help you get there. She or he will tell you that you can do it. Your pace will tell you that you’re looking great or even offer to buy you a beer at the finish. Whatever it takes.

And You’ll get Camaraderie!

A good pace group can transform a group of people with diverse backgrounds, often from all over the world, and turn them into friends. It’s not a party if you’re all by yourself. Sure, you can cross the line, stop your watch, and go home. But it’s a lot more fun to turn to the sweaty, exhausted, elated folks you just spent 42.2 kms running with and exchange hugs and high fives.