Friday, April 18, 2014

Pacing the American River 50 mile (AR50) race

I've been seriously thinking about running the AR50 next year (2015) and how to go about preparing for it then an opportunity came up that I could not turn down.  Pace an experienced running for the last part of the race!

Pacing.  So what does that word actually mean with regarding trail running?  You've seen pacers on big half and full marathons holding signs that read '1:45' or '3:35' and a good pacer not only helps you reach your target finish but knows the course and how to warm up for those first couple of miles - or they should!

In trail running especially 50 miles or longer a 'pacer' needs to do a bit more than just set a particular pace.  A pacer in trail running is a 'trail companion' and not only helps the runner stay on course and not miss critical turns but helps the runner refill water bottles in Aide Stations (AS) and most importantly provides motivation to help the runner think of something other than his or her brain telling them to just pull over and have a nice lay down in the grass.

Here are some informative and humorous links my runner and I shared weeks prior to the race: