Saturday, 12 November 2011

Strathclyde parkrun Event 81, pacing!

This would be only my 10th parkrun event that I was turning up to run.  So I want to just start by saying thanks to all the regular runners who have taken the step forward to give volunteering a go!  I ran 4 parkrun’s before deciding to volunteer and for me, I got hooked!  I have volunteered countless times now and I have made a great bunch of new friends.  My running has improved with all the helpful advice and training that I have received from some of the core team and regulars at Strathclyde parkrun.  It’s strange to think that coming to a parkrun event and not running has actually improved my overall running....with all the invaluable support, advice, training tips and encouragement from all the team.  So if you have been thinking about volunteering then please do put your name forward.  Not only are you contributing to the event and ensuring that it’s a success but you are giving someone else the opportunity to run that week.  Thanks to everyone who has volunteered!

The run its self was going to be a challenge for me, not only had I just completed a hard 1 hour circuit session with John Allan (the warm-up guy) but I was to pace.  My PB at parkrun is 21.31 so you may think that wearing the 24 minute pacer vest should be easy for me, it’s not.  Trying to run with a consistent pace, not speeding up and slowing down is hard. 

We had our usual dynamic warm-up led by John Allan before being marched up to the starting line by race director Moira Nicol.  It was ideal conditions for running at Strathclyde Park, the wind from the night before had died down and the sky was clear and blue, temperatures perfect.  The safety brief was given and the wheelchair event started.  After a short wait, the runners were let loose.  I tried to take the first 1K just that little bit slower than my others, hoping that some of the runners around me would be encouraged to stick with me knowing that the pace was somewhat comfortable.  At the 1K mark I was dead on 5 minutes, I was conscious of a couple of runners at my back and was hoping to have them on my tail the whole way round.  I knocked a couple of seconds off the pace and coming up to the 2K mark I was at 9 minutes 40 seconds, almost perfect for a 24 minute parkrun, still with a few runners around me.  I hit the puddle after the 2K mark, running right through the middle of it, great fun!  Running passed Ella Edge who was hoping to get as near to a 24 minute time as possible.  Some quick words of encouragement and I continued with my run.  I had made it to the turn and was back on target for the road back.  By this point I only had a single runner who was right behind me the whole way on the home stretch.  I manage to shout a few words of support before encouraging him to take the lead and go for it on the long stretch back.  At the 4K point I was on 19 minutes 11 seconds, all I had to do was keep the pace and I would be in on time.  I enjoyed the last few hundred metres as all the runners who were beginning to slow down clocked me in the pacer vest and began to push it again, 3 or 4 runners managed to keep up the pace and finish in front of me.  The last 100 metres felt strange, trying to come in as close to 24 minutes as I could this eliminated my usual sprint finish.  Crossing the line at 23 minutes and 59 seconds, I was delighted, an enjoyable, controlled run.  It was nice to get some words of encouragement from Thomas Wilson of Strathaven Striders who noted my steady pace throughout the race.  The experience of pacing made this one of my most enjoyable parkrun’s.
The race wasn’t over for everyone so I headed up to the 100m marker and gave cheering and shouting a go.  It was great to see runners’ faces lighting up and giving it there all for a sprint finish.  Well done everyone!

This week we had a total of 117 runners, 15 first timers and a massive 35 personal bests, a couple of which I hope I helped people achieve!

See you all next week!


  1. Ah, so that's what the 24 vest is. I saw you on Saturday but didn't twig that you were pacemaking. I'd have tried harder to keep up! 24 mins is my next target.

  2. I think I am pacing at 24 again this Saturday Stewart so tag along!