Parkrun Pacers?

They are doing this at my local Parkrun tomorrow (from 20-35 mins I think!). How does it work? Not sure I want to stick with a pacer as I prefer to run with how I feel on the day. Guess I can just do that but will be able to keep an eye on nearest pacer and see what finish time I am on for as I run round. Any thoughts from you experienced parkrunners? I don't go very often as Saturday is usually my long run day. Am looking forward to it🙂.


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8 Replies

  • At ours we regularly have pacers, they run at the average speed needed to achieve the target time! Some are better than others I find :p I don't really think there are any rules about it regarding pace, just that the role is done by someone who can already comfortably achieve that time!

  • I guess when I say average speed that's not always the case, some start off faster than average pace so that when people are tired towards the end they can slow down a bit and still reach the time.

    Hope you have fun whatever you decide to do - I'm barcode scanning tomorrow for the first time!

    Sarah x

  • Before the start, the announcer will point out who the pacers are and what their target time is.

    In theory they should run at an even pace (after any congestion at the start) but it is not always possible.

    It is a good idea for some but really it's something you can do yourself with a Garmin (other GPS devices are available).

  • Think I'll probably do my usual and stick to my Garmin! Thanks Dunder☺

  • Our pacers carry a placard on a stick. On the back of the placard they have a cheat sheet which tells them what time they should pass certain landmarks to achieve their pace. The pacer ought to run at an even pace. In practice, you may find some of them start to speed up a little (or slow down) when they are getting within 200 to 300 metres of the next landmark so they hit their timing mark. Just work out which pacer you want to follow and whether or not you ought to be in front or behind.

    If you are planning to use one of the pacers to hit a specific time, I would suggest that you try and get ahead about 200 metres before the finish (you know that sprint is good for you), particularly if the finish approach is narrow. I have seen pileups surround the 30 minute pacer 2 metres before the finish line as everyone tries to nip past... In one particularly spectacular finish/melee the placard made it over the line in 30 minutes, but none of the runners did ;)

  • They're doing it at mine on the 11th June, saying who's brave enough to don the 18min vest! Definetaly not me!😊

  • On my recent bit of Parkrun tourism, there were pacers for several different finishing times. Each had a high viz jacket with the target time pinned on the back. People who wanted to run with a pacer were encouraged to line up with him/her at the start. All were too fast for me, so I have no idea whether they rN an even pace or a pace balanced for the conditions (undulating) - I assume the latter as the former makes no sense.

  • Pacer week is GOOD for ME!!! Why? - because it makes me run most of my normal weekly parkruns at about 2 minutes slower than my PB and than on pacer day, I decide which pacer I am going to follow. The only way I can achieve PB's is to follow a pacer - I don't have the drive to do it on my own - so, if I am feeling up to it that months, I will only "have a go" on pacer day!! :) Last year I followed the 30 minute pace and broke away form him with 1 klm to go and did 29:16. I still don't know how I did that and have been nowhere near that time ever since :)

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