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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't even scheduled to pace @ Philly but about 10 days ago I had the chance to do it, and with all the KickRunners heading there it was too good to pass up. I paced the 3:20 group and had a blast! Great race, great weekend - long report posted below, but the summary is - ALL GOOD!<br><br>
Saturday - I flew in and headed straight to the Expo which was PACKED. Typically when we work the last shift at the Clif Bar Pace Team booth, it's pretty quiet - not so that day! There were 3 of us and it was pretty much non-stop talking to people the 3 hours I was there. I got to see several Kick Runners/CoolRunning folks (<b>Prae, Maccabeth, Colleen, Spankee, JTV, 2-3 others whose handles I can't recall?)</b> and I have to give a special shout-out to <b>Prae</b> for bringing me some Steeler pens! I love them and have replaced all the old crappy pens in my house and office with those lovely things!<br>
After the Expo we went back to the hotel for the pasta dinner. The food was good and there was a presentation by Bart Yasso on some of his goofy running experiences, and we also heard from great US runners <b>Todd Williams, Tim Broe, Mike McKeeman,</b> and the lovely <b>Carrie Tollefson</b>. Being a T&F fan, it was really cool hearing from all of the them on race prep, training tips, and how to deal with pre-race jitters. As they headed out, we had to head to a pacer team meeting so I walked out with Carrie and had a great line (I thought) - I said "Carrie, thanks for the tips on pre-race jitters but I had a question about post-race." "Yes?" "Well, after the race...would you like to get together for lunch?!" She obviously knew I was kidding and was a great sport about it so some of us ended up chatting with her and Mike for 15 minutes (Mike got 2nd in Philly last year and was the pacer for Deena Kastor at London 2006 - FASCINATING to hear his perspective on that. Great guy - I'm now a fan of his).<br><br>
Race Day - The weather was better than we expected - no rain, cold, but not arctic, some wind. The pace team walked over to the start, said our good lucks to one another and lined up. I knew I would have a big group - Philly is a real knowledgable field, lots of people going for fast imes and Boston Qualifiers. I had 2 friends from Cincinnati planning to run with me for a bit so I was looking forward to a good day. With the half marathon, I knew the first few miles would be crowded and they were. The roads were a bit rough and it was hard to get through all the people wearing iPods (I love running with music so I'm not going to bash that, but PLEASE do not blare your tunes in the beginning of a race so you are oblivious to everything around you! This is becoming a big pet peeve of mine - poor job seeding yourself and then made worse by darting back and forth while listening to music). It's hard to tell how big the group was but it was sizable. I talked to several folks but one really stuck out - one guy had lost 60 pounds after his daughter was diagnosed with cancer and he was trying to qualify for Boston to raise additional $ (he made it - and more importantly his daughter's been in remission for 5 yrs). There were several Canadians, all down in the US enjoying the favorable exchange rate - there was much discussion about hockey! There were some spirited discussions about NFL football and the consensus was that the Patriots are big fat cheaters and the Steelers rule all, so this was a smart group I had with me! We ran into an Englishman wearing a pink shirt, pink tutu, and pink shoes - he was great fun to chat with and said some very nice things to me about the job I was doing pacing. Of course, he also said he wasn't wearing anything under the tutu so I may have been talking to a crazy man!<br><br>
I can never recall too much about the sites on the courses I run because I'm more focused on nailing the times for each mile and interacting with my group. Philly was a good fast course - there was a climb at mile 9 or so and another just past the half - other than that the hills were not much to speak of and each uphill was followed by a corresponding downhill so this is a course that's easy to pace on. You can get into a rhythm and just keep on truckin'. As far as the scenery - there was some city sections, some nice parks and a great stretch along the river that were all very pleasant.<br><br>
The half marathoners peeled off from us and I expected the group to dwindle by quite a bit - it didn't! I still had 60+ people with me! The 3:10 leader had passed his balloons to another guy and was floating back to check on the other pacers - he said my group was HUGE so it may have been even more. We went through the half in about 1:39:35 or so - pretty much right where I wanted to be. We gave some time back on a hill shortly after half, then started banking 8-10 seconds per mile.<br><br>
At mile 15 or so, I ran ahead to load up my water bottle...in hindsight I wouldn't have done that again because although I told everyone to stay together, it split the group into two because I was away from them for ~3 minutes. It would have been better to stop at a water station and then sprint to catch up to them versus running ahead. I wanted to have a full water bottle in case people wanted it for gels and such because we were getting to the hard parts. I rejoined the group and it was a bit smaller now - some folks had moved on ahead and some had slowed slightly. After a few miles, the group reformed around me and now we were seeing people coming the other way. The 3:10 group was HUGE - good to see them all working well together.<br><br>
Just before the turnaround at mile 20, I saw my friends ahead of me - Kenji was going for a 3:15 (BQ) and Dave was looking for sub 3:19. They were stil together which I took as a good sign for Dave but a bad sign for Kenji - he had to start humping it the last 10k to get under 3:15!<br><br>
As the group turned and headed back to the finish area, it was all business. No more goofing around in the group, everyone was working hard, keeping it together as best they could. At this point I still had 15-20 people right with me and we'd pick a few people up as we passed them. I kept giving them the typical "OK, give me one more mile at pace and then we'll use up some of our bank!" and then I'd say the same thing at the next mile marker. The last few miles we only lost a few runners off the pack and only a few seconds per mile from our bank. It was perfect - I came in at 3:19:52 with a little hot-dogging the last 100 meters for the benefit of my KR peeps in the stands!<br><br>
One woman who had been happy and chipper the entire race hit the finish line and just started bawling. She gave me a bear hug (actually 2 I think!) and thanked me. The other folks in the group gave me some high fives and thanked me - it was awesome to have that many people finish right alongside me. Of all the races I've paced, this was by far the biggest group I finished with and probably one of the most rewarding for me. I've paced at 15 marathons now and each one has a different flavor to it (also depending on whether I pace 3:10 or 3:20). Philly is definitely a smart running crowd looking for fast times - normally the 4:15, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30 pacers have bigger groups but Philly is more heavily skewed towards the faster groups. 3:10 can be a "Blood & Guts" kind of group but 3:20 was a nice mixture of older guys trying to qualify, younger guys looking for a good debut time, top women looking for PR's, etc.<br><br>
Post race I saw some friends in the finishers' tent (<b>Moe, Moon & Frankie</b> bringing da noize in the half, <b>PhillyTom</b> jogging his first unofficial marathon, <b>Notey</b> running a good time, other folks on the pace team, etc). I changed my clothes and headed over to the stands where the Kick Runners' 30's group was tailgating and cheering for everyone - very cool considering at this point it was getting COLD! It was great hanging out with everyone and I loved doing the Rocky Run up the steps to the Museum of Art (can't wait to see the photos!) It was also cool to hear about a slew of successful runs (<b>Theia, Kris, Litch, BigG,</b> and several others) in the various events that Philly offered.<br><br>
I wish I had more time to hang out with everyone - we stuck around to see everyone finish (<b>Nettie</b> in her own tutu, smiling as big as can be!). By the time I showered I had about 30 minutes to eat lunch before I had to leave for the airport so I grabbed a quick bite around the corner with the pace team, toasted our successful weekendm and hightailed it back home!<br><br>
I can't wait to read all the race reports (Maria, Litch, Kris, Voo, Trevor, etc - get those reports in because I don't plan on working too much today!) I know I'm not mentioning everyone because there were so many folks there I know I'm leaving several out - sorry!<br><br>
By the way, I had several friends (non KR people) with very successful runs - <b>Kevin</b> ran a 2:57 to win some mythical title of Marathoner of the Year between he and I (don't ask the rules - he'll change them to suit his own needs!), <b>Kenji</b> got his 3:15 and is headed to Boston, and <b>Dave</b> broke his PR by 42 seconds. All in all - a phriggin' awesome weekend and a race I'm going to request for next year!<br><br>
Splits Fort Hose interested (3:20 pace is 7:38/mile):<br>
1 - 8:20 Crowded!<br>
2 - 7:37<br>
3 - 7:26<br>
4 - 7:35<br>
5 - 7:39<br>
6 - 7:34<br>
7 - 7:28<br>
8 - 7:36<br>
9 - 7:19 Blame this on Pink Tutu Dude and a downhill!<br>
10 - 7:49 Uphill<br>
11 - 7:33<br>
12 - 7:27<br>
13 - 7:22<br>
14 - 7:29<br>
15 - 7:25 Sped up to get some water<br>
16 - 8:09 Slowed down to reconnect with group<br>
17 - 7:34<br>
18 - 7:34<br>
19 - 7:32<br>
20 - 7:40<br>
21 - 7:32<br>
22 - 7:39<br>
23 - 7:47 Hang on, everyone!<br>
24 - 7:41<br>
25 - 7:42<br>
26 - 7:42<br>
Finish - 1:39
 

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Pacer, stop editing so I can read your report! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> (Right now nothing is showing up except a Quick Reply option.)
 

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OK, now I saw it. AWESOME job pacing, and great report. You continue to amaze and inspire me.<br><br>
And THIS<br><br>
makes me very happy!!!
 

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Pacer:<br><br>
Nice run! And glad you liked the race - I'm sure Philly will welcome you back next year as long as you keep your sanity about you and leave all that Steelers junk at home.<br><br>
BTW - There was a clear consensus on the course that you were the overall winner in the "Sexiest Pacer - Little or No Hair Division", so I would not sweat losing that Marathoner of the Year title.
 

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<b>PC</b> - you just rock.<br><br>
That's all.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Good to see you as always.<br><br>
You get even more impressive every race.<br><br>
P.S. - Your pacer warning was spot on - next time I'll listen. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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You are so fast!!! Congrats on some good racing/pacing. I never got to meet you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad">. Next time!
 

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Congrats, Chris! You did a really good job. It was nice to meet you at the expo (HINT) even though you don't remember me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I'll let it slide <i>once</i>. Maybe I'll see you here next year.
 

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At some point during the first 5 miles or so, I realized how the half-marathoners with a smaller field had been able to start off smoother and faster than the marathon groups, which was why I ended up seeing the 4:15 pace balloons pass me by and then eventually the 4:30. I didn't notice any more pace balloons catch me.<br><br>
Who knows? Maybe one of these days I'll end up using you for pacing.
 

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Great report! I didn't officially get to meet you either, though i tried several times!!! As we were leaving we saw your balloons in the trash, they looked so sad! And since we knew you couldn't join us at the pub, we brought them in your honor!!! At least they got to party with us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm flattered...a little creeped out between this comment from you and LL's insatiable Man Crush but also flattered.<br><br><b>Solitude</b> - My bad on not mentioning you...I always get the real names and the "handles" mixed up. We'll spend some quality time together next race! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><b>Jill & Beaker</b> will join us as well and I'll be in Dude Heaven!<br><br>
Given the # of KR peeps that live in Philly and nearby (NYC, Ct, Va) this could be an annual gathering. And next year, we get that covered heated tent that was across the street from the grandstands - either that, or we bring a keg.<br><br>
Glad to hear my balloons got to drink with you guys - hopefully they got some action! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">
 

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Your balloons were treated nicely!<br><br>
Glad to finally meet the legend that is PacerChris, albeit breifly. Next time stick around a little longer so we can explain to these Eagles fans how lost their cause is.<br><br>
BTW - I ran 'through' a clueless ipod runner in my race. She had it on so loud I could hear it. Tried to pass a couple of times and she would drift in front me even when I gave out "on your right", so finally I ran past her as she was drifting. She was more that a little started when I ran into her shoulder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Side note - I was really bummed about not getting to meet some of you guys, although I did "meet" <b>CoachT</b> on the course. Very cool that he paced someone - I'm anxious to hear his report as well.
 

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I am not so sure my DH could ride his bike lugging that thing, i think the backpack of beers was all he could handle!!! But I will ask him, I know he would give it a try at least!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">
 
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