Pacer Report-Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon

More details to come but this is the brief summary (forgive the spelling errors, lack of sentence structure etc) I sent to Pacer Jim on my performance. If you ran the Spirit of Columbus Half be sure to send Pacer Jim some feedback, especially if you used the pace groups!

1. Your Performance
1. A for Effort, A+ for Enthusiasm, C for execution

Mile-Mile splits, (total time), how far off overall pace
Mile 2 14:56 -20
3-7:45.67 (22:41) -13
4-7:44.72 (30:26) -6
5-7:53.39 (38:20) +10
6-7:43.51 (46:03) +15
7-7:43.70 (53:47) +21
8-7:33.95 (1:01:21) +17
9-7:37.72 (1:08.58) +16
10-7:18.35 (1:16:17) -3
11-7:37.37 (1:23:54) -4
12-7:44.41 (1:31:39) +3
13-7:05.90 (1:38:44) -30
52.95 (1:39:37) -27

Never saw mile 1, was around 7:33 according to others around me. Just saw mile 2 and despite same effort this mile was fast thanks to the downhill. I eased it off to get back on and just about when we were getting close I lost my pace band around mile 5. For some reason I lost my mind and could not do any sort of math after that. I knew we were a bit behind pace with the hills and a few slow miles, but got it in my head we were around 40-60 seconds behind. Just worked on picking it up a hair and using the downhills in mile 10 to get back on pace. Really poor math skills on my part at mile 12 resulted in a fast last mile. I thought we were still behind and that we would need to push the final mile. I was wrong! If only I had trusted my pace. The good news is that everyone that was with me at mile 12 either beat me to the line or came in close enough behind me to still get under 1:40. I had one pacee let me know that he heard me yelling back to him in the last mile and that it really helped.

2. Your Group
2. My group was great. After backing it off in mile 3 I lost a lot of people who went ahead and stayed there for good. This was just a good course to run better than your goal and it was no surprise people were listening to their legs and pushing forward. Those that stayed with me were chatty and fun. I had a few people mingle in and out of the group but had a core group of 5 or 6 who were with me the whole race. I had a first timer that came in right on time. The course was a little narrow for a big group so I am not sure how that affected pace group dynamics but it felt like we were a small bunch the whole way, but those around me commented after that they could hear me the whole way and that it was helpful.

3. Suggestions for the Race Director
3. Organization, Organization, Organization.

My guess is for everyone under 1:40 this race was probably just fine, but for everyone over that this was unacceptable. Running out of water on such a cool day is not good.

Promising all kinds of nutrition (that was not needed imo) is only good if you follow up on it. I never saw anything but water, gatorade, and heed on the course.

The finish needs to be streamlined and next year give out the shirts ahead of time. By the time pacer Kristen was in line they had about 3 small shirts left and no xs. Giving the shirts out ahead of time gives better assurance that you will get the size you ordered. Next year I would advise medals right away as you cross the line, and hats a bit further down. Don't do all the give aways in one place. You need more volunteers handing these out and you need them spread out. Having to find shirt sizes just slowed the process way down.

More signs to make it clearer where things are located. Especially the food and shuttles since that wasn't in line with everything else.

If you are going to have bag drops you need to provide stickers with race bib number with the bags and clear instructions, and volunteers to watch them and hand them out.

need to have consistent mile markers throughout the course. having the first two miles marked only on the ground is unacceptable.

website needs to be updated much earlier, final instructions should go out in an email to all runners, not just available in a pile at the expo and not even pushed/directed to runners. people had a lot of questions at packet pickup and it was obvious there was confusion about the shuttles, start/finish location, and relay shuttles/locations. as of Friday when i checked the website the pdf instructions about the course were still not up.

great course. awesome if you are looking to pr.

great support of the elite runners.

Traffic control was great! There was an officer at the road when we headed onto the paved path at Griggs and he was screaming at cars to slow down and get off their cell phones. Very good to see a cop taking his race duties seriously as many times they seem to just stand around.

4. Suggestions for the Pace Team
4. I thought this was a tough course to pace, especially given the first two miles were not clearly marked and were downhill. if we pace here again need to emphasize the first two miles here are fast and that there are some rolling miles in the middle.

nix the 8:30 group, Paul didn't have anyone with him because all the runners wanted to go under 1:50

i thought the pasta dinner was great and staying with pacer Kristen was nice. she was extremely close to the race start and it worked out well. although it would be nice if the race had provided us all with a place to stay, it is fun to have all the pacers in one place.

for future races where we pace a half Pacer Brett had an awesome idea for the predicted pace time chart, to add in the new york qualifying times for avoiding the lottery system for each age group to the bottom. The half qualifiers are actually relatively easy compared to their marathon standards!


Mike said...

Nice report E!

duchossois said...

Race Directors must LOVE having you as a pacer. You're enthusiastic and energetic, plus did a great job pacing the 1:40 group in on time. (I'd give you at least a 'B', not a 'C' for execution.) Your feedback is detailed, constructive, and well-considered. If I ever am a RD, I am contacting you to organize the pacers for sure.

Mike said...

I'd say great job on the execution. Within 27 seconds of 1:40 is fantastic pacing. It may not have been even from start to finish but sometimes the course dictates different paces for different parts of the race.

Robin said...

Loved reading your race report - especially how detailed. Your enthusiasm is wonderful especially in the middle (boring) miles. Great job, Elizabeth!

kccat said...

Great report. It was great seeing you down there. Thanks again for the water! Also, thanks for the reminder about contacting Pacer Jim. I sent sent him a email. I was in his group and I had a great race and ended up with a new PR by 12 minutes. Other than my wonderful experience in the pace group (2:20) the race was a mess. I unfortunately had already signed up to do Spirit of Pittsburgh and can only hope that race is a bit smoother.

Black Knight said...

You are a professional pacer! This post could be a good article for a running magazine. congrats.

Christopher said...

I was in Elizabeth's pace group and she did a great job keeping everyone motivated in the group. Her constant motivation created a bond within the group and made it feel like a total team effort. I was just as excited for everyone in the group who crossed the line as I was for myself because it felt like we accomplished it together. She absolutely made this one of the best events I have ever participated in.

E-Speed said...

Thanks Christopher! Awesome finishing time and last mile! You ran a great race!

Mark Carroll said...

Great job! Enjoyed reading about it!