I received the best news in my inbox this past week: there is a need for a pacer for the Hot Chocolate 15K in Philadelphia on April 1, and it’s not an April fool’s joke. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do this because pacing is a chance to volunteer and help runners reach their race goals.
If you’re thinking, wait a minute… I wouldn’t want to be the one to pace other runners in a race–that’s too much pressure. No problem. There are plenty of ways to give back to the running community: you can be a course marshall, bike pacer (they’re the lucky ones who ride near the front with the elite runners), pass out water, food, or medals along the race course, or you can follow your running friends on a bike and be their race support in a marathon. Even holding up a sign and cheering on fellow runners in a local race is so much fun! Or, get people from your workplace together and sponsor a water table. Be sure to contact the race director and find out what they need.
I’ve been lucky enough to follow my friend during her marathon and give her food and water near miles 8 and 20 before meeting her at the finish line. Each time I saw her on the race course out of the multitude of other runners, it was like winning the lottery. For a half marathon, I passed out candy while cheering on runners, and another time I was a course marshall stopping traffic from leaving an apartment complex when the runners dominated the road.
Volunteering at a race will inspire you and is worth more than any PR.
So, if you need to find me at the race next weekend, I’ll be pacing the 11:30 per mile pace group, wearing a bright orange shirt, and holding a sign. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have balloons attached to that sign too. If you would like to volunteer to be a pacer, contact Beast Pacing. My bio is up on their site, so it’s official for me: