When it comes to the definitive Marathon event, it doesn’t come any bigger than the hugely popular Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM). This year, celebrating its 8th Anniversary, on 7th August 2016, a record-breaking 35,000 runners took part and ran their hearts out on the famous streets and closed highways of Kuala Lumpur for personal pride and national honour.
Since I started running regularly in 2011, I can honestly say that Running has improved my life in so many ways. In particular, through my running, I have met many new amazing friends, traveled the four corners of our beautiful countryside, and of course, Running keeps my health in the pink as I grow older.
Since Running has benefited me significantly, I felt that it was only right that I give back to our local Running Community. In the past, I have volunteered to help out in the staging of running events. However, this time, I was looking to make an even bigger personal contribution. Perhaps, there is something that I could do to directly help Runners, especially those Beginners, meet their running goals. Suddenly, the idea of becoming a marathon pacer popped into my head. Next, I wondered if I was good enough to be a pacer. Besides, who would give a Happy-Go-Lucky Runner like me such an important task?
“ Running Keeps My Health In The Pink As I Grow Older ”
What Is A Pacer?
Frankly, at that time, my knowledge of what a Marathon Pacer actually does, is very sketchy. In past events, I have seen Runners follow Pacers during Marathons. To help runners identify the different Finishing Times, the Pacers always carry along a huge helium balloon marked with the number of hours it will take him or her to complete the race.
According to Diana Afandi, SCKLM Pacer Team Manager, “Your role is to act as pacemaker for runners to follow in order to achieve a particular finishing time, e.g. if you are a 4:30-hour pacer, you have to forgo your personal best and fully focus on serving and pacing the runners following you in order to finish the marathon within that said finishing time. You must be comfortable in achieving that finishing time on Race Day. She added, “You need to complete the marathon in a consistent pace with the pace group with chip time of 30 seconds to 1 minute ahead of the pace group timing.”