Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 Pacers: Their Stories

Fourteen Pace Makers (pacers) were deployed to SCKLM 2010, all experienced runners, setting the pace for the Full Marathon at 3 hours, 3.5 hours, 4 hours, 4.5 hours, 5 hours and 6 hours with helium inflated balloons tied to their bodies.

How did they fair against their target time? Did their goals burst with the balloons? We managed to catch up with some of them.

And here are their stories.....IN THEIR OWN WORDS. (I am too lazy to edit and correct the grammar, spelling, syntax errors what not...LOL!)

Tan Chow Seng (3:30 Pacer)(right):

1) How far are you from your target finish time? Over about 1 min.

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? Finally, I know what the feeling run with a balloon liao...ha~.that is my first time to be pacer, during the race can't run with my mind, must maintain and focus on speed & timing for my pace, try to encourage somebody follow me..... very enjoy~got a lot support from people on the streets,volunteers and other runners.

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Yes!

Ronnie See (4.00hr Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? - Came back in 12minutes 14sec. feeling great after 30km, so push a little bit faster.

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? - Being a pacer, it gives me a real experience how to run a proper marathon. My first two marathons ran out of steam after 30km, due to I always start very fast and impatient. Being a pacer, I have to be patient and run at consistence pace, because there are a few follower pacing wit me as well. After 30km, I'm still feeling good. From there on, I saw runners start to slow down the pace, some even walk already. So lesson to learn, start slow and finish strong. I can't wait to run another marathon!!

3) Would you run as a pacer again?- If there is an opportunity again, answer is yes!

Hong Zi Shen (4:00 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? I was a sub-4 pacer but I had my target set to 3:58:00 and I completed in 3:57:18 so technically I was only 42 seconds ahead of my target. =P

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? The friends that I met along the Marathon journey are certainly something unforgettable! Marathon journey to me is more than just 42.195km. It comprises of the preparation stage, the actual and the post.

Friends that assisted me throughout the whole event, friends that I trained with, took picture with, cheered with, chitchatted with and of course the people that I met on the actual day, all these are the most valuables of all! Until now, I am still adding my SCKLM friends and busy tagging photos in the Facebook! It's fun! These are what make one's life wonderful!

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Yes, I would certainly love to if I get the chance again! It's so fun!

Lai Fong Sang (4:00 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? I was pacer for 4 hours and eventually completed 7 minutes ahead of targeted time. I believed it is still within the acceptable range, 4 hours pacer does not means that must complete exactly 4 hours. I have successfully maintained almost constant pace for the entire run.

My main objective is to assist those followers to be qualified as sub 4 marathoner, thus I need to run a bit faster in order to secure wider margin of sub 4 objective (take into consideration of leg cramp, exhaustion and hitting wall at the most crucial last few km).

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? Run with a big balloon tied at body is really a unique experience! I have to ensure that I can lead followers till the end without exhaustion or walking, therefore I need to monitor my pace carefully. I could not run too slow to avoid off target and at the meantime to ensure I have energy to push till 42km.

When I cross the finishing line, the cheers from public and other runners is simply amazing! Like welcoming home a hero, a lot of unknown runners asking to have photograph taken together. What an exhilarating experience!

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Definitely yes if I were given the opportunity as pacer again!

Kevin Chow (Pacer 4:30 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? Came back 8 minutes ahead of pacer time. If you can run a 4:30minutes full marathon, why not a little faster if you outdo and push yourself on race day?

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? Followers especially strangers running beside me (and at the back following the balloon) and exchanging their running experiences. From locals to foreigners. Made alot of friends. A lot of support from people on the streets, cheerleaders, volunteers and other runners.

Wearing a balloon is a paparazzi magnet. Anyone who has a camera will take notice and shoot you. People will cheer you, I remember at tourists areas, foreigners gave me hi fives and tonnes of support.

And the appreciation from runners who followed me, even though I told them I'm pushing them a bit, they told me never mind...at least they won't be lazy and start walking or slow down. Some even offered power drinks and gels to me. And the cheer when a pacer return to the finishing line is tremendous! Like welcoming home a hero. Exhilarating experience.

3) Would you run as a pacer again? A definite yes.

Stanley Cheong (4:30 hr Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? Exactly on target finish time. No more, no less :P

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? To be in the shoes of a 4:30hrs pacer really is a self discovery of oneself in terms of slow consistent pacing, communicating/supporting fellow runners, wind resistance from the balloon. Being a fast paced runner (normally), I really enjoyed being put in a situation to really understand what would a 4:30hr pacer do & resist the temptations to run fast.

No doubt I have been running for quite some time now, I still believe there is always something new to learn/discover when one is running a marathon. Sometimes one must slow down to really analyse the surroundings that happens around them & it was a worthy experience indeed!

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Definitely! No doubt about it!

Wong Kei Ming (5:00 hr Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? I did not expect to complete this marathon within 5 hours as I had just done a 20k and a 32k during training with only a month to prepare. Unexpectedly, I managed to get 7 minutes advantage in this marathon.

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? Actually it was not ideal to run when the rain poured before the race started. My boots were heavy containing water and it was tough to run. However I did quite well in the first 21k with 2 hours 20 minutes and in fact I was quite relaxing running in this pace, so I did not need to afraid of not achieving sub 5 hours even if I ran 2 hours 40 minutes in the next 21k.

But anything can happen without expecting. I did not expect also some of my follower pacing me for the entire journey, many thanks to them, I was enjoying it and happy to have you guys running side by side. Happiest thing was I completed the full distance with a smiling face instead of pushing extremely hard like dying for something, I have never done any race with a smiling face dashing to the finishing line. I was so grateful and satisfied even though I was not doing a personal best time.

3) Would you run as a pacer again? So far I don't think of becoming a pacer again for full marathon as I always loved shorter distance, I prefer to be pacer in half marathon instead of such a long 42k. Who knows I would be pacer for 42k again? :)

Tan Lian Meng (5:00 pacers)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? Came back just on time below 5 hours

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? My balloon burst before the start. Was luckily given another balloon but unfortunately my balloon got ripped by a garbage truck after 26 km or so:( no one following me that made it a bit boring, had only 1 Singaporean guy an brought him to the finish below 5 hours.

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Yes but will not be running a marathon for some time, will stick to shorter distances like half ! Hehe cause got balloon phobia, nonetheless great experience!

Wait a minute! How come there was a female pacer (above) in SCKLM? I thought the pacers were all male???

Hahah! Actually, Ai Ling was helping Kelvin Ng to carry his balloon.

Kelvin Ng (5:00 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? I was under pressure when I reach 35km mark .. I'm worry I could not reach in 5hrs, I meet John Tan under bridge .. he told me I can make it .. but my leg start to cramp ... after 36km .. I hear Ailing calling back at me"Kelvin I'm coming ..." I was so happy now I can pass my balloon to her ... I said please help me on the balloon ... when I reach at 39km I have a very bad cramp by no choice I have to walk and I start to run back at 41km ... my finishing time is 5hrs 19min .. Thanks Ailing helping me bring back the balloon with her finish at 5hrs 05min

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? This three guys Jack Lo for Singapore, Ong Poh Seng and Jeng Hann ... was pacing with me from Loke You until 35km .. we will laughter and entertaining along the run and other experience at Jln cheras a motor cycle pass by opposite way shouted ... (lari pun mahu ambil balloon) ... I said kanasai in orang ... we all laughter ...

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Yes but may be I will ask for 5hrs 30min instead. :)

Malcalm Chew (6:00 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? 13-14mins ahead

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer? I was unforgettable, because I pace with the same guy during my 2nd marathon. He was happy to pace with me and he also encourage others runner to follow the pacer :)

3) Would you run as a pacer again? May be, but not so soon. After the bad comments from follower, I think it is time for me to achieve my target 1st before helping others.

Henry Chin (6:00 Pacer)

1) How far are you from your target finish time? I finished 5hr 53mins , close to my 6Hr pacer target ;p

2) What was your unforgettable experience as a pacer?I enjoyed the little moments when other runners asked me about why I was running as a 6 hr pacer (6 hours, not boring ah ?) , and also the final 5kms where I get to "pull" few runners to finished sub-6 with me, overall I am glad to have ran as a pacer, to experience the 'human-side' of running - when you care less how yourself finish, but focus on to help others finish..

3) Would you run as a pacer again? Yes, I will do it again if given the chance..

Check out the slide show below, photos taken before the race was started. The pacers were like little kids getting their balloons! :P

ENJOY!

Any of you readers followed the SCKLM 2010 pacers? We want to hear your stories too. Please leave them in the comment. Thanks.


2 Comment Wit Me:








jennifer

said...

I followed Kei Ming (5hr pacer) from start to finished in a very comfortable pace. He mentioned that he would usually sub a 4.30 but coz he did not train enuff hence a slower time. Actually I believe as a pacer, they should not consider their own PB but others instead. Anyway, I had an extremely comfortable run. At times, when I had to slow / stop to massage my legs, Kei Ming would keep run in a slower the pace abit for others to catch up. Using the Polar, he would calculate our speed mins/per km to check our pace. We did pushed abit on the 1st half to accommodate the final 12km if we were to slow down. My time of 4hrs 51mins was not my PB but definitely my carefree marathon, with a target. Many thanks to all





Thomas

said...

I have run as a marathon pacer before and cannot believe that some of them think that running 7 minutes or 12 minutes faster than their target pace is acceptable. I would be extremely embarrassed and feel that I have let my pacees down if my times were out by so much.

Congratulations to the pacers who got their times right, but a word should be had with the others. "Feeling good after 30km and pushing on" is not an option if you're a pacer!




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