I was recently on the Denver Marathon's website when I came across a reference to the CLIF BAR Pace Teams at last years inaugural running of the race. I was intrigued by this idea but could not find any information about whether or not there would be pace teams this year. It was at this point that I began the futile, life sapping process that is e-mailing the Denver Marathon. I wanted to know whether or not they were going to have pace teams again this year, because this webpage clearly references last year's race, and also if they would be available for people running the half marathon.
I filled out their 'contact us' form and sent them a message. Four days later I received a response that appeared to be automated which directed me to 'follow this link' to their website for more information. You'll never guess where that link took me? Yup. Right back to the page that caused me to have questions in the first place. I guess that this means that the information on that page applies to this year too, which is good news because they have a 4 hour marathon pace team which should translate into a 2:00 half marathon for me.
The more I think about following a pace team, the more it seems devious, or somehow unethical (those words are both too strong but they’ll have to do because my thesaurus is giving me stuff like 'Machiavellian' and 'depraved'). One of the toughest things about my training runs is being able to judge my pace, and knowing when I need to speed up or slow down. Running a race involves more than just physical strength, it requires some strategy too. Will you try to run even splits the whole way or will you go slower on the uphill sections and try to make it up on the downhill sections? Running with a pace team eliminates that entirely. You just latch on to a group and run. You don't have to think about it at all. While that sounds appealing on many levels something about it just doesn't feel right. It seems too easy.
Fortunately for me I'm too shallow to care about being labeled as Machiavellian or a cheater so I will run with the pace team if the opportunity presents itself. Your thoughts in the comments, is it wrong? Would you run with a pace team?
In the vein of keeping up Video Friday here's a video for all you swimmers out there courtesy of With Leather.
You know that once you get your spot in that wave pool you're not getting out. Not for anything. No, not even to pee. Hey, you were all thinking it, I just said it.