As marathon day approaches, a special group of runners are preparing to lead the way. On November 3, the NYRR Pace Team presented by Biofreeze will be on the course helping runners achieve their goal times and enjoy the race to the fullest.
Pacers are identifiable in the start corrals and on the course by their blue and green Biofreeze singlets and their pace and finish-time signs. Running with the pacers is free for any runner who wants to join them.
The pace team members are all expert marathoners and have plenty of advice. This year’s TCS New York City Marathon pacers answered some of the most common questions that they receive from runners about the race and running with the pace team.
Are you running an even pace the whole race?
No, we are running even effort throughout the race. This way going up hills we are a little slower and downhill little faster while staying overall close to the goal pace. You can ask your pacer before the start how they are planning to run the race.
Where do I sign up to join the pacers?
No need to sign up! Just know where the pacer will be on race day and meet them in the start corrals.
Do I have to run the whole race with the pacer?
No, but you can if you wanted to. You are allowed to join and leave whenever you feel like it during the race.
TCS New York City Marathon runners—remember that Biofreeze is here to help you feel limitless on race day. Don’t miss the Biofreeze Relief Zone at mile 20 where the Cooling Crew will help you cool the pain so you can #FeelNoLimits all the way to the finish line.
What is your course strategy?
Most runners put their focus on Queensboro Bridge. The first mile on Verrazzano Bridge is the biggest hill, but most runners won't feel it because of the excitement at the start with their very fresh legs. Besides the Queensboro Bridge, starting at around mile 22 on Fifth Avenue it will be rolling uphill into Central Park, which is the most challenging section in my opinion. So, it is important to start conservatively so we can tackle those hills with a strong finish.
What is the best way to run the TCS New York City Marathon?
Running in a pace group is the way to go. Let the pacers keep track of your pace, so you can enjoy your run without looking at your watch every mile. We will run 26.2 miles through many neighborhoods in all five boroughs of New York City. Every mile and every neighborhood has its own distinctive culture, so enjoy every moment of your way from the start to the finish. There will also be many runners from around the world—why not make a new friend at each mile in your pace group? You will have at least 26 new friends at the finish!
How are you going to run this marathon with all the hills?
Pacers try to base our pacing on effort. We will try to stay with the pace throughout the entire race, up and down hills continuously, but each pacer is different in how they play out each mile.
I usually like to call out where the group is after each mile, keeping my participants informed if we are ahead or behind our total time. I also inform them on the water stations and fueling stations ahead on the course.
Will you stop at water stations?
Nope. We don’t stop at water stations. I announce to my group that the water stations are coming up. We try to slow down a little for everyone to catch up, but we do not stop at water stations.
Do you pace in kilometers?
All pace bands show each mile split, but we do also focus on each 5K checkpoint. Pick the goal time that works for you and find your pacer in the corral before the start. They will do a great job pacing you, you just have to run!
Do you carry that stick all the way?
Yes! It’s not as hard as it looks. I have my shoulders to rest it on later if I get tired or maybe play air guitar to the crowds. We carry it the whole way so runners on the whole course see us. We pass a lot of runners in Central Park but we also get a lot who find something left and we help pull them home. That’s the spirit of the marathon and why we love our job so much!
Learn more about the NYRR Pace Team Presented by Biofreeze.