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Jan 11 / Jane

Princeton Half Marathon 2014

A couple weeks before this race, I decided I really wanted to run it. So I volunteered to pace the 2:15 finish time. Together with my friend, Keri, we committed to a 10:18 pace for the Princeton half marathon. I was excited to be part of  the pacing team, but a little disappointed when I found out we would not actually be timed.

We lined up with minutes to spare, and started out too fast. I had all intentions of printing a pacing band to wear and go by the elapsed time, but for the first half of the race, we just averaged Keri’s Garmin (had us going too slow) and my Nike (had us going too fast). There wasn’t really anyone in our group, everyone just wanted to finish faster than 2:15. Which is great: go, run, don’t let us beat you!

The course was beautiful, we started by the Library and ran to the Battlefield. So a little trail action before heading back towards the University. Then up a big hill on Washington… At mile 6, I started calculating based on elapsed time. We were way to fast. We slowed it down, chatted and skipped. We cheered the runners around us, the spectators out to watch us; and enjoyed the gloomy day. The final mile we really slowed it down… We finished just under 2:14, which isn’t terrible considering our fast start. And while I feel a little guilty now being “that pacer” who went too fast, no one around us was vocal about a 2:15 finish, and everyone who stated they wanted to be faster than 2:15, was. So there’s that.

Yay 2:15 Pacers!

Yay 2:15 Pacers!

We caught up with the other pacers after the race and headed back to the new Princeton Pacers store for coffee and bagels. I ended up out to lunch at the Crepe place in Princeton (it’s fabulous!) with Keri, Anne, and Michele, and then back home for a nap. =)

I was really grateful for the opportunity to pace. I really enjoyed this race: the course and the people in it. It was well done and a lot of fun. I loved running with Keri, she was great company. I’m looking forward to pacing again someday. I feel this experience was definitely a learning one, and I know what I would do differently to keep my group on pace next time. Namely wear a pacing band and base it off elapsed time; I’m very consistent once I find my groove, I know I can nail it next time. But I also might want a little faster finish time… We’ll see how it works out!

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