- Pacemakers, they are pacemakers, appeared in the 60s of the twentieth century. They performed the function of "accelerating mechanism" and accompanied only professional athletes. Previously, professional athletes agreed among themselves on who will lead whom at a distance. For example, back in the seventies, athletes ran in groups, leading someone along the distance. Two or three team members accompanied the strongest runner.
This technique has been preserved to this day. Two years ago, Eliud Kipchoge tried to set a record and run out of a two-hour marathon as part of the Break88ng2 project. In the end, he ran in 2 hours and 25 seconds. Every 30 minutes he had three pacemakers changing. They stood in front of him with a wedge, kept pace and blocked Kipchoge from the wind.
Pacemakers at amateur starts began to appear at the beginning of the zero. I first saw their work ten years ago when I ran my first marathon in Zurich. Behind a few guys a large crowd joined. Only then I realized that they were pacemakers. Runners who maintain a stable pace over the entire distance do not accelerate or slow down and lead people to the finish line in the time that is written on their flags.
This year, 30 pace makers will compete in the Moscow marathon. Of these, 20 are experienced paisers and 10 are personnel reserve. Groups will run with a difference of 15 minutes. The fastest - for 2 hours 59 minutes for those who want to run out of three hours. Then at 3:14, 3:29, 3:44, 3:59, 4:14, 4:29, 4:44 and 4:59.
The most responsible groups are at 2:59 and 3:59. About three thousand people are planning to run out of four hours, so three pacers will leave at 2:59, and four at 3:59.
Pacemakers always run in pairs or a few people in case of some kind of malfunction - an injury or feeling unwell of one of the pacers. One insures the other and checks its pace. Paceurs cannot deviate from the chart for more than four seconds.
At the fastest leaders who go for prize results, pacers will change every ten kilometers.
The ability to maintain a steady pace is gained by daily training and experience. Even in ultra-modern gadgets and watches, crashes happen. Paceurs have muscle memory and self-control. If everything turns off, I can still move at a given pace.
In Moscow races there are often problems with GPS in the Kremlin area. But, holding on to the pace, you will not lose pace.
The organizers of the sporting events have not yet figured out how to select the pavers for their starts. Some invite friends and acquaintances, which sometimes becomes a mistake. Only an experienced runner with very good physical preparation can become a pacemaker.
He knows how to run at a steady pace, without jerking, long distances and well believes, is guided by the numbers of sensors on the clock, kilometer marks. Important: any pacer must be sociable, because it communicates with running people.
Anyone who wants to become a pacemaker at the Moscow marathon at a distance of 42 km must have at least three marathons behind him at a very even pace. When submitting an application, it is necessary to show data from your watch at a pace for every kilometer. What matters to us is not the finish time, but a stable speed.
Those who pass the selection fall into the personnel reserve and undergo training. Pacemakers are always perceived as part of the organizing team, so we tell you all the nuances of working in large races. Pacers should not be mistaken so as not to let the marathon participants down.
Today, pace makers on the run are a good sign. Their presence indicates the professionalism of the organizers and that the race is decent.
Most Moscow races have pacemakers. They ran these competitions many times, familiar with the route, ascents, descents. They are ready for unexpected situations at a distance - GPS navigation failure, rain, wind, and are ready to help those they lead.
I have been working as a pacer for races for the sixth season. At the Moscow marathon I will run for the finish time 4 hours 14 minutes, at a pace of 6:01 min / km.
My task is to get as many people as possible to the finish line at a steady pace. Each pacer runs for a time that it can easily overcome. For example, my personal best is 45 minutes faster than the time I take runners this year. I do not give all my best, but just run and talk with people, supporting them.
A pace run is a constant dialogue with runners.
You have no idea what is going on at a distance! We joke that pacers are the rescuers of Malibu. We unload the head to those who are too focused on the task of running away. The first part of the distance we tell people how many have already run, how the terrain will change, where there are food points and toilets. We monitor the condition of the athletes and in an emergency we contact the organizers. After 21 kilometers, the most difficult part of the marathon begins, here we act as psychologists.
We support, encourage, share food, distract the most tired.
Photo: Vladimir Voloshin archive
The main mistake of the runners is a too quick start, because of which forces are barely enough to finish. I always advise friends and subscribers to evaluate their strength sensibly, choose a pacemaker for their time and follow it. During the marathon, runners run more than 42 kilometers 195 meters. This is the shortest distance trajectory (usually marked with a blue line on the pavement.
- Ed. ), but few people run along it. Running up on wide sections of the track, running to food points and to the toilet, runners gain extra kilometers to a kilometer.
Pacemakers never go to food outlets to run the exact distance. Therefore, I always warn the runners so that they do not linger too much at the food outlets - otherwise they will have to catch up.
The first tables with water are usually stampeded, and if you run to the far tables, you can safely take food and drink and not lose time in the crowd.
After the Moscow marathon, I will be a pacer on the “half” in Tbilisi on September 29 for 1 hour 59 minutes, then on October 6 - a half marathon in Kazan for 1 : 59, October 13 - marathon in Munich at 3:59, November 3 - half marathon in Sochi at 1:59. Working with a pacer allows you to hone your own skills, so that personal starts are more stable in pace.