The endurance community is awesome! At the LA Marathon this year, as in year's past, I have paced my faster runners who want to break 4 hours. We usually start off at a 8:30 pace which should get us a 3:42 finishing time. Some of hang on to that pace, a few feel "frisky" and we let them go after mile 15 for a faster finish, and a few slowly drop off the pace around mile 20 or 21. The rest of the team usually runs their own races which, for middle and high school students, usually means an uneven pace. This year, due to my nagging injury, I probably won't make it to the start of the LA Marathon which means my sub-4 group would be on their own. Thankful the endurance community is stepping up.
Within 10 minutes of my initial Tweet about my problem, good friend and fellow marathoner (I might add recent Ironman too) Chris Schauble said he would be willing to pace the 3:40 group. This is huge in 2 ways; first, I can rest assured they will be paced properly since Chris has run fairly even races and second it will keep him from running too hard and destroying HIS training for Ironman South Africa (the race is in April). Since I am his tri coach, I was worried about this along with my team.
Then he recruited another runner Danica (better known to most as @chicrunner or through her blog http://chicrunner.com/) to help pace the 4:15 or 4:20 group. This is HUGE since they never really had a true pace leader. She also reached out to a friend Billy Yang, to also help pace. Man these are great people choosing to run and help others reach their goals instead of just focusing on themselves.
I am very greatful to these people and what they are doing for my team. As a coach you are always worried about the team and how well they will proform, especailly with a race of this magnitude. Now I know that those 2 groups will do their best and I can just focus on the rest of the team.
Thank you all so much