The Perkins Great Eastern Run is organised by runners for runners and on our flat and fast course we want you to have the best possible chance to achieve your target time.
With this in mind and as we continue to try to grow the event into the best race we can make it, we have introduced pacers to help you achieve that new personal best time.
If case you've not taken part in a race before where pacers have been provided we've produced the following responses to frequently asked questions, which we hope will cover any enquiries you might have
Who are the pacers?
The pacers are all experienced runners from local running clubs and most importantly they have all run the times they are pacing comfortably in half marathons in the last 12 months. They like to talk about running to, so whether it's before the race or during it, have a chat with them, they are a friendly bunch and it will certainly help the miles pass by.
How do I know what pace is best for me?
Those of you who have entered races before will be able to work out your likely pace; whilst those of you attempting your first half marathon should pay careful attention to the times you have run in training for the big day, particularly your longest runs, to calculate your likely half marathon time.
However for the novice runner the best advice is start conservatively, don't start to fast, if you do then you will pay the price in the last three miles. Running at an even pace for the full distance is always the best way of covering the half marathon distance.
Finally line up in the start area in your correct time zone, don't worry about the runners in front of you, the chip timing will ensure that your time only starts when you cross the mat on the start line, not when the gun goes!
Where will I find the pacers on race morning?
The race announcer will be giving regular updates on where to meet the pacers. They will be very distinctive though, with their pace time in big numbers displayed on flags attached to their back packs. As it gets close to race start they will move into their respective time pens, so don't worry, you'll find them.
Do I need to register in advance?
No, just enter the race itself in the normal way and have your race number and chip properly worn on the day, then just turn up on race morning and join the pacer and group of your choice.
Is there an additional cost to joining a pacer group?
Absolutely not, we just want you to have the best chance of achieving the target you've set yourself.
Can I switch pacer groups?
Of course! But remember the different pacer groups are aiming for times 10 minutes apart, so even if you are feeling really good, to catch the group ahead will take some serious effort, but if you are finding the pace a bit harder than you expected then you are welcome to slow down and wait for the group behind to catch you up. We just want to see you safely back on The Embankment at the finish.
Will the pacers run at an even pace?
They will, but its worth remembering that at the start it can be quite congested, so if the first mile is slightly behind plan then they will slowly pull it back over the next few miles, rather than trying to retrieve it all in the second mile. By running as close to even pace as possible we can help the most runners achieve their target.
Will the slower groups take walking breaks?
The pacers plan is to run evenly at their target pace, rather than run/walking for the slower times, but there is nothing to stop you choosing to have short walks and then start to run again if you wish. Hopefully you will keep the pacers in sight and then keep returning to the group.
Will we walk through the drinks stations?
The pacers are likely to slow down as they approach the water stations, but certainly for the faster times the pacers will want to keep moving. It's worth practising drinking when running in training, so it becomes easy and straight forward. For the slower times though ask your pacer what they intend to do, particularly in the later stages.
Are the pacers running the full distance?
They certainly are, they want a medal just as much as you do!
Can we meet the pacers before race day?