THOUSANDS of runners are nervously limbering up for the London Marathon today.
Each year a group of pacers run among the crowd, but what are they and how can you become one? Here’s the lowdown…
What is a pacer?
A pacer is an experienced runner who takes part in long races to help other runners, and sticks to a certain speed throughout.
Pacers do this to allow other racers, who aim to complete the race within a certain time, to know just how fast they are going.
Why are they running the marathon?
Often pacers will form a cluster of people who want to finish the race in say three hours, and will motivate them to stick to the speed they need to go at.
People often fail to anticipate how long they’ll be running for, and how much stamina is needed.
Sticking to a pacer’s speed helps eliminate the problem of over-stretching yourself accidentally, and having all run perhaps 10 or more marathons each, they are very reliable aides.
How can I become one?
There are several ways to become a marathon pacer.
The most popular way is to contact a pacing group that has signed up to run in the race you are interested in.
Simply head on over to the London Marathon‘s website, where information about you can see some info about The Runner’s World x New Balance Pace Team.
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When is the London Marathon 2019?
The Virgin Money London Marathon is TODAY, Sunday April 28.
Organisers say that about 42,000 runners are taking part in the “legendary 26.2mile challenge”.
They include “both the very best marathon runners in the world and thousands of first-timers who have been inspired to get active and raise money for charity.”
Andy Murray, 31, the official starter of the event, said: “It’s an honour to be asked to start the London Marathon.
“It’s such an amazing race that means so much to so many people. It raises millions each year for charity and helps inspire people to get active.
“I have nothing but admiration for everyone who runs – I may even run it myself one day.”
Murray, who is currently rehabilitating after surgery on his right hip, has a personal connection with the event as he was there to support his wife Kim when she ran in 2014.