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Pace Teams

Welcome to the Pace Team webpage. As a benefit to the marathon and half marathon runners in the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend, the Pace Team will be there for you. We will be offering pace groups led by experienced pacers for a wide variety of times. We hope you will find this support useful as you strive to achieve your marathon and half marathon goals.

Pace Groups

Comments about the Pacers (PDF)

A pace team is a group of runners led by an experienced leader who run together in the marathon and half marathon. The pace leader runs a steady pace and keeps track of that pace so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing the race at a particular time. There are wonderful benefits of running with a pace group. You’ll be supported by a cheerful leader and will be side by side with other runners sharing the same goal as you.

One of the biggest mistakes that runners make is starting out too fast and then hitting the wall in the later portions of the race. The pace team will run at an even pace per mile. If the pace feels too slow in the beginning of the race, that’s normal. Just stay with the group and ask the pace leader about an appropriate strategy for the second half. If you find the pace too fast in the early miles, then slow down and drop back from the team so you’ll be able to finish the race.

The Pace Team promises to provide fun and excitement for both first time, and experienced runners looking to reach their running goals — whether that’s a personal best, a Boston BQ, or just getting across the finish line. Below are the answers to a few common questions about the Pace Team.

FAQ About The Pace Team

All of our Pacers were chosen because of their years of running many marathons and half marathons around the country but most importantly their extensive pacing experience. Our Pacers are dynamic and personable, and know from past experience exactly what it takes to help you have a great marathon or half marathon experience.

The best way to select the proper pace group is to consult the Race Prediction charts at There you can base your desired finish time on a previous shorter race you’ve completed this season. It’s very important not to start out too fast in the half marathon and to select the proper pace based on your actual previous performance.

The Pace Team is free to registered runners and doesn’t cost you anything!

Every pace leader will be holding a steady pace throughout the marathon or half marathon. These “even splits” are the best way to achieve your peak performance in the race.

The guys and gals serving as Pace Leaders are very experienced and know their pace well. Sometimes at the start it’s crowded and may take a couple of miles to settle into a steady pace. Most importantly, they won’t take you out too fast and burn up all your energy early on.

About 30 minutes before the start we’ll be assembling in the starting area. Each Pacer will be holding up their pace sign so when you see it go and join up with the group. About 15 minutes before the start the Pacer will give you some last-minute instructions about running with the group. They will talk about the course, what to do if you need a break, and how to make it through the water stops. We will be wearing our bright Pace Team uniforms. Now is the time to ask any last-minute questions you may have.

The Pacer will usually slow down or walk through the water stops. Listen for this information during the last minute instructions.

You can use the Pace Leader as a guide even if you’re using the run-walk method. You will be meeting up with the Pace Leader regularly throughout the marathon, running ahead and then walking behind.

No you don’t. However, if you feel great at the start of the race that’s normal and you should stay with the group through the halfway point. Then you can consult with the group leader on an appropriate strategy for the second half of the race. If you’re not having a great day then slow down, take some walking breaks and work your way to the finish line. If you’re trying to hit a PR, the best advice we can give you is to stick next to your pace leader for the whole race.

Yes. Each pace group will have one leader and they will run the entire race. You won’t be abandoned or handed off to a newcomer in the middle of the race. We’ll stick with you from start to finish.

Stay on your feet, walk around for 15-30 minutes, and eat and drink to replenish your exhausted body. When stopped at the airport metal detector, exclaim, “Oh that must be my marathon medal.” After you’re back home, sit down and email your race story to me at Begin planning for your next marathon or half marathon. Wear your medal to bed.