The sub 4 hour marathon is a huge milestone in marathon running. It’s a target time that many runners aim to achieve. It is this reasons that draws me to pace the sub 4 hour marathon, because I want to be able to help many people achieve their goal. During 2019 I have had the privilege of pacing 10 marathons, 4 of which have been world marathon majors. So I have ran with thousands of runners, all aiming for the same goal, and it has been a wonderful and emotional journey.
Some of the best moments come from pacing the world marathon majors. I love to be around a lot of runners, supporting one another to get our target time. The world marathon majors are some of the biggest in the world, attracting the most people, so these are absolute highlights for me.
I would love to run all the 6 world marathon majors, but I don’t want to just run them, I want to pace them all. Each and every run is unique, the course, the organisation, the atmosphere, and each and every individual person running makes every moment special. I have now ran 4 different majors, and a total of 15 world marathon major events. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve ran an event, those around me make it a totally different experience, which is special and memorable.
London Marathon is my absolute favourite event and I want to continue running and pacing London every single year until my body is no longer capable. I have ran London 8 times, 6 times as an official pacer. The expo is amazing, and on race day the atmosphere and spectators are unrivalled in my opinion. Maybe I have a soft spot for London, but I Love it.
I have ran Berlin Marathon 4 times, 3 times as an official pacer. This event is huge and really busy. It feels like the biggest and busiest of the majors I’ve done so far. The city is full of history, and it is a fantastic finish area and atmosphere.
I have now ran and paced Chicago Marathon 2 times. Most people I speak to say New York is their favourite marathon. There really is not much in it between Chicago and New York, but personally Chicago is my preferred. The atmosphere and the views around the city is amazing. I love Chicago and the crowds are intense. Great village at the end of the run to enjoy a few beers.
New York Marathon
I ran New York Marathon for the first time this year. An event I’ve been wanting to do for 5 years and one that didn’t disappoint. New York is just the best city to walk around, there is so much to see and do. On race day the crowds fill New York and each borough offers great support and motivation. I took my bite of the Big Apple and loved it.
Sub 4 #funbus
It’s not all about the world marathon majors, and this year I have also taken part in 6 other fantastic events as a sub 4 hour pacer: Limassol, Manchester, Paris, Liverpool, Richmond and Amsterdam. Pacing marathons is far more than just getting the pace right, and I do everything possible to get people over that finish line in time.
You put the effort in your training, and get yourself into the position that you are ready to run a marathon. Like I say in my blog “So you want to run a marathon“, a big part of the race is the confidence that you can achieve. You need confidence in your training, and I love the social media community for this reason. There is so much support for people on their journey, and I love to help support and encourage people during their training.
When it comes to race day, my job is to run just under 4 hours, as consistently as possible. But the real difference comes with the confidence I try to instill in people running with me. It starts with the race brief, talking about pacing strategy, and getting to know everyone. Then during the event reassuring everyone with our times, and giving a bit of motivation. Later in the event it’s so rewarding to see people pick up the pace after a few encouraging words and a tap on the back.
After the event I love nothing more than a great big hug, and to hear everyone’s stories. The emotion at the finish, the joy and happiness is so evident. And then we go again, moving on, but forever sharing the memory of the sub 4 hour marathon.