Monday, 10 October 2016

My Experience as a Pace Bunny

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!!!

As we receive the remnants of Hurricane Matthew, I thought it was a perfect time to cozy up to the laptop and catch up on some blogging!  I sure do love the sound of a good rain storm!!

Last weekend, I had the awesome pleasure of being a pace bunny for an all women's run here in the city.  We have an organization here called White Rabbit Pacing that organizes pace bunnies for any races that wish to have them.  Even though many of my friends have paced with this group before, I have not had the chance.  And I almost didn't this time.  I'm dealing with some right shin/tibia issues right now that causes a lot of pain when running.  An x-ray has been done with no stress fracture found, so up next is a bone scan.  In the mean time, I taped up my leg...and stepped up to pace!!!
I chose to pace the 30 minute 5k in this of stipulations of pacing is that you need to have run the distance at least 3 minutes quicker than your pace time...on a consistent basis.  This allows you to chat with the group that follows you and keep them motivated. 
Do you remember my half marathon speeding ticket back in July? just happens that this was the week that I lost my license...ya...really convenient.  Thankfully my friend Jill stepped up and offered to get up at dark o'clock and drive me to the run! 
The many other pace bunnies for the 5k and quarter and half marathon!
The quarter and half marathon runners went out first, leaving us 5kers.  I lined up near the start with my sign waving overhead.  The other pace bunnies were able to drop their signs at the first water stop, us 5k pace bunnies carried them the entire time.  I quickly reminded everyone around me to double knot their sneakers and to have fun! 
Rain had started to fall and I knew it was going to be a wet one!  As you can tell, the race director LOVES purple and it's always fun to see the tutu's and sea of purple running the roads.  We were off right on time with closed roads and fantastic volunteers!
I am not looking for superman....
Being a first time pace bunny, numerous thoughts went through my head.  One of the first thoughts, as witnessed by this photo, was "Wait....can they see my sign?  Is it facing the right way?"  I thought 30 minutes would be a popular time for followers, but almost from the start, there was no one around me.  That lead to my second thought, "Am I doing the correct pace?"  which then lead to the continuous looking at my garmin..."Nope....5 seconds to fast...nope....5 seconds to slow...oh lord...this is harder than I thought."  LOL  Oh the thoughts.
The course was a flat 2 loop course. On the first loop, a group of cheerleaders kept saying...only 1 more km to go.  I was like 'Huh?' are wrong....3 more km to  As I made the turn around point, I was alone with no followers but another thing about being a pace never change your goal time.  This was actually perfect for me, because it forced me to run at an easy'ish pace.

This is my "no one loves me' face
I am happy to report that I finished the race in 29.50 staying on goal for a 30 minute finish.  I would later learn that people were using me to pace their own race...keeping me either behind them or just in sight.  Just goes to show you that even though you may not have direct followers, you could be helping someone reach their goal!  I loved my experience, and will totally do it again.  Oh....I also learnt that wearing bunny ears and carrying a sign gets you in a LOT of photos.  LOL
If you love running, and seeing people reach their goals...I highly recommend being a pace bunny for a race in your area!!


  1. Loved this story..thanks for sharing.I have wanted to be a pace bunny since I learned about them a year into running. Started in 2014...and yesterday my pace bunny was my friend Susan for my first half!Did it under 2:30 (Susans pace time)..2:28 to be exact.. thanks to her encouraging me to "beat " her to the finish line...I am definately going to be a pace bunny...stain thanks for this insider account.

    1. I'm so glad you had Susan for the run....awesome job on your first half!!! It's so much fun to learn about the runners that follow really become part of the experience!

  2. I think it's so nice that you paced this race!! If I'd been in the race, I would've kept an eye on you to time myself, too, even if I wasn't WITH you. I think 30 minutes is a big goal for lots of runners so it's an important time to pace!

  3. Great job getting your runners in on time! I always get stressed out pacing because I'm so worried I am going to make people run too fast or too slow.