Meet Clive: your 4:45 pacer

Name: Clive

Age: 56

Numbers of marathons run: 51

Number of marathons paced: this will be my marathon pacer debut! I have however paced two half marathons as a 2:00 pacer one of which was Manchester in 2022.

When did you decide to become a marathon pacer and what prompted you to take on this important role?

It has been over the last 18 months where I had set myself a goal of running 12 marathons in 12 months, although that has escalated now! During this time, I got with a group of now friends that have paced before, and I ran with an experienced pacer at Milton Keynes. It was an eye opener to how much work goes into pacing: it’s not as easy as it looks! Getting into event pacing has given me so much: from health; fitness; visiting some great places; and to meeting some amazing people, pacing is a great way of giving back and helping others reach their running goals.

How do you prepare for marathon pacing? For example, do you have to train as the other participants do?

I run marathons regularly now – basically every other week it seems – so I am more or less marathon fit all the time. I only stray into a training plan if I am planning on going for a slightly quicker time. I do however, regularly practice the pace I would need to do on the day. As it is a slower pace than my natural stride would like, I do take great care not to go too quick on the day.

What are some of the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ you have experienced in the role?

The highs have to be the great people you run with and the random thank you comments at the end of the race from some people you didn’t realise you were even helping around! Honestly, for the lows, I can’t think of any. It’s running and helping others, so what’s not to like?

Have you met any interesting people along the way?

So many, too many to mention in fact. Everyone seems to have an inspirational story on why they run. It’s a great community to be involved with.

Do you feel any pressure being a pacer? If so, how do you manage that?

I wouldn’t call it pressure but I do feel responsible for the people on the ‘bus’ as I call it. I just want them to have a worry-free experience and to continually keep them calm and in control.

For those who have run over 10 marathons: how do you take care of your body, so that you are fit to run so many marathons?

In my earlier running career I tended to ‘race’ and put my body under pressure and get numerous injuries. Now, having left ‘competitive me’ behind, I just run at a comfortable pace with no pressure involved and I just seem to be staying fit and healthy with no post-race problems. An occasional sports massage helps though!

What is one piece of advice you have for someone who’s marathon target time is the one you are pacing in Manchester?

Enjoy it. Let the pacer do all the thinking and you just enjoy the experience of becoming a legend.

What’s the best way to celebrate after a marathon?

For me, a warm bath and a cold beer!