Meet Nick: your 5:15 pacer
Number of marathons completed: 380
Number of marathons paced: 9
When did you decide to become a marathon pacer and what prompted you to take on this important role?
My first time pacing was the Chester marathon in 2014. I wanted to help other runners achieve their goals and to make it as enjoyable and inclusive as possible. I have paced the Manchester marathon three times and have always been ‘on time’.
How do you prepare for marathon pacing? For example, do you have to train as the other participants do?
I prepare by running other marathons. As I regularly run marathons, I use these events as a way to get my pacing finally tuned.
What are some of the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ you have experienced in the role?
I’ve been quite lucky as I’ve not had many lows at all. Every time I pace I always feel a sense of achievement in helping runners achieve personal bests or just helping them on the way round. One of the most memorable highs was helping a lady to a 25 minute PB. She finished a few moments behind us but found me after to give me a hug and say thank you.
Have you met any interesting people along the way?
For sure – I have spoken to and ran with a lot of interesting people over my time of marathon running. There was one gentleman that sticks to mind who has paced over 60 marathons all over the world. He had some great stories and we have stayed close friends ever since.
Do you feel any pressure being a pacer? If so, how do you manage that?
I think we all feel pressure before running a marathon – it’s a huge physical and mental challenge regardless of our speed. Being a pacer is hard but once you get chatting to people the pressure seems to go and the enjoyment of ticking off each mile takes over.
How do you take care of your body, so that you are fit to run so many marathons?
I truly believe your body gets used to running marathons. I’ve run so many now and whilst you always get niggles, I find its best to listen to your body and stretch.
What is your one piece of advice for someone who’s marathon target time is the one you are pacing in Manchester?
My one piece of advice is enjoy it and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. No matter your overall time or where you finish, you get the same medal and T-shirt irrespective, so enjoying it is a key factor.
What is your experience of the Manchester Marathon specifically?
Manchester marathon is up there with the best in the country! The course is brilliant, you feel the support of the city every step of the way, and the feeling of camaraderie is almost overwhelming.
When the hard work is over, what’s the best way to celebrate after a marathon?
I like to celebrate by having a few pints of bitter in the Harp pub my local in Albrighton.