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    TORW: the leader of the pack

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    A past TORW pacing team

    This year will be Mark Wigmore’s fifth time organizing the Ottawa Race Weekend pacing team. With 58 pacers in the 10K, half-marathon and marathon, it is one of Canada’s largest pacing teams.

    A past TORW pacing team
    A past TORW pacing team

    How many times have you run at ORW?
    I ran my first Ottawa Marathon in 1982, and ran again in 1984.  I took a break from running for 20 years and then restarted in 2004.  I ran Ottawa in 2005.  I have paced or raced every Ottawa marathon since.

    What’s the best part about being head-bunny?
    I start recruiting in December.  The best part is knowing I have a great team of pacers that will deliver for the runners.

    What’s the biggest challenge?
    Keeping track of all the interest in being a pacer, and sometimes having to say no because I have too many.  Not a bad problem to have.

    As a pacer, what’s your favourite distance to pace?
    I love the marathon.  Keeping the right pace is so fundamental to the success of the runners; you can really feel the race with the runners especially in the last 10k.

    What’s the best part about being a pacer?
    The finishing stretch because I know what a joy the runners are experiencing and I feel like I get to borrow their experience a bit.

    Any anecdotes?
    The first time I paced, I ran by Jean Chretien who had just retired as PM and was out cheering the runners.  I looped back to shake his hand.

    Another time, my Garmin quit 15k into the race.  I kept asking people running with me for the time and I still came 40 seconds under my target time.

    Check out this article for some tips on being a 24- carrot pace bunny!