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.
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.
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!