Pacing an event again and loving it


Carlos Candelaria at NCRCR Classic with 2:10 pacer groupI got crazy again, couple weeks ago got an email from the race coordinator looking for a few pacers for the NCRC Classic Umstead Half Marathon. I had so much fun pacing the Tobacco Road event that I want it to perhaps, volunteer and help again runners achieve their targets. I replied with the few time options that I comfortably able to run since Umstead Park is a compilation of never-ending hills and I got in for the 2:10 pacer group. (That is around 9:56 minutes per mile pace)



In the morning the usual breakfast. I arrived early to meet with the others pacer and Genno who was going to pace the 2:10 group with me. Although it was a little bit warm and humid it felt great. This past week it was the first time in over a year that I have taken rest days and my legs were feeling great. Also new for this event I was using the insulin pump new mode. SmartGuard mode that allows the pump to automatically adjust basal delivery based on the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS), but even better than that, is that I can set a target goal of 150 mg/dL for the duration I am doing exercise or in an event. Which is very close to what I used to try to get without the new feature, a target of 170 at the start. That meant I have to worry less during my run and concentrate on other things. I still have to check but it will better manage my glucose levels. 

Carlos Candelaria at NCRCR Classic with 2:10 pacer groupMile 1-3: The 1st few miles were very uneventful. Umstead is very hilly, so we formulated a plan to run a little bit ahead of pace during the short flat portions and downhills. There are 4 very challenging hills in this event. The last one of them in the last quarter mile, so we want it to conserve some energy and time to easily tackle those hill.

Miles 4-6: We ended up with a small group of runners by this time. We ended up chatting a lot about running, Ultrarunning and life. We were running according to the plan. I was grabbing some water and Gatorade at the stations. The one-mile hill was no problem for us and the two runners with us. I was able to see many of my friends that were running ahead of us as we got closer to the turnaround.

Miles 7-10: On the way back we continued ticking off the miles. Feeling great, the SmartGuard mode is doing a fantastic job in keeping my sugars stable. The two hills in this section were ok, we slowed down a bit to tackle them like we planned. The second one took a little bit of effort for me. Genno is an Ultra Marathon runner, and she knows how to tackle the hills with ease.

Miles 11-13.1: At this time two miles were downhill with the exception of a nice hard hill just before the finish line. We banked some time in preparation and tackle the hill with a good effort. It was already warm and I looked like just came out of the shower. It was great to help two runners that needed one last push for them to break the 2:10 mark. I am very happy to see that by the time I stopped my watch it was exactly 2:10. It was amazing.

Carlos Candelaria at NCRCR Classic Half at UmsteadOnce again I had a blast pacing an event and so happy that we were able to lead runners to meet or beat their targets even with the kind of weather and challenging course.

[vtftable cols=”{0}0-4:c9daf8;{/}”] {f1}Month/Year;;;{f1}Event;;;{f1}Location;;;{f1}Type;;;{f1}Time;nn;
May-18;;;NCRC Classic Umstead Half;;;NC;;;Half;;;2:10:00;nn;

[vtftable cols=”{0}0:c9daf8;{/}”] Event Highlights ; Learning Points;nn;


Course: Ample road at the start, narrowing a bit at the entrance of the trail. Very hilly event, with at least 4 challenging hills.

Venue: At finish, excellent food, plenty to drink and snacks.

Expo: No Expo.

Weather: Overcast skies, great 70º-74º with just 99% humidity.

T1D: Sugars were good at the start, trying SmartGuard mode and it worked perfectly.

Fueling: Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal and Latte. A banana about half hour before start.

Race: Water and Gatorade at the water station. One Gel around mile 10.

Post: Orange and water.

Learning Points:

  • Running n warm weather can make it challenging even at a slow pace.
  • Pacing an event is a lot of fun.