The Oakland Running Festival is pleased to announce that GEICO will be returning as the official sponsor for the 2013 Oakland Marathon Pace Groups on 3/24/13. This will be the fourth year anniversary of Pace Groups at the Oakland Marathon! Last year, over 200 participants signed up for the Pace Groups.
The GEICO Pace Groups will help you not only achieve your goals, but have FUN, whether the goal is a personal record, Boston qualifier, or simply to cross the finish line! Our GEICO Pacers are extremely experienced runners, chosen based upon their previous running and/or pacing performances and know what it takes to hold a steady pace and give you a great marathon experience - dynamic and personable, and dedicated to making sure you have a great time on the course!
CLICK HERE TO MEET THE PACERS:
Important Highlights about GEICO Pace Groups:
- Participation is free to all participants who sign up at the pre-race expo booth on 3/23/13. Registration includes completing a release of liability waiver and in return you will be given a pace bib to wear on your back to help identify you to your pacers and group. In addition, you will be given a temporary pace band (while supplies last) to wear on your forearm which will alert you of your specific mile goals. THERE WILL BE NO MARATHON DAY SIGN UP FOR PACE GROUPS.
- We will have GEICO Pace Groups for the following marathon times: 3:10, 3:20, 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, and 5:00.
- Unfortunately, we will not have GEICO Pace Groups for the Half Marathon
- The goal is that GEICO Pacers will be running "even splits," which means that every mile will be run at approximately the same pace. Exceptions to this will be in the beginning due to the bottleneck at the start and on the miles which may be slightly hilly. Most of the GEICO Pace Groups will not be walking during the marathon. (Traditionally, the pace groups from 4:00 and slower will be walking during fluid stations and specifically the 4:45 pace group will have pacers who run the marathon and pacers who do a run-walk modified version of the marathon for that pace.)
- To meet up with the GEICO Pace Groups on marathon day, look for them at the start, holding up large signs with the pace group finishing times printed on them, and wearing GEICO Pace Group shirts. Try to meet up with your group twenty minutes before the start (7:10 a.m.).
- Five or ten minutes before the start, your GEICO Pacers will give their "final instructions". This will include any adjustments being made to the pace due to course conditions, as well as your GEICO Pacers’ method of meeting back up and keeping the group together at the fluid stations. This is another great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have!
- Fluid station philosophy, regarding whether the GEICO Pace Group will walk or run through it, is up to the Pacer(s). Each GEICO Pace Group will let their team know their strategy for getting back together after a water stop. Traditionally, the pace groups from 4:00 and slower will be walking during fluid stations. Be sure to check with your GEICO Pacer at the expo booth or prior to the race if this is extremely important to you.
- We want you to run your own race. If you feel great on race day, and you want to go ahead to catch the next team, we'll cheer you on. If it's just not your day, slow down and wait for the next Pace Group behind to catch you. And if you want to just fall in and match strides with your GEICO Pacer, we sure will appreciate the company!
- If you have any questions, please feel free to post them on the ORF Facebook page. This will allow others to share the questions and answers. Or you may e-mail the Pace Group Organizer at email@example.com.
MEET THE PACERS
Bernardo Tapia (3:10): Completed numerous marathons, Including several back to back marathon challenges. Last year he was 8th overall in the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge with a total combined time of 5:59:18. He has a marathon PR of 2:57:52, set in 2012 at the Boston Marathon in record heat. He works as Assistant Fitness Manager and a Running Coach at Stanford University. This year he will be racing at the LA Marathon on March 17th before pacing for the Oakland Running Festival on the 24th. He brings with him plenty of pacing experience having paced 5 half marathons and 2 marathons.
Ron Duncan (3:20): Ron loves to run anytime, anywhere and any distance, but the marathon is his favorite race. He has run 40 marathons and 16 ultras (50K to 100K+). He has a PR of 2:54 and has run a dozen sub-3:00, including his most recent 3 weeks ago in Napa (2:57). When he’s not in search of that elusive “perfect race”, Ron enjoys talking running, technology and college hoops.
Laura Kightlinger (3:30): Laura has been running for eight years and has completed several marathons and many half marathons. She leads the 8:00 pace group in the San Francisco Road Runners Club and is using this year's Oakland Marathon as her final training run before Boston 2013. In addition to running, Laura loves food (thank goodness for all of the miles logged!), travel, and the outdoors.
Sarah Lavender Smith (3:40): Sarah Lavender Smith has run over 50 marathons and ultramarathons since she started running in 1994. She set her marathon PR of 3:05 in 2009, and she has run the Oakland Marathon twice: in 2011 in 3:26 and in 2012 in 3:17. Recently, Sarah was a top finisher in the 167-mile, seven-day, self-supported Grand to Grand Ultra desert race. She blogs about trail running and travel at TheRunnersTrip.com.
Roni Kornitz (3:50): This Oakland Marathon will be his 60th marathon, in addition to 5 50Ks. Marathon PR is 3:33:48, set in CIM 2008. Ran 10 marathons and 2 50Ks in 2012. Started pacing in SF Marathon in 2009. Paced 12 marathons (and 2 halves), including all Oakland Marathons, in different paces between 3:50 and 5:30. Works with SanDisk in the Customer Quality team. Additional hobbies: SCUBA diving and motorcycle riding.
Jonathan Zingman (4:00): I have finished over a dozen marathons and have paced in almost half of them. I've run Boston and New York, but my favorite marathon goes almost past my house. I've paced all of the modern Oakland Marathons, and as an Oaklander of over 25 years, I know many of the neighborhoods and can give a running (pardon the pun) tour of city. I run one of the official training programs for the ORF and a RRCA certified coach. I get a lot of pleasure out of helping first-time and not-so-first-time marathoners achieve their goal of finishing a marathon in my home town.
Rajeev Patel (4:15): I have run 42 marathons (10 as a pacer) in addition to 19 x 50Ks, 13 x 50Ms, 3 x 100Ks and 15 100-mile or longer races (includes 3 x 145-mile Grand Union Canal Race in the UK). I took up running after quitting smoking in 1991 and ran my first marathon in April, 1997 and my first ultra in May, 2005. My workplace persona is a Performance Engineer.
Keith Blom (4:30): My first marathon was the 1973 Baltimore Marathon, which I ran bandit and untrained, finishing in 3:05. My second and last marathon was the 2001 Napa Valley Marathon, which I ran trained but with a pulled hamstring, finishing in 3:45. However, six months prior to the Baltimore Marathon, I ran the John F. Kennedy 50-Mile Hike/Run. This 9 hour, 14 minute, and 57 second ordeal left me with no interest in running another ultra marathon until 2003 when I was inspired by my wife to run the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run. This time I was hooked. Since then, I’ve run countless 50k and 50-Mile races, and finished 18 100-Mile races.
Janette Stitchlover (4:45): Janette has been running marathons for the past 8 years. She has completed over 40 half/marathons, triathlons, and ultramarathons. She enjoys pacing her groups using the Galloway Method with a 5min/1min interval. If this is your first marathon or 50th, if you want a PARTY pace leader, Janette's your pacer. :)
Mary Beth Kierstead (5:00): Mary Beth has been running marathons since 1996 and has completed too many to count. She is an experienced pacer and is very excited about pacing the Oakland Marathon for the second year in a row. She is an Oakland resident and this is her favorite marathon.