This will be the fifth year anniversary of Pace Groups at the Oakland Marathon! Last year, over 200 participants signed up for the Pace Groups

The 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!


Important Highlights about Pace Groups:

  • Participation is free to all participants who sign up at the pre-race expo booth on 3/22/14. 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 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.
  • The goal is that 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 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 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 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 Pace Group will walk or run through it, is up to the Pacer(s). Each 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 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 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



Calvin Do caught the outdoor fitness craze 6 years ago and has mostly focused on shorter distances due to juggling passions at work in high-tech leadership and at home with his 3-crazzzy-kids that he shares with his mistress.  He has recent sub-1:20 HM, sub-36 10K, sub-17 5K and sub-5 mile times and is aiming to complete his first marathon this year.  Calvin has paced 1:30 and 1:35 HM distances numerous times in the past and is looking forward to helping you keep a steady effort throughout this hilly first-half course.

Ron Duncan loves to run anytime, anywhere and any distance, but the marathon is his favorite race.  He has run 43 marathons and 16 ultras.  He has a PR of 2:54 and has run a dozen sub-3:00.  Ron enjoyed leading the 3:20 pace group at the 2013 Oakland Marathon so much he's back for more.  When he’s not in search of that elusive “perfect race”, Ron enjoys talking running, technology and college hoops.

Tzach Segal has been running since his high school days. He has paced SF marathon and  the Morgan Hill marathon for the last 3 years. Tzach has participated in different long distance races and in the last 2 years has been focused on long distance triathlons. Tzach completed 2 ironman races in Coeur d'Alene and Arizona. Tzach is looking forward to running with you and helping you achieve your goals!

Ko Ihara has been a long-time runner, having competed in track and cross country in his teens, and slowly progressed to marathon and ultra-marathon distances in recent years. With over 10 marathons (including 3 Boston Marathon), 2 Ironman triathlons, and multiple shorter races under his belt, he is now looking forward to giving back to the running community as a first-time rookie pacer.

Ethan Veneklasen started running in 2002.  Eleven months later, he finished the Western States 100 Endurance Run, a 100-mile trail race from Squaw Valley to Auburn.  Since then, he has completed more than 40 ultramarathons ranging from the 28 mile Quadruple Dipsea to 100 mile mountain races.  In 2011, he ran his first road marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a time of 2:59:18 and in 2013 participated in the Boston and California International Marathons.  In 2014, he is pursuing a mixed schedule that includes road racing and several trail ultramarathons, including the Way Too Cool 50K, Miwok 100K and (hopefully) the Cascade Crest 100 Miler as well as another road marathon in the Fall.  When he’s racing on the roads, he competes for the powerhouse Asics Aggies Running Club.

Di Wu has been pacing the Oakland Marathon consecutively for 4 years since its inaugural event. He started running since middle school. After more than 40 marathons and a 2:58 PR. Now he is focusing on trail ultra. In 2014, he is going to compete in the Boston Marathon, Speedgoat 50K and Leadville Trail 100 for BURN Running Club.

Albert Pham is a Bay Area transplant originally from Portland, OR. He got started running in high school on the cross-country team and since then has run more than 10 marathons and a couple of ultras. He is very active in the running community, has been an avid pacer for other half and full marathons, and enjoys volunteering and community outreach. He has run the Oakland Running Festival Half and 5k in previous years, and this will be his first time pacing the Oakland Full. 

Roni Kornitz started running in 2002, and started pacing in 2009. Completed so far 70 Marathons (17 of them as a pacer), 58 Half Marathons (5 of them as a pace),and eight 50Ks. He ran 12 marathons in 2013, including Boston, Chicago, and New York. He is the captain of Runners Anonymous Relay team- running the Golden Gate Relay since 2005, Lake Tahoe Relay since 2009, and Lake Merced Xmas Relays since 2011, and a coach in Run365 Marathon Training program since 2011. Roni paced Oakland Marathon consecutively for 3 years since its inaugural event (missed 2013 due to injury).When not running - he is SCUBA diving and rides his motorcycle.

Gang (Tom) Qin started running marathon since 2011 and he has run more than 20 races and 5 of them as a pacer, His targets in 2014 are TNT 100M and qualified for NYCM. As a 145 lbs and 5’6 strong runner, he will be your pacer whoever wish to finish the full marathon within 3:40 in the Oakland Running Festival Half and 5k 2014. 

Linh Nguyen (Cupertino, CA from Melbourne, Australia): As a founding member of RunningAddicts group (2012 Oakland Marathon Run Club Challenge Winner as well as 2013 5K Club Winner), Linh has organized and paced many races in NorCal as well as international pacing in Melbourne, Australia, ranging from 3:35 to 4:25.  One of the most interesting pacing experience was the recent Melbourne Marathon (largest in Australia) where unlike in the US, pacers were asked to pace to Gun time, which proved challenging given the crowd and how far back his pace group was from the front.  He has raced and paced Oakland in prior years, and enjoys helping others stay active, achieve their training/race day goals, as well as giving back to the running community by organizing race volunteers. When not running, he enjoys triathlons and playing the guitar.

Tony Dunnigan

Jonathan Zingman has paced all of the Oakland Marathons and has led the official East Bay training group for ORF for 3 years.  He’s completed 16 marathons in total, including 6 pacing gigs and 2 Boston Marathons.  He has been an Oaklander for almost 30 years, so not only will you finish on time running with him, but you’ll get a local’s tour of the city as well.

Suzette Smith

Satpal Dalal started running long distances in 2008 & completed his first official marathon at CIM that year. Since then he has finished numerous races up to ultra distances including The-Relay, half marathons, marathons, 50K, 50Miler, 100K & 100Miler. His 2014 race schedule includes running American River 50Miler, Miwok100K, Razorback 125Miler & pacing at marathon events. He lives in Cupertino & runs in beautiful hills of Rancho San Antonio open space preserve. When not running, he spends time playing & hiking with his family.
Motto: Eat green, run & stay healthy.

Hanoch Raviv will return for the Oakland marathon for the fourth time as a pacer. Above picture is from the inauguration of the race in 2010 which was my first pacer assignment. Since then, other than Oakland marathon, I paced the following marathons San-Francisco, San Luis Obispo,, Mountain to the beach, Modesto, Morgan Hill. Other than marathons, I also compete in trail runs, mostly 50K, and Triathlons, When I am not running, I like to bike, hike and listen to books on tape, and software coding.

Beth C.started running about 25 years ago and considers it her “first love”. She sincerely enjoys introducing new runners to our sport and will run any time, any place, any weather, any pace. She is an official distance junkie and has enjoyed many races including the Greenland 50K in Colorado, too many half marathons to count, trail races and a variety of distances in triathlon. 

Ed Nanale is a proud Oakland resident and this will be his fifth consecutive year running the ORF Marathon.  This is definitely his favorite race and he has many wonderful memories from past races: great volunteers, families offering snacks from their front yard, running through the arch of fire, cheering crowds and the musicians along the way.  If you’re up early enough, you can catch him running around Lake Merritt before dawn.

Mary Beth Kierstead has been an addicted marathoner since she ran her first in 1997.  She is an experienced pacer with over twenty marathons under her belt.  She is a board member of Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders and Pace Group Leader for the Oakland Marathon training program.  This is her fourth year in a row pacing for the Oakland Marathon. 

Allegra Kim moved to Oakland as the inaugural (2010) Oakland Running Festival ran past her new home. Having previously fallen in love with marathon running, she knew she would be running it the next year. She ran the marathon the next 2 years, and then paced the 2013 marathon. Allegra is also in her second season as a pacer for the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders’ Oakland Marathon training program, and recently paced the Santa Rosa Marathon and the See Jane Run Half Marathon. She also runs many parts of the marathon course regularly and is looking forward to pacing runners to a strong finish while enjoying a tour of Oakland. 

Sarah Moxon loves Oakland.  She has been involved in the Oakland Marathon since its inception, 5 years ago.  She is a veteran pacer for the LMJS Oakland Marathon Training program.  She will make sure you meet your goal and have fun.  

Sara Kurth, a native of Minnesota, Sara has been running for almost 15 years- when she traded her formerly slug-like lifestyle to join her mother in running a marathon, the first of many.  Now she enjoys marathons, trail runs, hiking and anything else that will get her into the great outdoors.  

Theresa Woo, born and raised in Oakland, Theresa looks forward to sharing the Oakland sights in her 5th Oakland Marathon.  This will be her 31st marathon since 2009, and Oakland is her favorite marathon course.  She has set the goal of completing 12 marathons in 2014 with the Oakland Marathon being her third marathon so far this year.


Johnny Yau’s running career started long ago with a soccer ball and continued through his four-year stint with the UC Davis Men’s Soccer Team.  He recently hung up the cleats and dusted off his running shoes, and has since turned his attention to marathons and aspires to complete an Ironman Triathlon.

Adam Duran is from San Jose and has been running for almost 25yrs. He started running to practice for his Law Enforcement Academy. He has been running ever since, and has run 10 marathons and several half marathons also. He paced the Morgan Hill Full Marathon 2013 and has qualified for this years Boston Marathon. Adam began pacing because he enjoys helping others achieve their running goals.

SunDuk (Sunny) Kim started running with a jogger since 2009 after her first baby was born and fell in love with running. She ran Napa Valley Marathon with her 2nd pregnancy. She has ran 73 races  including 15 marathons and 25 half marathons. Sunny grew up in Boston and going to run Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon in 2014. Her goal is to to run more trails & ultras. This is Sunny first time pacing and very excited to guide fellow runners to finish strong! 

Will Hoang started to collect race shirts and medals since 2007.  Now with overstuffed drawers and no more wall space for hanging medals, he has decided to slow down his race schedule and help others meet their racing goals. Whether marathons, triathlons or ultras, there is nothing better than finishing your race goal and of course, adding another tech shirt and medal to your closet! This is his second time pacing and a return to ORF since the inaugural.

Danielle L.

Benjamin Ting has been an avid runner since high school. His favorite distance is the Half Marathon -- ½ the distance, twice the fun! Love to meet new runners, fast or slow! Ben has been a pacer for numerous races.

Ra Patel started running in 1991 after giving up smoking. My first marathon was run in 1997 and my first ultra in 2005. Since then I have run 40+ marathons and 50+ ultras (50Ks, 50Ms and 100Ks) including 13x100-mile and 4x145-miles races. “Running is Life. Everything else is just waiting”.

Janette Oca

Allan has paced 15 marathons and half marathons including the inaugural Oakland Marathon.  In addition he’s paced runners at the Western States 100 mile and Rocky Raccoon 100 mile Ultra races as well as completing 35+ marathons, 25+ half marathons and 10 races of 50k or greater.  Allan is also a Group X fitness instructor for Les Mills Body Pump and CXWORX.  Greatest Accomplishment - Running the Great Wall Marathon in China.  Greatest Running Experience - Pacing a group of runners across the finish line.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Yavanna Reynolds has helped as a pacer for the Oakland Running Festival training program with LMJS for the last 3 years and has participated in numerous half and full marathons over the last decade. She is known for her steady, predictable, even pace and cheerful disposition.

Amy Do has been a RunningAddicts Pace Team coordinator and pacer for SFM & Half, Santa Cruz Half, Jungle Run Half, Morgan Hill Half and The Two Cities Marathon.  She stays focused, consistent yet easy going, supportive and sensitive to runners individual needs.  Amy enjoys triathlon, staying active everyday and volunteering for charity. 

Michele Jordan has been running for 17 years, paced Oakland and SF and run several marathons and half marathons.  She keeps a steady pace and a good attitude.  She is looking forward to running with you!

Linh Pham has been running for 3 years  and has participated in many destination races in those years like Great Wall Marathon Beijing, Honolulu Marathon, Utah Cottonwood Marathon, Lake Tahoe Trifecta, back-to-back Santa Barbara and Malibu.   She is looking forward to pace the Oakland Running Festival for the first time.

Deanna Jew is an avid traveler who enjoys running races as a way to explore new destinations.  So far she’s had the opportunity to race in New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Barcelona, and Tokyo.  She also enjoys running and volunteering for local races and paced last year’s Jungle Run.

Melissa Ownby

Elizabeth Gutierrez has been a pacer with the Running Addicts for the Nor Cal Half, Morgan Hill Half, Santa Cruz Half, and the Jungle Run Half.  She has completed 12 full marathons and an ultra marathon.  

Keith Blom's first marathon was the 1973 Baltimore Marathon, which I ran bandit and untrained, finishing in 3:05. My second 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 1973 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 30 years later when in 2003 I was inspired by my wife to run the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run. This time I was hooked. Since then, I’ve finished countless 50k and 50-Mile races, and 20 100-Mile races.