Pacer Definition

Discover the role of a pacer in running races and the benefits they provide to participants. Learn from real-life examples, case studies, and statistics on how pacers can help runners achieve their pacing goals.

The Basics of a Pacer

In the world of running, a pacer refers to a runner who sets a specific pace for other runners to follow during a race. Pacers are often employed during marathons, ultra-marathons, and other long-distance races to help participants achieve their desired finishing times.

Role of a Pacer

A pacer is responsible for maintaining a consistent speed throughout the race, ensuring that participants stay on track to meet their pacing goals. Pacers often carry signs or wear distinctive clothing to make themselves easily recognizable to other runners.

Benefits of Using a Pacer

Having a pacer can provide numerous benefits for runners. They help keep participants motivated, prevent them from starting too fast and burning out, and guide them through rough patches during the race.

Real-Life Examples

One famous example of pacers in action is during the Breaking2 project, where elite runners attempted to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon. Pacers were strategically used to help the runners maintain the blistering pace required for this monumental achievement.

Case Studies

A study conducted by the University of Valencia found that runners who used pacers during a marathon were more likely to achieve a personal best time compared to those who ran without a pacer. This highlights the positive impact that pacers can have on performance.


According to a survey conducted by Running USA, 79% of runners have used a pacer during a race, with 67% reporting that they achieved their target finish time as a result. These statistics underline the effectiveness of pacers in helping runners reach their goals.

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