January 12, 2004
The first Boeing 5K of the year. We have a nice group of AREC people coming to these runs (if 5 people show up – that’s a good crowd).
I back up my excellent 10K result from Saturday with a 21:22 5K.
Something that may be helping a little bit is that a new running series has started on Monday nights, called “Nike Run LA.” Nike puts on a number of runs, one on each day of the week, each in a different location.
Nike then “hires” a number of local runners to be pacers for the runs. The runs are 3 or 5 miles, with pacers for 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00 minutes per mile. The pacer is supposed to keep to the pace, talk about Nike products and encourage the runners in the group.
After the run, Adult runners receive a coupon for a free beer and free appetizer at the location of the run (in most cases, a bar or brewing company).
I was contacted late in 2003 to find people and also to find a location for the runs. I volunteered runners from AREC to participate. Each pacer received a supply of Nike gear, including a couple of shirts, maybe a pair of shorts, a few pairs of socks and a pair of shoes. Pacers were required to wear the Nike gear at the runs. Also, we were required to arrive early to set up and clean up. Runners doing the Nike runs (not the pacers) can do the runs in their own shoes or try out some new Nike shoes just for the run (this was the MAJOR part of the set up).
Along with Bernard, I am the 9:00/mile pacer. While 9 minutes per mile is no breakneck speed, it is the speed that most runners who are medium speed runners would like to run at. Each week, a number of runners start out with our group, but mostly the ones that KNOW they can run 9 minute miles, so they accelerate. The ones who WANT to run 9 minute miles all start out with the 10-minute group, but never catch up to us.
Invariably, Bernard and I start out herding 13-14 runners, and come back with zero, but we do run between 8:50 and 9:10. Myself, I have gone to other runs, run with the 8:00 per mile group, and finished at an average pace of 7:10… but I really did want to run 8-minute miles (not 7:10s).
A few weeks after the run, we receive our paychecks – $35. This is a great deal – free clothes, shoes, money, beer and appetizers… and all we need to do is get our run in and encourage others in the running addiction.