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Post Run Feedback – Goa River Marathon 2012 – 2

Pacers Team Feedback – Goa River Marathon 2012 -2


After having put together the Pacers Team, it is equally important to measure what the two sides thought about it…the Pacers and the Runners. So accordingly both sides were asked for feedback and this is what the response was. At YouTooCanRun we believe in continuous improvement. And this cannot happen if feedback is not sought and the Pacers Team management bettered for the next time.




Purushottam Kulawade – 2 hour Pacer


“It was challenging task to run with pennant on back (It came off after 300meters only, thank God one of my friend fixed it soon), checking pace on every single km, checking that your don’t deviate from strategy timing of every km by more than 1 min and carrying a crowd of 25-30 guys back home. Also Humidity and steep hills made it tough nut to crack. Glad to tell you that I deviated from my timing plan only at 20km, here I was quick by a minute or so.


Volunteers put up good show. It was feel good factor when many runners to whom I dont know came forward and thanked me for Free Bus Service.”


Nitin Kale – 2 hour Pacer


Firstly thanks to Venkat sir, for dedicatedly organizing this activity

of arranging pacers for marathons, and giving me a chance to be part

of this.

As this was my first experience as a pacer I was a bit nervous about

how I am going to perform. But in the end everything fell correctly.

These are my observation/suggestions.

1. Meeting on the previous day definitely helped me, for knowing other

pacers and getting the information about the route from the ones who

have previously run it.

2. Route survey was very good activity, at least for the pacers who

were running the marathon first time. It helped designing the pace


3. I had kept 1 and half minute to two minutes in bank, since I have

not run this course before and for considering the hills on return

loop. But we did not required to walk on the hills as the runners were

in good shape. Which ultimately left so much time with me to negotiate

in the last few kilometers.

4. Flag stick was an annoyance because it kept on falling down so many

times. So in the end had to keep it in my hand.

5. Discussion about the pace plan was very good idea. It helped me

make the strategy of the race.

6. Pace chart which Kaushik prepared was seemed very useful and

comfortable to validate the timing. It will be good idea if we can

arrange such pace-band for pacers in future marathons.

7. Also the initiative of runner-pacer meet was very good. I could see

familiar faces while running which definitely helped while running.

8. Although I was running the most of the distance with 2-3 runners

only, but at the end there were 4-5 people who came to me and thanked

me for the pacing effort. Even, one of them introduced me to another

marathon organizer(Panaji, March 2013) and asked me to be pacer there,

which I have routed to Venkat sir.


Overall it was a good experience which gave me a chance to meet

different people.



Madhav Joshi – 2:30 hour Pacer


It was my first  run as a Pacer. Thanks to Venkat for giving this opportunity. It was a great fun.

On the day before Run meeting arranged with others runners was good.
I observed that runners do not come forward for registration in spite of appeal made by organisers. I feel that organisers should openly declare on the day of run to avail facility of Pacers. That will have much more impact as all the runners are available that time.
As it was my first run as a Pacer, I had to try running slow. Thanks to Kaushik as he gave me important tips for running as a Pacer.
I had to walk  for quite a good slot at the end to adjust the speed. I never knew that who is running with me.
After the finish 3-4 runners met me and gave thanks for completing their run sub 2.30 Hrs. That’s the greatest part.

Kaushik Panchal – 2:30 hour Pacer


Had a great timing pacing in Goa. Enjoyed the Goan hospitality and very much thankful to the organizer for arranging a lunch meeting with  Mr.Venkat. Learnt a lot about pacing and having a look at the route really helped us a lot to mentally plan our run and meeting all the runners in the evening at Baina beach was very thoughtful of the organizer, it was a job well done.

Now the running part, started the run as per the plan of 7 min/km pace stuck to it till 5 km then after seeing the uphill decided to give more time while coming back so ran the remaining 5.5 km at 6.5 min/km pace and did half way mark in 70 mins.
The second half of the run was very challenging as there were now very few runners running with us and those who were with us upto 10.5 km I asked then to leave the bus and continue there run on there own at 6.75 min/km pace ,and join us just in case they find the hills very tough. I now started my run at 7.5 min/km and took frequent water breaks and walked all the uphills at 17km. On the way talked with many runners some from  Mumbai, South, Banglore and Delhi and in the last 500 meters I decided to run backwards facing the
runners and I kept shouting at them to push little bite more and there were almost 7/8 runners with me in the final phase. One of my close friend  Subendu , who was running his 2 nd half marathon after Vasai gave up at 100 mts away from finishing line.  We could see the watch from the spot and it showed 2:28:05 and he literally gave up his run saying that one of his leg is jammed. I asked him to hop on one leg and do langdi, but he was not able to do so , then finally i decide to put his hand behind my shoulder and made him cross the finish line at exact 2:29:23. It was a great experience for him doing his first sub 2:30 and i am sure both of us are going to remember it for a long time to come.
Frankly speaking i really enjoyed running the last 500 meters of the race, when I was running backward and enjoyed the moment a lot.



Shinto TC – 3:00 hour Pacer


Thanks Venkat for all your efforts, really appreciate it.
This is going to be memorable one for me as this is my first pacing, & I really enjoyed interacting with you and the team.

There are life lessons I learned from pacing & also how the planning helps in my personal life as well especially since I have just started on my own. I have taken up a marathon in my career as well therefore I shouldn’t over run & lose my steam rather pace with a plan.

About pacing-I don’t think anything went wrong. I think it takes time for the people to understand about pacing. On my return journey from Goa I met a gentleman in the train who trains on his own who mentioned that he completed the run in 2.45 hrs probably if he had joined the 2.30 bus he could have completed in 2.30. He has also seen pacers before in Mumbai marathon etc but never felt like exploring it. Hence I think it takes time for the pacing concept to evolve, maybe if the current pacers do well, mingle with as much runners as possible(spread the word) then I’m sure there will be more takers for pacing & people will enjoy the run.




No specific mailer / feedback form was sent out to the runners seeking their feedback. But on the internet and in private conversations, many Runners thanked the Pacers….here are a few.

Dinesh Heda on the GRM FaceBook Page – Thanks a ton to the pacers team who took care that my run was done with ease despite my sickness!!  Puru… Thanks to you!  And generally the pacers did a fantastic job and one pacer (Venkat) did a FUNtastic job… Even took picture shots on the course!!


Sanjay Limaye on GRM FaceBook Group – & the pacers were a great help to break the 2 hr barrier for me!!

Ashok Captain in an email to Venkat – Just wanted to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU for being a pacer and helping us set a ‘sorta 3 hour’ pace. We did it in around 2:45. Couldn’t find you at the finish, had to go pretty far away. We never got to the pacer meeting either cos we were staying too far away to attend and get to sleep early

Vaishali Gadgil in an email to Venkat – Ashok does the right things at right time. Sorry, for not writing/replying earlier. A BIG thank you. This marathon experience is special for me. I just hope that I am able to do what you and Ashok do at some point in life.


And many more in person to each of the Pacers individually.


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