Here are the broad points based on which we choose the pacing team.
- When reviewing the past performance, we examine why the idea of ‘not a minute earlier and not a second late’ was not met. We know that even in the world’s leading marathons where the pacers are equally well experienced the human body cannot work like a machine.
- We will do a root cause analysis and determine if the quality deviation occurred due to repeatable factors or was it a one-off issue.
- We will look at the conscientiousness that the pacer brought to the table or whether he was casual in his approach…we can assure you that no one comes with a casual approach since they pay off the bib, often travel from outstation and elect to be pacers.
- We will see that the pacer team has a good gender mix. We will ensure that the fairer sex has a good representation since such role models can be a great motivator for fellow members of the same gender.
- We will see that in large events there is a geographical spread of pacers. We feel that pacers from diff cities come to the pace they take back the lessons and seed the precepts of good pacing in their own communities. We are all for building a large pool across the nation to serve is diff races.
- In large events where there are multiple pacers for each bus, we will choose a mix of past experience and first timers to de-risk each bus for the runners.
- We will definitely look at the value system of the pacer. Pacers who try to come with commercial intent and try to ‘game’ the system will not be chosen.
- We do not select pacers based on their popularity in the social media ecosystem. In fact, we are more for giving dedicated runners a chance to lead rather than social media “motormouths”.
- In the SCMM of 2016, we did not re-select some of the pacers who were regulars based on the above considerations. Even though they tried like crazy in private, seeking admission into the selection process.