Editor’s note: RRR member Bruce Yang found himself in the enviable (or unenviable) position of receiving invitations to lead the pace groups of two different marathons on the same day: the Hamilton Marathon in Ontario, Canada, and the New York City Marathon, both on Nov. 3, 2013. For reasons he explains below, Hamilton will be the lucky recipient of his pacing services.)
By Bruce Yang
First, I want to thank Jonathan (Farrell) for recommending me to the NYRR to be a marathon pacer. I received an official invitation last week to pace for one of the 3:45 groups. It was truly an honor and privilege to be chosen by the NYRR.
Just prior to receiving the NYRR invitation to be a pacer, the team leader from the Clif Bar Marathon Pace Team also officially put me on their Hamilton Marathon roster to pace the 3:35 group. Both NYC and Hamilton will be held on the same date, Sunday, November 3, 2013. This was probably the greatest marathon pacing conflict that I have ever encountered due to the significance of each one. The NYC marathon is, without a doubt, one of the biggest and the most dynamic marathon of all. In addition, it is a mega-marathon that is so close to home. Since 2006, I have been a pacer for the NYC ING/Timex marathon pace team – about half of the members were also Clif Bar Pace Team members and the Clif Bar Marathon Pace team leaders organized the pace team. However, the NYC marathon was not an official Clif Bar event since PowerBar is one of its big sponsors. But due to its importance in nature, the Clif Bar pace team leaders were willing to organize to allow pacers under the name ING/Timex. So there was a sentimental reason for me to still want to continue to pace the NYC Marathon. I had many fond memories – some fun ones and some very challenging ones.
Last year, due to Tropical Storm Sandy, the 2012 ING Marathon was canceled. And this year NYRR decided to take the pacing team in house. It also happened that the Clif Bar Marathon Pace Team will have its first official international marathon pace team event at the Hamilton Marathon in Canada on the same date as the NYC Marathon.
Once I received the official invitation to pace the NYC Marathon, I contacted NYRR to request an extension to reply to the invitation. In the meantime, I contacted the Clif Bar Pace Team leaders and requested if there was any available Clif Bar teammate who was not already on the roster and who would be able to pace my assigned time at the Hamilton Marathon. Unfortunately, after a few days, the leaders replied to me and insisted that I keep my Hamilton spot and decline the invitation from the NYRR.
Since the Clif Bar Marathon Pace Team insists on me pacing the Hamilton Marathon, I will regrettably and sadly have to send my reply to the NYRR to decline the invitation to pace this time due to the schedule conflict. I will request future consideration from the NYRR as NYC is one of my favorite (and very challenging) marathons to pace.
Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to try to pace the NYC Marathon. I hope I can have the opportunity to pace again in 2014.
I’m pacing a 3:45 group this year for the NYC marathon. You said it’s a challenging marathon to pace. Why is that? You can respond to my email if you want.