Reach your goal with a pacer

My name is James “Fozzy” Forster and I will be pacing 1hr 55mins at the Leeds Half Marathon. This will be my first time running the Leeds Half Marathon, but not my first time as a pacer and I am really looking forward to running around a local city and helping people achieve their PBs and target times.

I first started pacing at my local Parkrun in Harrogate 2 years ago pacing times anywhere from 25mins to 35mins and I absolutely love it! The atmosphere is so relaxed and it is truly about running in its purest form. There is nothing like going into the final 2K, looking behind you and having a dozen or more runners on your shoulder all trying their absolute best to stay with you as you motivate them for that final push. The sense of achievement as you push them to the finish and watch them all cross the line giving it their all is unparalleled.

For those who attend Parkrun by themselves, running with a pacer gives them a sense of companionship as it can be daunting running with such a large number of unfamiliar people who you have never met before! I always like to take the time to chat with as many people as possible afterwards after all that is what Parkrun is all about!

I have run various events with official pacers and seeing the pacers do what I do, but on a larger scale and for longer distances, gave me the desire to step up to that responsibility and give something back to the running community. So that is the reason I chose to pace at Leeds Half Marathon and also why I take part in the Social Run Group every Monday evening at my local Up & Running store in Harrogate.

Every weekend I run competitively and because of my training during the week, I very rarely just go out for a run. To focus on the social side, running to the slowest person’s pace, the various routes each week and being able to talk about running to other people who are passionate about it is just the counterbalance I need. It is also a fantastic way to fit in a recovery run and catch up with running friends and their exploits during the week as well as meet new people from so many different walks of life.

I am hoping that being an official pacer at Leeds will give me that feeling of being on a social run with lots of fun and laughs along the way with all you incredible people!

Keep up the hard work with your training and remember to enjoy yourself and have fun in the process, because that is what life is about! See you on race day!

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