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Countdown to the big race, October 13, 2019

Nike Pace Team

Pacer and runners on course

Need some extra support in your goal to finish the Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Are you looking to run a personal best? The Nike Pace Team will help you meet your performance goals.

The Nike Pace Team pacers will be established for the following marathon finish times:

A: 3:00, 3:05, 3:10
B: 3:00, 3:05, 3:10
C: 3:15, 3:20, 3:25
D: 3:25, 3:30, 3:35
E: 3:40, 3:45, 3:50
F: 3:45, 3:50, 3:55, 4:00
G: 3:55, 4:00, 4:10
H: 4:10, 4:20, 4:30
J: 4:10, 4:20, 4:30
K: 4:20, 4:30, 4:40, 4:50, 5:00
L: 5:15, 5:30, 5:45

To join a Nike Pace Team pacer, you must register at the Nike Pace Team booth at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo. Nike Pacers will be on-site to talk about pace strategy, how to locate your group at the start line and to answer general questions about the program.

Once you sign up, you will receive a bib number to wear on your back during the race that will indicate your pace group (e.g. 3:45). There is no cost to participate.


Frequently asked questions

Why should I run with the Nike Pace Team?
Running with the Nike Pace Team is a fun way to run with a group and target a specific time goal. Nike Pacers are experienced marathoners who will encourage you throughout the race and help you achieve your performance goal.

What is the cost to run with the Nike Pace Team?
Running with the Nike Pace Team pacers is free! Simply sign up at the Nike Pace Team booth on Friday or Saturday at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo.

What are the finish times available for the Nike Pace Team?
3:00, 3:05, 3:10, 3:15, 3:20, 3:25, 3:30, 3:35, 3:40, 3:45, 3:50, 3:55, 4:00, 4:10,4:20, 4:30, 4:40, 4:50, 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 and 5:45.

Which Nike Pace Team pacer should I run with?
You should choose a pace that reflects your training and ability level and allows you to run at a comfortable pace throughout the marathon. If you can’t decide between two paces (for example 3:55 and 4:00), it is recommended that you start with the slower pace as you can always pick it up later in the race.

What is the actual pace per mile for the different Nike Pace Team pacers?
The chart below lists Nike Pace Team times and corresponding per mile times:

Overall time: 3:00 Per mile: 6:52
Overall time: 3:05 Per mile: 7:03
Overall time: 3:10 Per mile: 7:15
Overall time: 3:15 Per mile: 7:26
Overall time: 3:20 Per mile: 7:38
Overall time: 3:25 Per mile: 7:49
Overall time: 3:30 Per mile: 8:00
Overall time: 3:35 Per mile: 8:12
Overall time: 3:40 Per mile: 8:23
Overall time: 3:45 Per mile: 8:35
Overall time: 3:50 Per mile: 8:46
Overall time: 3:55 Per mile: 8:58
Overall time: 4:00 Per mile: 9:09
Overall time: 4:10 Per mile: 9:32
Overall time: 4:20 Per mile: 9:55
Overall time: 4:30 Per mile: 10:18
Overall time: 4:40 Per mile: 10:40
Overall time: 4:50 Per mile: 11:04
Overall time: 5:00 Per mile: 11:27
Overall time: 5:15 Per mile: 12:00
Overall time: 5:30 Per mile: 12:35
Overall time: 5:45 Per mile: 13:10

What will the pacing strategy be throughout the race?
The Nike Pace Team pacers will run even splits throughout the entire race. Running even splits is the most efficient way to run a marathon as it prevents you from going too fast or too slow. If in the first few miles the pace is slow due to the crowds, Nike Pacers will not go more than 15 seconds per mile faster than the established pace until they gradually get back on pace.

How will I find my  Nike Pace Team pacer race morning?
The Nike Pace Team pacers will line up on the right side of Columbus Drive, close to the pace per mile signs that are staged on the side of the streets in the respective start corrals. Nike Pacers will be in place at 7:00 a.m. (Wave 1) and 7:30 a.m. (Wave 2 and Wave 3) holding large “lollipop” signs marked with their corresponding pace and they will be wearing uniforms to help identify them. During the race, Nike Pacers will share the duty of carrying a smaller “wand” version of the Nike Pacer Team sign.

If the Nike Pace Team pacers I want to run with is not offered in my start corral, what should I do?
A pace bib will not give you entry into a particular start corral, only your race bib will allow entry. If you were unable to gain entry into a seeded start corral, we encourage you to line up as close as possible to the front of the start corral in which you’ve been placed.

What if I want to run with a Nike Pace Team pacer but it is too crowded for me to keep the leaders in view?
Look for other runners with the same pace bib on their back and stick with them. Keep in mind that some runners will fall behind or run ahead of their teams during the race and therefore you may not be able to rely on the individual runners that you see around you. Nike Pace Team pacers will try to stay on the right side of the course throughout the race.

What if I have to go to the bathroom?
The Nike Pace Team pacers will not plan any bathroom breaks during the race and will not wait for you. If you need to use the bathroom, it is suggested that you run ahead of your team before breaking to use the bathroom. Then jump back in with the team or catch up to them.

How does a Nike Pace Team pacer handle drinking at the aid stations? 
Each Nike Pace Team pacer will take water and/or Gatorade from every aid station to ensure that runners remain well hydrated throughout the race. Nike Pacers will stop at the middle to end tables where it should be less crowded. Teams that stop to walk while they drink should walk quickly to keep the crowd moving through the aid station. If you need to stop completely, go past the aid station and move off to the side of the road and out of the way of other runners. Larger teams will utilize aid stations on both sides of the street to avoid creating a bottleneck and will come back together on the right side of the street after the aid station.

Do I have to stay with my Nike Pace Team pacer throughout the race? 
No. Runners are welcome to use a Nike Pace Team pacer for whichever portion of the race they think will help the most. You can run ahead or drop back at any time.

Do Nike Pace Team pacers go by clock time or chip time?
Chip time. Nike Pace Team pacers will start their watches at the start line as they cross the chip timing mats.

For more information or questions about the Nike Pace Team, email paceteam@chicagomarathon.com.

Bank of America Abbott World Marathon Majors IAAF Gold Label Event

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