Galloway Pace Groups @ RunDisney Races: The Official Discussion Thread

BuckeyeBama

You are stronger than you think.
Joined
May 29, 2013
No, it wouldn't. I think rD is in a tough place with pace teams. A large number (majority even?) of their runners use some form of run/walk intervals so it makes sense to set the pace groups up to accommodate them. Plus Galloway is one of their featured people. The problem, as you pointed out, is the wide range of intervals being used. Another factor is the limited effectiveness of run/walk intervals as the pace gets faster. People use them well at many speeds, but it's tougher to run/walk 1:45 or 2:00 than 2:30 or 2:45 because the run segment gets that much quicker.
Also, every time you stop for a picture you have to sprint to catch up to the group - and forget about catching up after all of the characters in MK or WWoS.
 

Anisum

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2015
I've only encountered one at Tink. From what I'm reading, it sounds like the main complaint with the pacers is that they're large groups which can be difficult on any course but especially certain parts of runDisney courses? That's frustrating and I would almost rather there be no pace groups so that people didn't group up like that. I say this in part because I haven't use any pace groups (much less Galloway because I don't really follow his method) so I don't understand the appeal. I mean, I guess they keep you from going out too fast at the start but it seems inconvenient to be reliant on other people when you can just run your own race? I would definitely like to try it one day to see what the buzz is about though.
 

FFigawi

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Dec 28, 2009
I mean, I guess they keep you from going out too fast at the start but it seems inconvenient to be reliant on other people when you can just run your own race? I would definitely like to try it one day to see what the buzz is about though.
Not everyone can run their own race. Many people have trouble running at a steady pace, especially if they're trying for a new PR or something like that. It's often easier & more enjoyable for them to simply run and let someone else worry about watching the clock and the Garmin. I've paced people before, and it's rewarding to know you helped someone achieve their race goal.
 
  • Anisum

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    May 15, 2015
    Not everyone can run their own race. Many people have trouble running at a steady pace, especially if they're trying for a new PR or something like that. It's often easier & more enjoyable for them to simply run and let someone else worry about watching the clock and the Garmin. I've paced people before, and it's rewarding to know you helped someone achieve their race goal.
    Okay, I see where for a PR it could be beneficial and while I am certainly paranoid about looking at my watch it would be less #math on longer races. I think my biggest concern is that there is no guarantee that the pacer is going to get you to the finish. Sometimes people have bad days or make a mistake. I think I'd be a lot more upset about missing a PR because I was following someone else than if I missed it because I ran it on my own and fell short. To each their own though.

    To be clear, I'm not against the idea so much as I don't fully understand the appeal. I guess I'll have to try it out for myself one day.
     

    JohnRPG

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2014
    Galloway Pacers in Florida. I'm not sure what pace group was at Disneyland. It definitely is not Galloway, but didn't appear to be Clif.
    It was Beast Pacing. They were right behind me in the Corral at SWLS. I'd planned to try to stay right behind them for the race, but things ended up working out differently for me. I did spot the groups later and they seemed like they were finishing pretty much spot on the target time.
     

    joan4mickey

    DIS Veteran
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    May 7, 2006
    I have only run with a pace group once, at the PHM last year, 2016. I really wanted to break the two hour mark and I knew that I had put in the training required, but I am not good at pacing myself. I had seen the pace groups in the past and had even encountered them on the course. I went to the Cliff booth at the expo and talked to the two hour pacer. I think this is an important step as you then know what to expect. She said it would be all running, no walk or picture breaks and she planned to bring us in around 1:58. I met up with the group in my corral and there was about ten of us. I went out with the group and it was hard as I am a lone runner so I just ran my pace and actually got ahead of the group. As we entered Epcot they (only about four runner now with the pacer) were on my heals and our pacers said something encouraging, like this is just like the end of a long run, finish strong. All except one of the girls ran on ahead of the pacer and then the pacer finished with one girl (she let her carry the balloons at the finish) and I followed up about 100 years behind at 1:59:15. This is only one example, but she did get several of us to the finish in under 2 hours. And again, I think talking to the pacers at the expo is a big plus. Just my experience.
     

    ZellyB

    DIS Veteran
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    Sep 18, 2010
    Our Galloway group leader has asked us now a couple of times if we'd be interested in pacing at a Disney race. We've said no so far because it was either a race we weren't planning to do, I was in bad training shape and not up to pacing, or we knew we wanted to run our own race with lots of character photos and didn't want the responsibility to lead. I do think it would be incredibly difficult to lead a pace group at Disney. The course is so congested and narrow in so many places, I'd be stressed out the whole time that my group was causing problems. I hope that the leaders do try and coach the group ahead of time about race etiquette and staying no more than double-breasted on the course, but constantly trying to remind people of that would be difficult.

    That said, I've had trouble with strictly running pace groups though causing us issues with our run/walk intervals. Since we obviously do our run intervals at a faster pace than our average pace is with the walk breaks, if we end up caught up in a large running pace group, we can't do our run intervals at the pace we want if we are overtaken by them during our walk break. It can sometimes take awhile to break out of the yo-yo pattern. Overall it's just those challenges of dealing with different runners and methods while on congested race courses. Patience and understanding goes a long way in realizing that most everyone is just doing the best they can to run their race and that any interference they may represent is most likely completely unintentional.
     
  • cburnett11

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2007
    Was in corral D with the 4:00 and 4:15 groups. Had no intention of doing a run/walk but was pacing for 4:00 so the plan was to start behind them and catch up when the walked. Then let them pull away on their run.
    I was in Marathon Corral D and the 4:00 pace group was near me at the beginning. I saw them in the corral and then I heard them early on in the race... during the first mile. We were close enough that I heard their pacer. I believe I recall her saying they'd "be walking briskly" over to the side. I also distinctly remember that she told someone that they were doing the running part at an 8:40 pace. When they slowed I got out ahead of them and never really heard her again. I'm not sure what interval would mathematically work out between an 8:40 run and a "brisk walk" because I only walk briskly at rope drop. She seemed fairly loud and direct (not in a bad way), so I got the sense that she'd probably do a good job of announcing to anyone within earshot that they'd be slowing down regularly so it wouldn't be a surprise. I didn't see them again until I ran past them as I was approaching the exit of the "out and back".

    Being a run only pacer seems like it could be a pretty tough gig. People count on you to keep a steady pace. Being a pacer doing run/walk/run seems even harder because you have to keep pace and I'm guessing you need to be announcing (counting down as she was) when you are going to switch from run to walk, etc. That seems like it would take some extra discipline. It would, however, be rewarding to pace others to PRs or perhaps even a first finish.

    I've only run with a pacer once and I only did that for half of a half. It was a race in November that I really had no time goal for and so I just decided to run with a pacer at what my Chicago Marathon goal pace had been (from 4 weeks before). I didn't look at my watch much, but simply used him to stay with. The first 6 miles of the race were hilly and he was running up and down hills at the same pace, while I chose to keep a consistent effort. We'd meet back up on the flatter parts. Before the race we spoke and I was surprised that he had never even run the course before. By pure coincidence, he had also paced the Chicago marathon that I had just run 4 weeks prior.

    From what I understand, rD notified Galloway that they needed to find pacers pretty late in the game for Marathon weekend.
     

    PrincessV

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Did anyone run with a Galloway Pace Group?
    I need to go back and read the rest of the replies here, but for now, my answer is ... sort of. I didn't start with a pace group, but kept winding up in the middle of the Marathon 6:30 group this year. I started 4 corrals ahead of them, but made some stops for pics and saw their pace sign to my side when I was on the out and back before AK. Worked my way ahead of them before AK, then came up on them again heading into WWOS... and there I was stuck, so I basically ran with them until I was out of WWOS. It was a bit frustrating that the group was HUGE and taking all available space (which wasn't much to start - IDK that they could have done otherwise) on the narrow sidewalks, and their intervals were different than mine, so I felt like I lost my groove for a couple miles. BUT every person I encountered was very nice and really tried to help me make my way up through their group. At some point I decided it was too much effort and just switched to their intervals and rolled with them, but it was nice to see so much conscientiousness!
     

    PrincessV

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    Jul 6, 2006
    I've never run with a pacer, but I can't see it working out because I'd need the pacer to be doing my exact run/walk intervals...let's say I find the 2:10 half pacer and they're doing :90/:30 intervals but I've trained with 3:00/1:00 or whatever. That's not something I'm going to be able to just flip a switch and change up on race day, ya know? At least...I don't think it would work out well. :confused3
    I can attest - when I got trapped in the 6:30 group in WWOS, I found that they were using a different interval ratio than I, and they were walking much slower than I. Because there was just nowhere to go to get past them, I started following their intervals/pace and it was hard! Not so much mentally, but physically: the slower walking pace was really uncomfortable at that point of the race and I was so used to my own intervals, it was hard to do a different ratio. Might have been different if I'd been with them from the start, I suppose, IDK.
     

    cavepig

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    Apr 7, 2001
    Don't most pacers usually pace at a slower pace than they would normally run? Or am I just having false memories of something I read once. Like if someone is pacing the 2 hour wouldn't they normally run under that easily.
     
  • BuckeyeBama

    You are stronger than you think.
    Joined
    May 29, 2013
    I can attest - when I got trapped in the 6:30 group in WWOS, I found that they were using a different interval ratio than I, and they were walking much slower than I. Because there was just nowhere to go to get past them, I started following their intervals/pace and it was hard! Not so much mentally, but physically: the slower walking pace was really uncomfortable at that point of the race and I was so used to my own intervals, it was hard to do a different ratio. Might have been different if I'd been with them from the start, I suppose, IDK.
    Agree 100%. It is almost as hard to run and/or walk slower over a long distance as it is to run faster.
     

    ZellyB

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Don't most pacers usually pace at a slower pace than they would normally run? Or am I just having false memories of something I read once. Like if someone is pacing the 2 hour wouldn't they normally run under that easily.
    I think that is the norm although maybe not always set in stone. I know on a half we ran (not Disney) we were visiting with a pace leader and she was pacing a 2:30 finish time, but her more normal times were sub-2:00. In fact, she actually slowed some in the last mile or so because they were a few minutes too fast and they get scolded apparently if they are off by more than a certain amount.
     

    FFigawi

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Don't most pacers usually pace at a slower pace than they would normally run? Or am I just having false memories of something I read once. Like if someone is pacing the 2 hour wouldn't they normally run under that easily.
    Yes. The Clif pacers run at 30-45 minutes slower than their typical marathon time, one of them told me a few years ago. A friend who paces the 4:15 group at the Houston marathon says they run slower than usual as well.
     

    pigletliz

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    Apr 28, 2001
    It was Beast Pacing. They were right behind me in the Corral at SWLS. I'd planned to try to stay right behind them for the race, but things ended up working out differently for me. I did spot the groups later and they seemed like they were finishing pretty much spot on the target time.
    Thanks! I'll have to look for them at Tink.
     

    Anisum

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    May 15, 2015
    I think that is the norm although maybe not always set in stone. I know on a half we ran (not Disney) we were visiting with a pace leader and she was pacing a 2:30 finish time, but her more normal times were sub-2:00. In fact, she actually slowed some in the last mile or so because they were a few minutes too fast and they get scolded apparently if they are off by more than a certain amount.
    I would think moving a few minutes ahead would be a good thing but I guess it makes it harder for people who intended to use them to pace keep up over that distance.
     

    ZellyB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2010
    I would think moving a few minutes ahead would be a good thing but I guess it makes it harder for people who intended to use them to pace keep up over that distance.
    Right, I think it's fine if they are a few minutes faster, but I think they were more like 6-7 minutes ahead when we saw them with just a few miles left to go and on a half that's substantial. I will say that their pace group had dwindled a lot. I know early on that we commented on the fact that they were running well ahead of a 2:30 pace.
     

    FFigawi

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Right, I think it's fine if they are a few minutes faster, but I think they were more like 6-7 minutes ahead when we saw them with just a few miles left to go and on a half that's substantial. I will say that their pace group had dwindled a lot. I know early on that we commented on the fact that they were running well ahead of a 2:30 pace.
    6-7 minutes is too far ahead of pace for a marathon, let alone a half. They should really be two minutes or less from their goal time to avoid causing people to blow up during the race. My friend who paces at Houston gets annoyed with himself if he's under goal time by more than 15-20 seconds.
     

    ZellyB

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    Sep 18, 2010
    6-7 minutes is too far ahead of pace for a marathon, let alone a half. They should really be two minutes or less from their goal time to avoid causing people to blow up during the race. My friend who paces at Houston gets annoyed with himself if he's under goal time by more than 15-20 seconds.
    Exactly. I think that's why they were worried about getting into trouble. I know my DH and I had started out near them at the start and expected to leave them behind fairly soon as we were shooting for between 2:20 and 2:25 and they just kept hanging with us. I know more than once we commented on the fact that they were not running a 2:30 pace. As I said, they didn't have many people left with them when we saw them again in the last few miles.
     


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