Find out more about the pacers at the 2022 TCS London Marathon
Among the tens of thousands of participants hitting the streets of the capital on Sunday 2 October are our TCS London Marathon Pace Team – a group of friendly runners of all backgrounds and abilities who will be there to help others achieve their marathon goals.
We’re always proud of our amazing pacers – and this year we’re delighted to introduce you to our largest and most diverse cohort yet.
What’s the point of pacers?
Whether you’re taking on your first marathon or your fiftieth – or are out to raise funds or accomplish a fast time – pacers can play a key role in helping you conquer the 26.2-mile distance.
Pacers are keen or experienced runners who complete the course at a managed pace and finish within a certain, predesignated time. The aim of this is to help other participants around them know their own speed and – if they can maintain the pace – finish within the same time.
But pacers are more than just timekeepers. They can also be there to offer words of encouragement and (perhaps quite literally) a helping hand if things get tough on the course, and inspire you to cross the Finish Line with a smile on your face.
Our 2022 TCS London Marathon Pace Team
Having previously been brought together by our friends at Runner’s World, this year’s pace team has been selected in-house at London Marathon Events. While a pace team was confirmed for 2020, the cancellation of the event that year meant they couldn’t run, and due to ongoing Covid-19 measures we had no pacers at the 2021 event either.
Our pacers provide world-class support to fellow participants, so we’re thrilled to welcome them back for the 2022 TCS London Marathon.
For 2022, our pace team will consist of 76 supportive, dedicated runners – the most we’ve ever had in a single year.
Of these, 41 per cent will be female pacers (up from 26 per cent in 2020) and over a quarter will be from less-represented communities, including the LGBTQIA family. Again, this is a notable increase on the number of pacers we had from less represented communities (13 per cent) in 2020.
Our pacers also prove that age is irrelevant when it comes to running, with our 2022 team featuring pacers aged 24 to 63. What’s more, over half of this year’s team will be pacing the TCS London Marathon for the first time – including 10 runners who will be undertaking their inaugural marathon pacing duties – bringing fresh energy to the course on Marathon Day.
We can’t wait to see our most inclusive pace team in action this year!
How to find our pacers
Worried you won’t spot our pacers within the crowds? Fear not. Each pacer will be easy to identify thanks to the tall, bright flag attached to their back, which will clearly display the time they’ll be running. They’ll also be dressed head to foot in top running kit kindly provided by New Balance, our official sponsor.
The sub-four-hour pacers will even be among the first to experience New Balance’s FuelCell RC Elite v2, a supportive yet lightweight running shoe designed to help them keep up the pace in comfort. Constructed with a specially engineered knit upper, the mid-foot cut-out and streamlined collar of the shoe reduces weight, while the FuelCell midsole and full-length carbon fibre plate provide optimal energy return. In short, it’s a prime choice for your marathon footwear!
The over-four-hour pacers will also be donning the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12 and 860v12 running shoes – ideal footwear for those seeking durability, comfort and support during their runs.
To get your hands on (or feet in) your own pair of New Balance running shoes, click here.
Five questions with Akram
To dig a little deeper into the world of pacing, we spoke with Akram Shalabi, our Pace Team Coordinator and 26.2-mile enthusiast (who has completed over 100 marathons within the past seven years – yes, you read that correctly). Here, Akram reveals what brought him into pacing and offers some advice for those taking on the marathon distance.
How did you become a pacer?
I first ran as a pacer in November 2016 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon in the USA. A couple had dropped out the day before the event and I volunteered to take their place as the 3:25 pacer.
How many running events have you officially paced?
As of September 2022, I’ve been an official pacer more than 20 times.