Pacer Joshua

Hometown

Wherever I find myself and my stuff, currently: Malden, MA

 

Current P.R.

3:01:59 (Marine Corps Marathon – 2008)

Half Marathon PR 1:27:22 (2012)

Where were you born?

A quite little hamlet in northwest New Jersey

 

Number of marathons

24

Birthday

May 11th

 

Favorite marathon

My next one.  Though my first Boston (2007) was quite interesting due to the Noreaster that threatened cancellation right up until 6am on race day with the wind and the rain, the fluctuating temperatures, and fallen tree limbs along the route.  I had some awful leg cramps over the final 9 miles that killed my time goal but which encouraged me to re-evaluate my focus and allowed me to enjoy all of the positives of the day: the crowds, the success of the other runners, my health and (general) wellness, the opportunity that I had been granted to live in the moment and stop worrying about things that were outside of my control.

Typical pace

3:20 - 3:40 marathon; generally 3:30

 

Favorite running music

varied: Rock, Pop, Country, Classical, Showtunes, Video Game & Film Soundtracks, Heavy Metal, and more.  I always include LL Cool J’s “Momma Said Knock You Out” in my mixes though.

Occupation

Federal Highway Administration, MA Division Office, Lead Field Operations Engineer (Civil Engineer Team Leader)

 

Favorite running food

Gels and Gummi-like foods are easiest to consume in training and races but I love a big salty German hot pretzel for the carbs, the salt, and the actual chewy texture.  I have never gone wrong with pizza either, just stay away from fiber (broccoli) or too much greasy meaty protein (pepperoni/sausage).

Any hobbies?

You mean besides running?  I volunteer at local races (including directing a local ultramathon), volunteer with my local PBS station, read to school children during my lunch breaks, read sci-fi/fantasy novels to myself on the bus, attending opera and symphony performances to see/hear my wife, and on rare occasions play my old video game systems.

 

Who do you train with?

I train most of the year with the Somerville Road Runners athletic club (I don’t do indoor track come winter time, I can’t stand the 200m oval) and enjoy social tempo runs with the NikeTown Boston Run Club (Wednesday nights at 6:30pm).

Favorite book, what are you reading now?

“The Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan

 

A quotation you like…

“Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn, Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen” (Friedrich Schiller)  “Run, brothers, run your race, joyful, as a hero to victory” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal goals

Athletically I have been stretching my horizons with a few ultramarathons and would like to complete a 100 mile event in the not too distant future.  I would like to complete at least one marathon at each minute increment between 3:00 and 3:59, preferably at different events to savor the variety.  Some day I will obtain my Professional Engineering license…I think.  I hope to be a great father to my children.


 

Why do you run?

I DO in fact own a bike now but still prefer to run and never really learned to swim and it seemed that in every sport I ever attempted my best skill always came back to running from point to point.  I enjoy the freedom that comes with just going out and running wherever, whenever, and however I please and in the city it can actually be the fastest most efficient method of travel.


 

Describe your best marathon memory.

My racing memories tend to focus on a great view enjoyed briefly along the course, a tough physical experience that took me out of my rhythm, or the logistics of travel and generally aren’t all that great.  I can remember only fleeting impressions of my feelings and thoughts along during these events.  The same is true from my numerous volunteer efforts; registration, course monitor, aid station, baggage check/claim, food distribution, etc.  My best memories come from the friendships that I have forged through training for and participating in races and from sharing in their successes.


 

Why do you pace?

It is the race volunteer position that provides me with the best opportunity to have the greatest impact for the participants by being there with them for over 3 hours offering encouragement, advice, and support.  I truly enjoy giving back to the sport and helping to make the experience as enjoyable as possible while helping individuals reach their goal time, especially those trying to qualify for the chance to join me here in Boston for a long run in April.


 

Tell us your best pacing experience.

I was sitting in the Baltimore airport waiting to make my connection when a guy walked up to me wearing his Finisher’s medal from the race I ran that morning half way across the country and thanked me for all of my help and advice during the first 15 miles.  When I asked him how my final 11 miles went he responded that he couldn’t tell me because he met the “love of his life” on the course and dropped back to stay with and guide her through the finish.  That is what “pacing” is to me, setting aside your personal goals to help inspire and motivate others for the love of running and our fellow runners (though maybe not quite so literally as in this example).


 

Why should someone run in your pace group?

Participants should run with me if their goal is within 5 minutes of my Pace and they just don’t want to go out too fast (or too slow) in the beginning.  Let me worry about setting the pace through the early miles, and holding it through the late miles, while you focus on looking good for your fans and the photographers.  I am more like Batman or Green Arrow in that I do not possess any super human qualities; my abilities come from training.  I don’t have nearly as many cool gadgets (or billions of dollars) though.  I think that my open honest and playful personality and ability to talk about anything and everything with anyone makes me a great running companion.  The miles just melt on by as we all mingle on the run and before you know it you are ditching me with your finish line surge.


 

Any tips for runners about to join your group?

Celebrate this ENTIRE experience.  The sacrifices made over months of training to prepare for this race should have provided you with the ability to achieve your target goal, honor those sacrifices by savoring every mile of the race.  Drink in every spectator’s cheer, appreciate every volunteer there to support you, feel how easy those early miles are, how strong you are in the hills, and trust in yourself during those occasional low points (especially in the later miles) because you do have what it takes to finish strong.  Run with an even effort through the hills.  Drink early and take food at least every 10k.  Have fun, make friends, and “for a good time” stick with me.  If you have to stop for any reason (shoelace, cramp, toilet, photo-op, etc.) do so; pick up your pace by only 7-10 seconds per mile and catch up when you can.


 

Anything else you'd like to share?

If you have completed one or more 20 mile training runs then you can conquer the marathon because the first 10k is where you can warm up into your pace as the crowd breaks up followed by just another one of those 20 mile long runs that your body knows it can complete.  Don’t let your brain tell you otherwise.

 

 

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