Pacer Mike S. 

Where are you from?

Crystal Lake, IL


Current P.R.

Marathon: 2:59 on May 5, 2011 – Kenosha, WI


Oct 15


Number of marathons


Typical pace

3:30 finish, or 8:00/min


Favorite marathon



Marketing Manager


Favorite Running Food

Oatmeal with berries, almonds, cinnamon


Coaching soccer, goofing off with my 3 kids


Who do you train with?

Mostly solo, but occasionally with a Saturday morning group out of The Running Depot, Crystal Lake, IL

Favorite book, what are you reading now?

Favorite book: The Gold Coast (Nelson DeMille). Reading Now: The Steel Wave (Jeff Shaara)


A quotation you like…

Suck it up, tough it out and be the best you can (John Mellencamp, Minutes to Memories)

Personal goals

Sub-3 in marathon






Why do you run?


Simply taking advantage of some natural talent, scenery, explore the city where I travel for business, run with my kids, stay thin even though I love to eat.


Describe your best marathon memory.


My first marathon was Chicago 2007 (a.k.a., The Hot One). Typical rookie mistake, I went out way too fast and burned up energy weaving in traffic. The heat got to me in the later miles and I suffered multiple calf and hamstring cramps like I have never felt before or since. At an aid station somewhere around Mile 22, a nurse gave me a 5-minute aggressive leg massage and that got me back on the road. I found the 3:40 pacer and hung on for dear life to finish in 3:40.


Why do you pace?


Pacing is like coaching while on the move. I love to talk with people, help new marathoners with ideas, find out who has been in interesting races, who has ideas to help my own running, motivate people.


Tell us your best pacing experience.


May 2011 at the Chicagoland Marathon in Schaumburg, IL, we had a terribly cold, windy, rainy day. But our 3:40 group stuck together and toughed it out. Three of the women finished 1st in their age group and 2 people finally got their BQ and were so thrilled.


Why should someone run in your pace group?


I try to be like a good party host. I understand that this is YOUR race, not mine, and I am on that course to help you run fast, learn tips and strategies to help you race, and keep motivated to reach the finish line in a time you can be proud of. I find things that interest you. Whether you want to talk about running, your kids, something interesting in your life, I enjoy hearing about it. I think it helps make the miles zip by. I go back and forth among the pace group to check on everyone at least a few times in the race.  I also think I am fun and motivational.


Any tips for runners about to join your group?


Tell the pacer if you want to talk, or if you want to run in peace. Also, if something the pacer is doing or talking about is getting on your nerves, tell him. Remember that this is your race, and the pacer is here to make your experience great.


Anything else you’d like to share?

If you had a good experience with a pacer in a marathon, e-mail the race director afterwards and pass on a message. The pacers love to hear if they did their job well, or if they should improve.



What philanthropic activities do you have?

Church charities. I volunteer at a PADS homeless shelter. And I volunteer as a youth soccer and basketball coach for my kids.



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