Monday, May 08, 2006

Made My Day

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Woke up this morning, feeling a little stiff but not too bad at all. Above is my chart for the Vancouver International Marathon. Gun Time, 4:42:52 - Chip Time, 4:40:01.

I had volunteered - well, I was kind of drafted actually... - to be a Pace Bunny for the 4:45 Pace Group.

I had been having nightmares - no, really - all last week in my fever-induced state, that I would not be able to finish the marathon.

I had a GREAT time. Ran with a group of friends and got to make a whole host of new ones along the course.

We started off very easy to allow everybody to get up to operating temperature in the cool conditions and light rain that greeted us Sunday morning - down about ninety seconds after three miles - and then tried to maintain as even as pace as was possible along the marathon course.

After doing Vancouver so many times, I tried to build in a little cushion for people so that they wouldn't have their goal times robbed by doing the Burrard Street Bridge twice in the last eight miles of the race. We crossed the Half in around 2:21:30. Most of the elevation in Vancouver is in the second half of the marathon.

Woke up this morning to find an an absolute treat in my e-mail in-box...

Could you please forward the following email to Vince, the 4:45 pace bunny?

Hi Vince,

Just wanted to say a big thanks for the fantastic pacing job you did for us today.

I was getting pretty tired at the end, but finished at a great time thanks to you!

That in a nut-shell is the best reason in the world to be a Pace Bunny or a Pace Group Leader.

It is such a rare privelege, and so rewarding, to be able to help people achieve their goals and exceed their expectations. The hugs afterwards are worth more than the finishing medals.

I would say that about half of my group were first time marathoners, a few were running for fun and to finish (another person who had just run Boston!) and the rest really wanted to crack five hours.

During the last 10K a few people struggled - but which marathoners don't? - but most toughed it out and the finish was magical.

So for everybody in the 4:45 Pace Group - Pedro, John, Dan, Carol, Megan, Kyle, Larry and everybody else - thank you for allowing me to particpate and to be a small part of your big day. Congratulations on running such a great race.

Welcome to the Marathon Club. You're one in a thousand!


Blogger Anthony Epp said...

Great work Vince! Welcome to the Pace Rabbit club! And thanks for setting up the post race ice-buckets at the Dog House! Now THAT's a group leader :).

12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous LusciousLeo said...

Just wanted to comment about the Vancouver Marathon, as it was my brother's first...a total Virgin Marathoner...just to hear and especially see the accomplishment on his face was a incredible feeling of self worth...congratulations to all...and to you Vince I have read your blogs for awhile now and you give alot of people hats off to you...keep writing and I will keep Leo

12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Hemingson

I thought I had a daunting challenge in front of me today.

How to find a pace rabbit I met on Sunday named Vince who had just finished the Boston marathon?

Turns out there were not that many Vinces from Vancouver in Boston this year.

I had no idea I was running with a real celebrity!

If you want a fun filled morning it is well worth your while to go to Google and enter Vince Hemingson.

Warning: Don't do this if you are short of time! Vince gets a lot of press.

Vancouver was my third marathon. I had never come close to breaking five hours before yesterday.

Vince, you get my vote for the Vancouver Marathon MVB, Most Valuable Bunny.

I had a new personal best by more than twenty minutes. It was by far the most enjoyable race I have run yet.

You were a tremendous source of inspiration and motivation and knowledge. We all felt like we were in good hands.

Your enthusiasm was infectious, your advice was wonderful and your smile and encouragement for the entire race made all of feel like we were part of something special.

When I thought I couldn't go any more you made a believer out of me. Keep moving, keep moving. And we did! I still can't believe we were cheering and yelling at 25 miles.

You have a rare talent and a real gift and I hope you keep using it.

Thank you again.

2:39:00 PM  
Anonymous RunningGoddess said...

I tip my hat to you, Vince.

You ran with a smile for 26.2 miles.

You had an encouraging word for every single person who ran on Sunday. Those with you and those we passed on the other side of the road. It meant a lot. To us and to them.

I don't know how you did it, but you were totally upbeat and positive every step of the way.

But most off all, I think it showed a lot of heart and character and caring and set a great example by the way you thanked all the volunteers for coming out, acknowledged all the special athletes and along the way you invited everyone we met to join us.

It was sort of like a party of the run!

And you're kind of cute in pink ears.

5:13:00 PM  
Blogger Vince Hemingson said...


Now please stop it.

You're going to blow my cover as a cranky old man.

I'll never be able to scare people during Hill work.

Or frighten them into staying behind me on long runs.

6:40:00 PM  
Blogger Scooter said...

Watched the DVD yesterday, and again with my son this AM. I enjoyed it very much. I have to agree, an e-mail like the one you got is the best thanks in the world.

12:49:00 PM  

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