Overseas pace setters to help amateur full marathoners finish in stipulated timings at Jan 15 Mumbai Marathon
Sungeetha Dhanraj, Ashraf Moosa, Youssef Kanouni, Ashraf Orrie and Roldah Orrie
For the first time, five pace setters from South Africa are set to run the Tata Mumbai Marathon in Mumbai on Sunday, January 15. The pacers will help the amateur full marathon runners to complete the 42km course in their stipulated time.
You need to have a big heart to be a pacemaker, pace setter or pacer. Pacers are marathon veterans, who run the race, not for themselves but others. They bring in the group of runners following him/her from the start to finish at predetermined time. The group of runners following a pacer is called a bus.
A pace setter for three hours, 40 minutes for instance, is setting the pace for a group behind him aiming to finish the 42km course in 3:40.
The five pace setters from South Africa who are going to be in Mumbai, leading runners for different bus times in the marathon are: Youssef Kanouni (03:45), Ashraf Moosa (03:55), Ashraf Orrie (04:00), Roldah Orrie (04:30) and Sungeetha Dhanraj (04:45). The five are chosen because they are Comrades runners.
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The Comrades Ultramarathon is a running event of approximately 90 km, held annually between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. It is considered one of the ultimate tests of running endurance and grit.
Elite athletes usually have their own pace setters and there have been rare instances when a pacemaker himself wins the race. In 2016, Kenyan pacemaker Gideon Kipketer won the Mumbai Marathon stopping both hearts and the clock at 2:08:35.