Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NOTC Pacers At The Big Easy Half

Whether you're a seasoned runner or participating in your first race, odds are good you have a goal in mind for an upcoming event. With the Big Easy Running Festival in less than two weeks, you've put in the work to reach those goals. However, you don't have to go it alone come race-day.

The New Orleans Track Club has partnered with The Smoothie King Big Easy Running Festival to present the NOTC Pace Team at their half marathon event on November 23rd! Here's your chance to meet the experienced runners that will be leading you to your desired finish time and surpass your own expectations:

Matt G. - 7:00 min / mile
As an NOTC board member, I’m excited to represent our club and to help one of our partners put on what looks to be a great event. This will be my first time running an event as an official pacer, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I’ve run one full marathon and six half-marathons, recently setting a new PR (1:21.11) at this year’s Jazz Half. I’m most excited about running across the bridge, as this will be my first time crossing it on foot (Cooper River, Golden Gate, Huey P? Check, check, check. Crescent City Connection? Not yet!).
Lauren J. - 8:00 min / mile
Hi! My name is Lauren and I will be serving as the pacer for the 8:00-mile pace group. I have been a runner for 13 years, competing in both high school and college cross country and track. I ran my first half-marathon one week after graduating college in 2009 and have run a total of 11 half-marathons (half PR of 1:35). I ran my 1st full marathon in February 2013 in a time of 3:48. I am super excited to pace participants in the Big Easy Running Festival and to relive my days of running endless hills in upstate NY by getting the opportunity to run over the Crescent City Connection!
Casey U. - 9:00 min / mile 
My name is Casey, and I’ll be leading the 9-minute pace team. I’ve been running for 10 years, and have completed 15 halfs, 15 fulls, and 30 ultras. My half marathon PR is 1:37. I’m originally from Lexington, Kentucky, but moved to New Orleans about 2 years ago, and one of my favorite places to run is around City Park – so this is definitely the part of the course I am most excited about! On race day, the 9-minute pace team will be looking to break the 2 hour mark, so if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. I look forward to helping you enjoy your race as much as possible!
Chad R. - 10:00 min / mile
My running resume includes 22 half marathons and 15 full marathons, with a half PR at 1:35, and full of 3:20. I paced during the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon in 2013, and  looking forward to doing it again at the Big Easy Half Marathon in a couple weeks! I am an avid trail runner in Lousiana, but the highlight of the Big Easy course will have to be the Crescent City Connection bridge right at the start of the race.
Fred R. - 11:00 min / mile
I'm excited to finally be able to run as pacer for an event at the Big Easy Half Marathon! Having finished 35 full marathons (PR 03:54) and numerous halves, I'm looking to slow my pace to enjoy the great views of NOLA from the Crescent City Connection. However, as a native New Orleanian and avid sports fan, I'm anticipating my pacing group's triumphant finish at the Smoothie King Center and Mercedes Benz Superdome. I'll also be recapping my experience as a pacer here on in the week after the race!
Jim M. - 12:00 min / mile
Jim has been a runner since 1968, when, in his first race, he won the Tulane intramural cross country title. Jim’s most recent half was run over hilly course at an 8:30 pace, good enough to win his age group.* Over the years, Jim has become quite adept at running long distances at a slow, even pace. He's perfectly suited for pacing you runners! Jim is a retired math teacher who also coached track and cross country for much of his thirty-six year tenure at St. Martin’s Episcopal School. He has also served tirelessly on the NOTC board. *He was the only one in his age group.

Once you've successfully completed the Big Easy Half Marathon, sign up for the New Orleans Track Club's Ole Man River Half Marathon & 5K on December 20th! Finishers of both half marathon races receive a special medal that's part of the Holiday Half Challenge. To register for Ole Man River and get more challenge info, click HERE.


  1. What a great idea! Really helps to a) have pacers, and b) know a little about them to break the ice. Good luck to all the racers!

  2. Hey, why stop at the 12 minute mile? There are lots of people way slower than that. I'm a race walker. My best time for the half is 3 hours and 6 minutes. I'd love to see pacers at 13, 14, 15, 16 minute miles and even slower.