This is a local event for me, and even though my focus is definitely more on trails, this is something that I never want to miss. It's really nice to be involved in something local like this where you know the organizers and many of the runners. I'd been hoping to find a way to get involved and give back to this race, so starting last year I took on the responsibility of coordinating the pace bunny team. This year I was able to get a full roster of bunnies for the half marathon, but as it turned out for the full, a couple of my bunnies got injured, and had to drop out a few weeks before the race. Unfortunately, finding replacements for the full marathon isn't easy. It ended up being okay though as there were so many bunnies for the half that a lot of runners in the full were able to hook up with a 1/2 bunny to see them through to the finish line.
As far as race reports go, a bunny's report is pretty boring. You start at your required pace, hold that required pace, and finish at the required pace. What makes it interesting though is the people you run into along the way. The way it usually goes is that you have a decent amount of people with you for the first 10-15km, then they start to drop off, and then you pick up some in the final few km of the race who need some motivation to get them through the finish line, and that is exactly what happened this time. I ended up having just 1 runner who was with me for the entire race, but at the finish line I always have runners find me and tell me how grateful they were to have been able to pace off me for a bit when going through a rough patch, or those who found motivation in just trying to stay ahead of me. This time I had 1 woman find me after the race and tell me that by seeing me catch up to her, that gave her the motivation to push hard to get ahead of me again, and she ended up getting her first BQ. Stuff like that is what makes pace bunnying so rewarding.
If you ever get a chance to run as a pace bunny, I would really encourage you to do it. As rewarding as it is to accomplish our own running goals, to be able to help someone else accomplish their goals is really great. To have someone find you after the race to say thanks and give you a hug, or to say "hey- I want to get my picture taken with my pace bunny"- that will keep me coming back year after year to put the ears on and run 42.2km around Prince Edward County.