It takes a special kind of person to pace a marathon. It requires grit, determination, and a lack of ego to allow others to use you as a device to improve their own times.
Paul Addicott is one such selfless athlete, who got into running late, and who developed such an ability he has now paced marathons and ultra marathons around the world, from London to Berlin to Las Vegas, and dozens more.
We caught up with the man who makes other athletes perform better to find out his Focus Five.
WHO: in your life inspires you?
My wife. We have two kids, and both work full time. She has had running injuries, but keeps trying. I do my best to help out around the house, but I don’t know where I would be without her. She brings out the best in people, and brings out the best in me.
WHAT: does your absolute achievement look like?
I want to pace the world. This starts with the world majors, but goes further. I love to help support people, and share their journey to success. I also love travelling and running internationally. By combining the two I get to experience different events and meet many different people. Through all the differences the kind spirit of humans shines through when we run. I get to see people giving everything they can, and holding in, and I get to share in their emotions as they finish.
WHEN: is the next opportunity to take another step in the right direction towards your success?
I have paced 3 world majors, and New York 2019 is my next opportunity as I pace my 4th world major. I cant tell you how excited I am to have even got a place as an official pacer, after years of trying. I know it will be magical.
WHERE: you’ve visited that drives you to achieve your end goal?
Chicago 2018, this was the 3rd world major I paced and my first pacing experience in America. The USA is incredible and I want to run all over America, and I will do so over the years
WHY: a memory of something you’ve done and WHY it pushes you to keep chasing after your dream?
I’ve been pacing for 6 years, but it was London Marathon, my first Major that I paced in 2014 that changed things for me.
The year before I had ran 2 hours quicker than the time I was pacing. It was very slow for me, and I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. I took in London like I never had before. I appreciated all the runners around me, and the atmosphere from the support was incredible. I got to talk to and motivate runners for hours, and shared so many hugs at the end. At this point I knew that I wanted to do more, I wanted to share peoples PBs, and this is my love of running.
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