2016 Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon Pacing Team

For the 3rd straight year the Your Pace or Mine (YPOM) Running Club is honored to be the official pace team for the Clarkston State Bank Back Roads Half Marathon at Independence Oaks in Clarkston, MI. If you are trying to hit a goal of between 1:40 and 2:45 for this race, consider utilizing these experienced runners on this challenging course. Or run with them if you just want company. The pacers will run a consistent pace throughout the race, in a sense they will be a moving clock that you can use to gauge how you are doing. Pace teams can help keep you honest, help keep you from going out too fast at the start, and help distract you when the going gets tough.

Look for the pacers before the race, they will be easy to find. Each pace team will have a sign they will carry with their finish time on it. No special registration or signup needed, just join them for all or part of the race. They will offer encouragement, advice and answer questions during the race.



WHAT PACE TIMES WILL BE OFFERED? Pace Leaders will be leading these finish times: 1:40 (7:38/mile), 1:50 (8:23/mile), 2:00 (9:09/mile), 2:10 (9:55/mile), 2:20 (10:41/mile), 2:30 (11:27/mile), 2:45 (12:35/mile) 

WHAT PACE GROUP SHOULD I BE IN? Hard to say, you are the best to answer this question. If you find yourself in between two times, it is usually best to choose the slower time. If halfway through the race you are feeling good, then speed up. Most people pick the more aggressive time and then fade badly in the second half. The biggest danger is starting out too fast or overestimating your ability. If you have no idea as to what pace you should run because you've never run this distance in a race before, find the pacers beforehand and ask their advice. Based on shorter races you've run or your training speed they can probably give you a good target pace. 


HOW WILL THE PACERS BE RUNNING THE RACE? Every pace leader will be holding a steady pace throughout the course. Think of them as a moving clock. Each mile should be at the same pace. Or at least very close, we are human after all.

WHERE WILL MY PACE LEADER BE ON RACE MORNING? You will see the Your Pace or Mine tent near the starting area before the race. The pacers will be there and within 15 minutes of the start of the race they will assemble in the starting area. The pacers will have signs with their finish time on them, so find the time you want and start near them. 

WHAT IF I AM USING THE GALLOWAY (RUN/WALK) METHOD? You can still use the pace groups even if you’re using the run-walk method. The pace leaders will not use run-walk, but if your average pace remains constant you will simply pass them when you run and get passed when you walk. 

IF I JOIN A PACE GROUP DO I HAVE TO STAY WITH THEM FOR THE WHOLE RACE? Nope. Runners often tire later in the race and fall behind, especially when they are shooting for an ambitious time. If you have to fall back, then do so. Conversely, if you are feeling good later in the race and want to go ahead, do so! The biggest mistake people make is starting too fast, so be careful those first few miles.

I'D LOVE TO SEE WHAT THESE FABULOUS PACERS LOOK LIKE AND HEAR A LITTLE ABOUT THEM. Wow, what a coincidence. You can see and read about them below!

1:40 Pace Team (7:38/mile)

I started distance running in 2010 when a coworker finally harassed me enough to sign up for my first half marathon 5 weeks before the race. After that turned out so badly I just had to do it again.

I finished 2 more halfs and the Crim that year and added a marathon to the list of goals for 2011. Since then I’ve run many half and full marathons so I can keep eating dessert. 

I look forward to seeing you on race day and then eating some mac and cheese.

Tim Gregorio

Jeff Wolgast

I started running back in 2009, because I wanted to run in my first Crim 10 mile race. Since then I have completed 7 full marathons (soon to be 8) and too many half marathons to count.

Running has been a big part of my life, and has helped me through some difficult times. It is a great stress reliever and a great way to stay in shape. Running has given me so much, and helped me meet my wife, and so I want to help others reach their goals and give back to the running community. 

I am a returning pacer for this race for the 1:40 group, and have paced an assortment of other races as well, so you can be confident that if you stick with us, you’ll have your finish time of 1:40. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the race!

1:50 Pace Team  (8:23/mile)

Welcome to the 1:50 pace group. My name is Casey this is my third year pacing this race.That being said I can guarantee you one thing, the mac and cheese and beer at the end is well worth running this race.

But a little bit about me. I have ran 10 full marathons and countless number of halfs. I enjoy pacing the 1:50 group and my goal is to make your experience with us the best. We like to pace this group so we come in no more then 10 seconds ahead of schedule.

Casey Hogan

Bruce Matthews

I love running and look forward to pacing those who want to run this half in 1:50 or better. Ran my first marathon at age 40 because I was bored and needed a challenge. Ran my second when I turned 50 because I run.

I continue to run because I like ice cream and beer. 

Casey and I will bring the pace, you bring the jokes, and enjoy this Half Marathon with us.

2:00 Pace Team (9:09/mile)

I used to run back in school and then picked it up again back in 2013 as cross-training for mountain bike racing. I ran the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon that fall and I have completed another half since then and numerous 5K and 10K races.

I am pacing this race for the first time and am excited to have you in our group! Looking forward to a great race and pacing you toward the finish line!

Paul Santini

Kara Sellentine

Kara Sellentine, as an Oakland University alumni cross country runner and with 12 marathons under her belt, you'd think she was a serious runner! But when Kara is not running, she loves spending her time doing improv comedy and cracking jokes with her family, Jaclyn, Madelyn and Joel. 

She's excited and honored to be leading the 2 hour half marathon runners and promises you'll be "laughing all the way to the finish line..."

2:10 Pace Team (9:55/mile)

I am crazy for trail running. I spent much of this summer running trail races, from half-marathons to an ultra.

I look forward to pacing Clarkston with my running buddy, Roxanne. I have paced with her in the past and we are known to tell stories and bad jokes. You will be quite entertained as you aim for a 2:10 finish!

Jen Bruns

Roxanne Ropponen

I’m Roxanne, one half of your 2:10 team. I’ve been pacing races with YPOM for several years. I’ve paced more half marathons than I can count! I’ve got a few marathons under my belt, as well.

I love pacing, it’s one of the best parts of my running experience! Having the chance to help to motivate someone to achieve their goals and to have a little fun while doing it is rewarding as heck.

My picture is of my sister and I (I’m on the right, she’s on the left). This was her first 5k and I was her personal pacer, what fun we had! I look forward to enjoying the run with you, too!

2:20 Pace Team (10:41/mile)

My name is Matt Kiracofe, and I will be pacing the 2 hours and 20 minute pace group. I have been running for a little over 5 years now. Running for me started out as method to get into shape, and now I look back in amazement at where a little hard work can get you. In that time I have gone through many running milestones from running my first mile, 5k, half marathon, and marathon within the first year.

I guess what I am trying to say is that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. By the start of the Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon I will have completed 23 marathons in my quest for 50 in 50 states, and 21 half marathons. This will also be my ninth opportunity to pace a half marathon.

Running has changed my life, and I love any opportunity that allows to me to give back to the running community. So come November 13th join us for a wild 13.1 mile journey with the 2:20 pace group.

Matt Kiracofe

Mike Fitzgerald

Greetings, Clarkston Back Roads runners!  I am Mike Fitzgerald, and I will be pacing the 2:20 pace group with Matt Kiracofe. If all goes to plan, I will have just completed running a marathon in all 50 states by running in Indianapolis the weekend before this race.

Sounds crazy? Well it has been. But it has also been fun, and I am looking forward to sharing my running craziness and fun with you! Matt and I have run a lot of marathons together, so if you are in need of an entertaining story to help pass the time, we have plenty! Just ask us about Jackson, Mississippi; Portland, Oregon; Falmouth, Massachusetts, Baltimore, Atlantic City, St. Louis, Wichita, we've basically been all over the country.

But don't be shy, we'd love to hear your running stories as well. Looking forward to running with you!

2:30 Pace Team  (11:27/mile)

Hello runners, I am honored to be one of your 2:20 pacers. Since my disastrous first marathon in 2001 I have steadily learned how to appreciate and enjoy the sport. I have completed a total of 12 marathons, 1 Ultra, and over 40 Half Marathons, some serious, some for speed, some for fun.

I have paced 14 half marathons, in fact my identical twin Coreen and I paced the last two Clarkston Back Road races. So odds are we will not get you lost in the woods.  :)

Coreen and I make a fine team if I do say so myself. Well, somebody has to say it. If you want to finish in under 2:30 and run with (unofficially) the greatest if not the most serious pace team out there, join Coreen and me on November 13th. We'll get you to that finish line.

Joe Terranova

Coreen McCaul

My Clarkston Half Marathon running BFF Joe and I are excited to be your pacers again this year! We had a blast on the hills last year and the year before that...so we decided to get the band back together. This year, we really are convinced we should get matching tattoos.

In 2005, I ran my first marathon in Phoenix, AZ and now I am hooked. I love running for great causes like child protection and clean water. Charlevoix, Beaver Island, New York, Seattle and Chicago have been my favorite races.

We look forward to a warm sunny November pacing day, and we hope you'll join us. We may sing a little, wear skirts, and share our tattoos.

2:45 Pace Team (12:35/mile)

I started running because my cardio doctor said I needed to get my heart pumping more. I use to run in school for track and loved it.

I started back up running in January 2016 with the help of YPOM running group. They got me up and running in my first 1/2 marathon in March. It's been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I've lost weight, I feel more athletic and more active.

This will be my first trail run as a pacer. If you run in our group I will bore you with all the details and that might make you run a little faster to stay in front of us lol.

Charles Estep

Kristin Kalakay

Hey runners! I'm Kristin, one of your official 2:45 pacers. I am so excited to help motivate you to achieve your goal!

I started running in 2012 and have come a long ways since then. I signed up for my first half marathon in 2013, which was a disaster but I finished. Since then I have ran over thirty half and six full marathons, and one 50k.

I am a very bubbly person who loves to motivate others. Hope to see you at the Clarkston Back Roads race, you can do this!!!!

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