The pacers

The marathon is an endurance race so pace and regularity are major factors. It is often quite a daunting task trying to maintain a steady speed. For those people who set their sights on a "chronometric" target, the Maasmarathon organisers offer people the opportunity to plant themselves firmly in the wake of seasoned runners who, recognisable by a coloured balloon that can be seen from far off, are bent on completing the 42.195 km within a specific time limit.

The programme features seven different scheduled times:

3h00 red balloons

A speed of 4' 15'' per km, 14 km/h

3h15 "yellow balloons"

Or a speed of 4'35'' per km (13 km/h).Your training will have been extremely intense. The least time possible is spent taking refreshments.

3h30 "blue balloons"

5' per km (12 km/h).The experienced pacers slow down the pace at the refreshment points, which are of key importance, to resume a steady pace between each point.

3h45 "Purple balloons"

5'20'' per km (11.250km/h), which is the speed of most marathon participants. Do not crowd around the pacers but stay a reasonable distance behind the balloons: this avoids any jostling during the refreshments!

4h00 "Green balloons"

At 5'40'' per km the speed will be about 11 km/h with appropriate stops at each refreshments point

4h15  White balloons

At 6' per km, with appropriate stops at each refreshments point

4h30 "pink balloons"

6'25'' per km, the aim is to attain 10 km/h, including stops for refreshments. The hares will offer psychological support in maintaining this speed.

Your willpower will do the rest.