Pace teams? For Grand Rapids? What do you think we are, Chicago?

But Doctor Rick came up with a great idea. Let’s have people try to beat the times of famous people who have run marathons. If you’ve been here the last couple years, you already know NOBODY does pace teams like the Grand Rapids Marathon. Here’s your chance to dust P. Diddy, beat George W. Bush in a race, or prove you’re at least as fast as Oprah.

Whatever your pace, chances are we’ll have a celebrity inspired pace team to take you to the finish in your targeted time. The teams will run even splits the whole way to keep you from starting too fast, and all the pacers will be fun, outgoing, seasoned marathoners who will help you with practical advice along the way.

Participation is free and you can sign up at the Expo on Saturday.

And yes, there will be half-marathon pace teams as well!

Celebrity-Pace Pace Teams

4:58:25 Al Gore’s: An Inconvenient Pace Team – a pace team that honors the inventor of pace teams and leaves a very small environmental footprint.

4:44:44 The Penguin Brigade – This pace team is for penguins everywhere and is officially endorsed by Runner’s World’s John “The Penguin” Bingham.

4:29:20 Team Oprah – Everyone wants to know if they can beat Oprah!

4:14:54 P. Diddy Pacers – So not all of our celebrities are great role models, but they are all marathon finishers, and their times conform nicely to a 15-minute (approximately) spacing.

3:56:12 Will Ferrell’s Sub-4′s – Nine-minute miles on the nose will break four hours with four minutes to spare, just like Will. Shake & Bake!

3:44:52 George W.’s Running Mates – While W’s time is impressive, imagine how much faster he could have run if he hadn’t stopped to look for weapons of mass destruction. Either way, here’s your chance to win the Presidential Race.

3:29:24 The Billy Baldwin Racers – We’re not really sure if he counts as a celebrity, but he’s Alec’s brother and we do respect his time.

3:1415926 Pi’s Pacers – Geeky younger brother of Phidippides in ancient Greece, was more interested in mathematics than in running.

2:59:36 The Sub-3 Lancers – Pretend you are Alberto Contador and take on the seven-time Tour de France champion! And yes, we do have enough really fast pacers to make this team happen.

For more information, contact the pace team director,
Rick Ganzi (Dr. Rick AKA The Pickle Juice Guy)