Pace Teams
Strength in numbers

Want to give yourself an extra boost toward meeting your time goal on race day or just add some fun and entertainment to your race? Join a pace team!

A pace team is a group of runners led by an experienced leader who run together in the marathon. The pace leader runs a steady pace and keeps track of that pace so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing the marathon at a particular time. There are wonderful benefits of running with a pace group. You’ll be supported by a cheerful leader and will be side by side with other runners sharing the same goal as you. And the best part — running with a pace team is free to registered runners and doesn’t cost you anything!

Meet our pacers below!

Under 2 hours

Pace time: 1:45

2-3 hours

Jason & Jeff
Pace time: 2:00

Veronica Ghoghos
Pace time: 2:15
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and currently live in Plantation, Florida. I am a Certified Running Coach with the Road Running Club of America (RRCA) and a Certified Level 1 Track & Field Level Coach with USA Track & Field. I am currently an Assistant Coach with Friends in Training, a marathon and half marathon training group in Fort Lauderdale. I have run 41 half marathons, 26 marathons and have paced 16 full and half marathons combined. Coaching and pacing provide me with a personal satisfaction of seeing runners achieve their running goals!

Christy Pojdl
Pace time: 2:15
I have completed 14 marathons, 10 half marathons, several Sprint and Olympic triathlons and one Half Ironman. I have always been a runner, but it was only when I moved to Fort Lauderdale and joined the Friends in Training running group that I decided to train for a marathon. I love the challenge of putting in the weekly miles for the big race day. It is the excitement of lining up at the start of a race and the pure feeling of accomplishment of finishing a race that keeps me coming back.

Amber Smith
Pace time: 2:30
I’m 27 years old and have been running 2.5 years. I have competed in the Tough Mudder, three half marathons, one full marathon, one triathlon and three Ragnar races (including my first ultra this year!). I am a local in Sarasota and work in physical therapy where I am passionate about helping runners and all athletes return to their sport after injury. I paced the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay last year and loved it. I’m looking forward to doing it again this year where I’ll be pacing the 2:30 group and helping people achieve their goals from running their first race or hitting a new PR!

Marcela Todd
Pace time: 2:45
I’m the Friends In Training Program Director/Head Coach. I was born in Bogotá, Colombia and currently live in Davie, Florida. I’m an RRCA-Certified Running Coach and have been running for a little over 14 years. I completed all the 50 marathons I have participated in, including 12 years of Miami Marathons in a row! I’m also an Ultra marathon runner and ran my first 100-mile race in May 2013 at the Keys100 in the Florida Keys. Marathon pacing is enjoyable very rewarding to help others achieve their goals while making it fun. I’m excited and honored about pacing the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay again and am looking forward to supporting you and seeing you cross that finish line with a big smile on your face. YOU CAN DO THIS! And we’re here to support you.

Nancy B. Loughlin
Pace time: 3:00
I have been running for six years and have completed over 40 half and full marathons. This is my third year pacing the 3:00 group for the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay. When I’m not running, I write a column about yoga, meditation, green living and all things funky for News Press, the daily paper of SW Florida. I am also a published poet and writing teacher.

Over 3 hours

Tina Brinkerhoff
Pace time: 3:30
I initially started to run as stress reliever and to provide company to my friends during their long runs as they prepared for a marathon. Having no idea what a marathon was like, I was very inspired when I went to see my friends running in the Twin Cities Marathon. Following that experience, I immediately signed up for a marathon myself and have now been running marathons for over 15 years. Within that time I’ve run marathons on three continents, in five different countries and in 17 states. I find that each race is what you make it. While each race is unique in its setting, the number of spectators, terrain and accompanying activities/pomp-and-circumstance, in the end it is your attitude and your perspective that will shape whether you think it is a great race. Actual performance on a particular race day rarely lasts as the dominant memory. Some of my best memories from races have been the pace groups I’ve either lead or participated in. I hope you join my pace group, for there will be many memories and stories that will be shared as the miles pass, all while keeping you right on your goal pace.

Audrey Campbell
Course Timer