Ali on the Run Show Episode 203: Rick Powell, Houston Marathon 2:45 Pacer

“There was an incredible amount of pressure that I acknowledged and then just kind of wanted to tuck away in the back of my mind and not pay attention to, because if I let that take over, I would’ve been scrutinizing it, and it would’ve gotten in my head, and I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.”

Rick Powell was the official 2:45 pacer at the 2020 Houston Marathon, who led a group of several dozen women hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials. On this episode, Rick — a former Marine and current attorney who was fresh off a 2:31 finish at the Steamtown Marathon — reflects on his experience in Houston.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Why Rick wanted to be the OTQ pacer in Houston (5:55)
  • On the magnitude of the day for the women (14:30)
  • On getting advice from the CIM pacers before the race (21:00)
  • What it was like being the only pacer for the 2:45 group (25:30)
  • What it was like at the start of the Houston Marathon (34:20)
  • What happens when people fall off the pace group (39:55)
  • What it was like pacing Neely Spence Gracey (48:25)
  • The impact this experience had on Rick (51:00)

What we mention on this episode:

The CIM Pacers on Episode 196 of the Ali on the Run Show

Starla Garcia on Episode 200 of the Ali on the Run Show

Neely Spence Gracey on Episode 201 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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