As a keen runner always searching for PB’s I first came across Xempo in 2010, with a leaflet in my finishers bag after Bristol Half Marathon. At this point they were a relatively new company that immediately appealed to me, with a unique concept of a colour graded system that you have to earn. You can only get certain colour tops if your time making you eligible is verified. At that time I had just finished in 1:40:04, good enough for a Green top, but just 4 seconds short of qualifying for a Blue top.
I remember the first time I met Dan (founder of Xempo), as I crossed the finish line of Bath Half Marathon 2011, just 6 months later, having smashed my half marathon PB by over 6 minutes. This was the start for me, and I was looking for my next milestone, at 1:30 I would be able to purchase a purple top, and of course this was now my target. Later that year I took another 7 minutes off of my time and I was able to get a purple top. All of a sudden I went from a 1:40 half marathon runner at best, to a sub 1:30, and I was in my Xempo black and purple vest.
At Bath 2012 something unexpected happened, I was able to hold a strong pace and cross the finish line in 1:23:25. I hadn’t even considered that I would qualify for a red vest so soon. Unfortunately we all have our limits, and for me to progress to the next level; Silver, would require a lot of time and dedication, and even then there is no guarantee I could get my body to move that fast.
Over the years Xempo has grown, and now there is set criteria for 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. I certainly think I have more chance of getting Silver in the 10k option. Over the past few years life has not allowed me to train for speed, with a young family I have other priorities, so my PB hunting is on hold (for now 😜).
An opportunity presented itself to me in 2013, as Xempo began to offer a pacing service, I was lucky enough to secure my first post as a pacer, the 1:40 pacer for Royal Parks 2013. It was crazy thinking that just 3 years earlier 1:40 was my PB, and now I was pacing others to achieve this milestone.
I have had so many wonderful experiences with Xempo and the team, and have paced with them and watched them grow. Now with a dozen races under my belt with the team, and with the flagship event approaching, I am looking forward to pacing Royal Parks half marathon for the 4th time.
Xempo have evolved and now have a dedicated site for pacing: Racepacing. This site is full of experienced and aspiring pacers that now populate the many events that Xempo organise pacers for. I have had so much fun over the years pacing for xempo, and helping many people achieve their goals (well usually the 1:40 group anyway). This service comes with a very supportive team to offer their pacers (new and old) tips and advice to ensure they deliver. As a service they help people achieve their targets, and then offer a personalised top to commemorate this.
I find pacing people so rewarding, and prefer this to PB hunting. Although I am going to start training for speed gain soon, I will continue pacing for Xempo, which will remain a highlight on my running calendar (as long as they keep inviting me back of course).
For more information on the Xempo range:
For more information about pacing for Xempo: