EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

September 19, 2013

'Pacebands' offer simple tool for distance runners

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best ones.

That may be the case with Middleton’s Gretchen Fishman, who came up with “Pacebands,” a nifty tool for runners to wear during distance races.

What are Pacebands? Basically, they’re silicone bands athletes wear on their wrists during marathons and other races to make sure they stay on pace. They show the times runners should be running in their splits in order to reach their desired time.

“My husband is a runner and he was playing around with computer programs and he printed out a pace schedule,” said Fishman. “I thought that it would be neat if we could put it on something more permanent than paper.

“I first thought of hospital-type bracelets, but that had some drawbacks. Then we made the jump to the silicone bands.”

It seemed like a good idea, but nothing to get overly excited about. However, the Fishmans displayed and offered the bands for sale at the Boston Expo prior to the Boston Marathon, and they were amazed by the response.

“We didn’t have high expectations but we came away from the Expo thinking we had a good thing going,” said Fishman.

Indeed, a surprising number of Pacebands were sold at the Expo and word slowly spread about their usefulness. But their popularity soared when they caught the attention of Ryan Hall, America’s fastest marathon. He has a best time of 2:04:58 in the marathon as well as an American record of 59:43 in the half marathon.

Hall has already used the Pacesband in races and he plans on making it commonplace from now on, including at this fall’s New York Marathon.

“When Ryan Hall came aboard, it was great validation,” said Fishman, an avid marathoner who has run 26.2 miles in 12 states and has a long range goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. “To have someone of that caliber like it was more gratifying than all the sales we had.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like" 2014 MLB All-Star Game Snubs 2026 World Cup coming to USA? USMNT's bright future for Russia 2018 Best Major League Soccer players in Brazil 2014 Did Tim Howard deliver the best goalkeeping performance? Miesha Tate would love another shot at Ronda Rousey NFL Roundtable: New York Giants Noel: 'There will be a lot of eyes on me' Howard optimistic about USA's soccer future
Boston Sports
Ortiz outraged over PED accusations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like" Ortiz: 'Keep it real' regarding All-Star team Lester named to All-Star team; Uehara alternate 2014 MLB All-Star Game Snubs 2026 World Cup coming to USA? USMNT's bright future for Russia 2018 Best Major League Soccer players in Brazil 2014 Did Tim Howard deliver the best goalkeeping performance? Miesha Tate would love another shot at Ronda Rousey