Meet your pacers for Sunday!


A group of YMCA staff and volunteers have volunteered their time to run as pacers on the course in both the 10km and 5km events.

Our pacers are there to chase, motivate and act as a moving target to help you achieve your goal time whether it’s your first event or you’re going for a personal best.

Meet them below!

Ash Bartholomew

Diamond Creek YMCA –  45 minute 10km pacer

Ash is a long distance / Ultra runner, running up to 100miles. He has paced many Melbourne Marathons and previous YMCA Father’s Day Fun Runs and parkruns.

Three tips for anyone running their first 10km

  1. Set a goal
  2. Make a plan
  3. Dream big! Doesn’t matter the distance, it’s all the same.

What is the course like and how will you run it as a pacer?

I will try to run even splits from the gun. Anderson Street might slow us down a little but the long downhill should make it all worthwhile.

Warm up tips?

Smile, this is your choice!

Do you have a running mantra for when things get tough?

It’s just running, and left, right, left, or one step at a time

Where’s your favourite place to run in Melbourne?

Ideally I like trails, but I enjoy my local parkrun in Diamond Creek for something a little different.

What inspires you to run?

Being outdoors more than anything.

Cool down and recovery tips?

Easy – a good brunch and coffee. Time to celebrate, maybe a little post run stretch and jog first.


Nathan Buschkuehl

Casey RACE and Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre – 40minute 10km

Nathan is a 25 year old professional triathlete from Langwarrin. He is running the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run for the first time and is a PT at YMCA Casey RACE and Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre. Nathan is also a qualified Exercise Physiologist

Three tips for anyone running their first 10km

  1. Pacing is crucial – going out hard and blowing up is never fun. Remember to run within yourself and aim to be consistent throughout with a big final push to the finish line.
  2. Stay relaxed up Anderson Street hill. You don’t want to burn all your biscuits too early. You can push the downhill afterwards and can certainly make up time there.
  3. Remember to have fun. After all it’s a fun run so enjoy yourself even when it starts to tickle.

What’s the best breakfast to have before the run? 

Toast with banana and a pre-race coffee usually gets me up and about for race day



Mardi Cuthbert

Macleod YMCA – 55min 10km

Mardi is a facilitator for Mynd Wellness, and a trainer at Macleod Recreation and Fitness Centre. She also works as a civil engineer, and trains and competes in triathlons – most recently the Cairns Half Ironman.

Three tips for anyone running their first 10km

  1. Plan your morning from wake up time to the race start – including breakfast, train times/parking location and time for the inevitable toilet queue.
  2. Find a comfortable pace you know you can maintain for the whole distance – running with a pacer is a great way to do this
  3. Celebrate the achievement – regardless of your time, it’s going to be a personal best!

What is your role as a pacer?

As a pacer, my job is to run at a consistent pace, motivating those around me to achieve their goal to finish the event in under 55 minutes.

What inspires you to run?

Aside from a strong coffee? Achieving things I didn’t think I was capable of – and as a pacer, seeing others achieve the same!


Jake Alway

Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre – 25 minute 5km

Jake is running the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run for the first time. He is the coach of the EHLC Running Club Coach and Health and Wellness Coordinator of Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre. Jake has completed five Ironman Triathlons and 10 Marathons!

Three tips for anyone running their first 5km?

  1. Take your time at the start of the run. Try not to keep up with everyone, take it at your own pace and remember it’s not a race.
  2. Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right or something is hurting, it’s okay to slow down. It’s a lot better to ease up now than later on when the problem can become more serious.
  3. Always do a cool down after you finish your run. You might be excited to be finished but the recovery is important to improve muscle relaxation, remove waste products, reduce muscle soreness and bring the cardiovascular system back to resting levels.

Warm up tips?

Go for a small slow run (300-500m) to warm up your legs and get the blood going. I find this is the best way for myself to get started at my normal running pace and get into a steady state once the run has started.

Best breakfast to have before a run?

I eat a banana and a slice of toast with honey on it before a run. I don’t feel too bloated or heavy when running which can help my performance during a run.

What happens when things get tough?

I keep positive self-talk, I tell myself phases such as Don’t stop, Dig deep and Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever which usually help with a bit of a motivational boost to keep on going.


Jak Lynch

Kensington Rec Centre and Carlton Baths – 20minute 5km

Jak is a running coach, PT and Health and Wellness Coordinator. Jak is running the FDFR for the third time and loves to run in fun runs from 5km up to 60km.

What’s your favourite thing about FDFR?

I love seeing everyone out and about from families and kids in costumes to competitive runners taking off at top speed.

Do you have a running mantra for when things get tough? 

I yell out and encourage other runners, the positive vibes help me pick up the speed when the going gets tough. Maybe I am annoying but I like to think it helps!

Where’s your favourite place to run in Melbourne? 

Anywhere off the road where I can run with my two dogs on the lead like Darebin Creek, Merri Creek, the Tan, Capital City Trail.

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