Chapel Hill Carrboro Pacers Youth Running Club

2022 Spring Season

Spring season registration is open REGISTRATION LINK. Email for more information.

Tuesday March 15–Thursday June 2
Tuesday & Thursday 4:30–5:30
Location: Pumpkin loop parking lot (other locations TBD)

Communication via Remind app

We offer four teams depending on distance and speed: (1) Powerful puppies (former little dogs), (2) Middle dogs, (3) Hybrids, and (4) Big dogs - your athlete can initially choose their team, and then we -the coaches- might rotate them around until they find a comfortable team. Pacers is NOT competitive, we get together to run and have fun while enjoying and taking care of the outdoors and ourselves.

About Pacers

The Pacers is a non-profit youth running club that has been operational since the 1970s. Boys and girls aged 7–18 join the Pacers for a competitive edge, for exercise, or just for fun. Runners are grouped according to age and ability, with shorter runs tailored for beginners and more vigorous runs for seasoned veterans. Our all-volunteer coaching staff offers creative sessions which aim to instill a love of running as a lifetime sport.

Parents are always encouraged to join our runs!

We offer spring and fall seasons. Both seasons include a mix of road and trail running, varied workouts, time trials, scavenger hunt and relay fun, and an end-of-season family party. The fall season focuses more on trail running. The spring season focuses more on road running and also offers an opportunity to focus on sprinting, and an introduction to hurdles, baton relays and field events. Coaches offer tips on such topics as running form, stretching, and nutrition at the beginning and informally throughout practices. Runners have the opportunity to join other Pacers in local races, but the emphasis is always on fun and participation with the Pacers—continually "on the run" since the 1970's!

Affiliations:Pacers is a is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a member of the USA Track and Field Association.

Locations: Pacers meet at various locations around Chapel Hill and Carrboro, depending on the season. Past meeting locations have included Wilson Park, Seawell elementary, McDougal middle school, and locations near UNC campus.

Adverse weather: If there are storms in the area, use your family judgement. We do run in the rain, but not in heavy thunder/lightning. Generally, we'll try to make the call as to whether practice will go on as scheduled by 45 minutes prior to start at the latest and try to send an email, based on area Doppler weather data, but sometimes communication is not possible. If in doubt choose to stay home, or remain close by if you can, and know that we are watching the radar and moving runners to safety if the weather takes a turn for the worse during practice.

Attire: Runners must be appropriately attired in workout clothes and running shoes. These shoes don't have to be high end, but they must be athletic shoes suitable for running (not basketball shoes). We support Fleet Feet Sports in Carrboro as our running community resource!

Hydration: We have a cooler of Gatorade / sports drink available at the conclusion of each practice, but there's only so much to go around, so please have your Pacer also bring a water bottle with their name on it. The importance of daily hydration increases with rising temperatures.


Boys and girls age 7 (or turning 7 during this current calendar year) through aged 18 are eligble to register. The price is $80 for one child or $150 for two siblings.

Registration details are communicated to the parent email list prior to each season. Email to join the list.

Due to the overwhelming growth of the Pacers in recent years and the desire to sustain a safe and personalized program, we limit the number of runners who may participate each season. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis with returning runners having priority.

Coaching & Family Involvement

The Pacers is led by Head Coach Eimy Rivas Plata, and welcomes veteran and new volunteer coaches including parents, members of the UNC XC Club, and middle and high school junior coaches.

Pacers culture enjoys and depends on the involvement of Pacer families: parents, caregivers, siblings, grandparents. Not all are runners, but there are many opportunities. Here are some of the many of the ways family members support Pacers:

  • sweep/run at practices on a regular or sporadic basis
  • mix and bring Gatorade to practice one day a week (provided by Pacers)
  • assist with organized activities like Time Trials, scavenger hunts or relays (with or without running)
  • assist with distribution of Pacer Tees
  • take photos of practices & events to share and celebrate Pacers' experiences
  • assist with coordination of weekend events (optional races, USATF)
  • assist with the preparation of PR ribbons
  • help plan and coordinate end-of-season family celebration.

Team Rules

Here are our "Rules of the Trails" for all participants, parents, and even coaches to study and practice. Disregard for the rules will result in coaches speaking with parents, and repeated infractions will initiate the disciplinary sequence.

ON-TIME DELIVERY—Practices begin with a meet-up, including announcements, recognition, and the occasional guest speaker. Runners should arrive before the practice start time, and MUST be picked up by the practice end time. Runners arriving late should not be merely dropped off at the trailhead, as groups run workouts away from the meet-up area;

A RUNNING CONCERN—The CC Pacers is a running club. We understand that many Pacers will be adjusting to running workouts on the trails, and many will get into better shape in due time. As they are able, however, Pacers must be able to run at the group's pace. Walking or dawdling disrupts the group workout. Workouts are beginner-friendly but gradually intensify over the course of the season. If a runner is having a hard time keeping up with his / her group, please speak to a coach. Conversely, if a runner is intentionally walking or dawdling for attention, coaches will speak to the runner's parent and may initiate the disciplinary sequence;

GROUP THERAPY—Once Pacers are grouped together for workouts, runners must stay with their coaches until their coaches dismiss them or place them under the watchful eye of another coach;

HORSEPOWER, NOT HORSEPLAY—We are fortunate guests in the forest and UNC XC trails. In past years, we've seen fence and tree climbing, wrestling, playing catch with water bottles, etc. The trails are a place for fun, but no horseplay will be tolerated;

'LOTS' TO THINK ABOUT—Traffic will be heavy in parking area as practice begins and ends. Pacers should stay out of the parking lot unless getting out of or into a car or being escorted away from the meet-up on a run by coaches. That said, motorists should watch for children (and adults!) darting out into traffic. No runners should cross ANY roadway unless directly under the supervision of a coach.

KEEP IT CLEAN—We are fortunate guests one the trails. Please leave the area better and cleaner than we've found it.

Pacers History

It is a privilege to continue the traditions and legacy of Pacers in its 4th decade.