About a week ago, Timothy Olson shattered Geoff Roes's record while winning the Western States 100 mile endurance run. But he didn't do it alone. In fact, he used the legal equivalent of a performance-enhancing drug. (No, not caffeine. Actually, he said after the race that he had specifically avoided caffeine, which makes running 100 miles in less than 15 hours that much more impressive.) It was Hal Koerner, a two-time winner of Western States, who paced Olson starting about 60 miles into the race. Having Hal Koerner as a pacer at Western States must be something like having Lance Armstrong ride alongside you in the Alps during the Tour de France (except Koerner seems just a bit friendlier than Armstrong).
Olson got the glory of winning the race, but I'm sure it made a difference to have Hal Koerner running alongside him. If you're a runner and interested in ultras but not quite ready to take on a 100-miler, you can play the role of Hal Koerner in just a couple of weeks at the Vermont 100, which is still looking for pacers. There's a form on the race website if you're interested. (And you don't have to be able to make it 40 miles.)
For a little more inspiration, here's a great article from a 2009 issue of Runner's World about a pacer (and her racer) at the Wasatch Front 100.