They may be the top brass at work - so-called "C-level" executives - but at Sunday's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, four of them will be taking a back seat instead.
Dr Claus Schwab, 44, Abraham Sim, 58, Diana Lee, 48, and Umberto Alessandria, 32, will be helping the marathon runners in the background as pacers, rather than directing proceedings at the forefront - and the first-time pacers are looking forward to the role-reversal.
The quartet - and their ilk - get their designations at work because their jobs usually begin with C, such as chief executive officer (CEO) or chief operating officer (COO).
Said German Schwab, managing director of ship engine components company Maerkisches Werk Singapore: "For once, I don't have to make all the decisions. I'll just relax and follow instructions."
Diana Lee, general manager of fashion and beauty magazines at Singapore Press Holdings Magazines, concurred.
She said: "Instead of leading and organising, my job this time is simply to follow. That said, there will still be many aspects to take care of."
Sim, the COO of a local buillding company Industrial Contracts and Marketing, is relishing the idea of helping fellow runners.
The grandfather of two said: "In work, I believe in coaching and guiding people, so I will be carrying this philosophy over. I've paced some close friends and family members before, so I'm really looking forward to Sunday."
Alessandrio, on the other hand, wants to give back to the runners after a positive experience with the pacers in previous SCMS editions.
Said the Italian, who is a business manager at Standard Chartered Bank: "When I first started running the marathon in 2009, I found the pacers fantastic. They helped me complete the run."
Terence Teo, 31, who has been in charge of the pacers programme for three years, said: "This is the first time I've seen so many C-level executives join the programme. The 16-week training they went through was tough, but I'm sure it'll be worth it when the runners thank them."
There will be eight groups of pacers running in bright green tops on Sunday. Each group will run at timings ranging from 3h 45min to 5h 30min. Their running pace will be displayed prominently on their backs.
Runners may approach pacers, who will tie colour-coded balloons to their singlets, for information regarding aid stations.
CHUA SIANG YEE
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