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The life of professional race pacemaker Matt Scherer




Nick Symmonds, left, looks toward teammate Matt Scherer as the pair finish a first-round heat of the 800-meter at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Nick Symmonds, left, looks toward teammate Matt Scherer as the pair finish a first-round heat of the 800-meter at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Doug Wells/AP

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Picture a track meet. The runners are stretching, shaking out their legs moments before the gun goes off.

For most of them, the goal is to win the race and maybe set a record along the way. For Matt Scherer, if he winds up never getting to the finish line, then he's done exactly what he was hired to do.

Scherer is a professional pacemaker or "rabbit," and in his career he's helped many elite runners set records by, in effect, leading them and then getting out of their way.

Matt Scherer joins the show to talk about his life as a professional "rabbit."