Race Beneath the Sun: STROLLER RUN

A few months ago, I planned out my tentative race schedule for the year. One race per month seemed fairly realistic between my husband’s schedule and me relying on him to watch Eisley while I race. That being said, sometimes life throws you a curve-ball and you have to improvise. Adapt and overcome, right? Well, my husband booked a mini trip to celebrate his birthday the same weekend as Race Beneath the Sun.

Photo by Scott Allen
Instead of canceling the event, I contacted the Race Director out of curiosity to ask if jogging strollers were allowed. She replied that someone did it with a stroller the previous year, but the C. Moore loop would be pretty difficult! I view ‘difficult’ as being a challenge, and I sure do love a good challenge. The race is hosted by Greater Bellingham Running Club and the course is 5 miles that are mainly trail, including some hills and a challenging climb up C. Moore loop trail, which is luckily only ¼ mile. Morning of the race, I ate some oatmeal and overnight chia seed pudding. I probably spent majority of the morning cleaning chia seeds that were stuck to Eisley’s clothes, smeared in her hair, and dumped on the floor. The weather app said there was a 60% chance of rain, so I wore a hat to keep the potential rain out of my face. It wasn’t cool enough outside to wear a jacket or long-sleeved shirt, so I wore leggings to stay somewhat warm. I made sure to pack plenty of snacks, a fun book, and the stuffed monkey to keep Eisley occupied and happy. We loaded up and drove to Fairhaven Park.

Greater Bellingham Running Club

I felt somewhat uncomfortable picking up my bib and waiting for the race to start. A few people looked at me like I was crazy for doing the race with a stroller. I had never done this before and wasn’t quite sure of the “stroller race etiquette” so I simply started in the very back of the pack. We took off at 10:00am, heading out West of Fairhaven Park, making a loop near the bay, and heading East out on the trail towards Arroyo Park. I had zero pace expectations, I simply wanted to share this experience with Eisley and have a good time. We had some difficulty maneuvering between runners on the trail, received some funny looks as we passed slower runners, and helped some people get a laugh out of seeing a baby cruise along the course. It made me happy to see how Eisley brought smiles to people that may have been struggling or having a tough time. We heard comments such as, “Never underestimate the power of a momma and her baby!” and “Wow, are you kidding me?” I met a fellow mama that checked up on us and made sure things were going okay. Another nice woman stopped to pick up Eisley’s monkey since she threw it on the ground. 

We had to stop a total of 5 times to replenish her snacks or give her a new toy. She was definitely not as easy-going as she normally is during stroller runs. I was blown away as a father was running back past us while pushing a DOUBLE STROLLER, with two boys in it! After we made it through the C. Moore loop, it felt easy pushing toward the finish line back at Fairhaven Park! Our time was 47:45, not bad averaging 9:33/mile while pushing a baby! Official results can be found here. Eisley was obviously ready for an early nap, so we grabbed some watermelon and muffins, and then headed home. Two days later, I checked the results online and saw that I actually placed 2nd in my age group, 19-29. Ha! Never would have expected that.

Eisley's worn out from her big race :)
If you have the chance to sign up for a stroller-friendly race, I recommend doing so! It is quite a different experience and a special chance to share the love of running with your little one. Just make sure that you plan ahead and pack plenty of snacks/toys/books/treats to keep your kiddo entertained!


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