Runnin’ O the Green-STROLLER Style!

In 2015, Runnin’ O the Green was the first race I had ever done! Put on by the City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation, this event brings in quite a bunch of both runners and walkers alike. Distances of 5k or 8k are offered, with the cost of registration remaining the same for either distance. It pays off to register early online because it starts at $15, goes up to $25, then $30, and tops at $35 for day of race registration.  Costs include chip timing and a cool shirt, plus tons of St. Patrick’s Day themed fun! This year, we also got a green cowbell with the race logo on it.

Race start photo by Jon Brunk at https://brunkphoto.photoreflect.com/

In 2015, I ran the 5k with a time of 28:57 (9:19min/mi pace). In 2016, I ran the 8k distance, finishing in 37:03 (7:27min/mi pace). This year, I wanted to switch up the experience yet again by doing the 5k while pushing Eisley in the stroller! Her first adventure racing in the stroller was last June at the Race Beneath the Sun 5 mile trail race. Look back on the race recap here and get an idea of what it’s like racing while pushing a stroller!


Ready to race with her cowbell and Madeline
My alarm sounded off on race day and I was excited that it wasn’t raining! I checked the weather and it said the rain would arrive by 11:00am, which is perfect for a 10:00am start time. Little boo was still asleep, thank goodness. We haven’t coslept for a few weeks now, and she’s been sleeping later in the mornings as a result! I can’t even describe the joy of actually sleeping in our bed, versus the months of sharing a floorbed with a wildly active toddler (she moves around and even talks in her sleep!).

Sometimes your race photos don't turn out very well :)
We left around 9:00am to make sure we would find a decent parking spot. That was easy enough, then almost immediately little raindrops began splatting on the windshield. Good thing Eisley was prepared! A band was already playing Irish music in the Boundary Bay Beer Garden. People were dressed up in all sorts of funky costumes, too! At 5 minutes until the start, we moved along to the starting area. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack. I couldn’t hear the announcer, but once the crowd started hollering and the cowbells were ringing, we were off! Fast runners, slow walkers, and everyone between were all mixed up in the pack. There definitely wasn’t any order of paces. Weaving around and trying to pass people with a large jogging stroller is quite a challenge! I expected pushing the stroller up the initial hill would be the most difficult part of the race, but I was wrong. The State Street shoulder was only wide enough for two people to run next to each other comfortably. I had to be patient and wait for my chance to yell out, “excuse me!” so we could pass others. Some people already decided to walk instead of run or move over to the side.

The rain was seriously pouring down by this point and we were on the gravel trail winding along the bay. There were puddles and deep, muddy sections that were unavoidable between the runners and pedestrian traffic. The stroller wheel got stuck and nearly fell over sideways, but I was able to get her up and moving fairly quickly. There was only half a mile left to go, so we sped things up! Eisley kept looking back at me saying, “Momma, you running a race!”  We finished in 26:36, an 8:42min/mi pace. Another runner at the finish line gave me a high five and said that I did pretty awesome with a stroller, but that Eisley still beat me! (She’s always a hair faster than me crossing that finish! Haha.) We were both way too wet to wait out the 1.5 hours until the St. Patrick’s Day parade would begin, so we said our goodbyes and headed home. Eisley kept talking about the race and running throughout the day, which melts my heart! I’m sure she would recommend that you try running a race with your kiddo in the stroller too! It makes for a fun, healthy experience for the momma and babe alike!

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