Monday, October 19, 2009

Racing with a Stroller

I have found that East Coast races pretty uniformly prohibit the use of jogging strollers. When we moved back here from Hawaii, we were so disappointed since we ran with our jogging stroller in half-marathons and 30K races out there. Just to make sure, I checked the Marine Corp Marathon and 10K race, and they don't allow strollers either:

The race organizers generally cite the liability as the reason why, but I'm not sure who they are worried about - the kids in the strollers or the other racers. While it is certainly easier to run a race without the stroller, sometimes the hassle of finding a sitter makes it look highly desirable.

If it softens the blow at all, though it was fun to run with the stroller in relatively LONG and SMALL races with the stroller, I also brought my stroller for a Race for the Cure 5K and it was a disaster! Shorter races with big fields - and the MCM 10K definitely falls in this category - never spread out enough so that you can comfortably run with the stroller anyway. Either you have to hang out in the back of the pack or CONSTANTLY call out "Passing on your left" and maneuver past other runners. It was not fun.

I got a little jealous when I read about the man who ran some awesome time with his jogging stroller in a marathon because,
1. He practiced with his stroller like two times before the race and I have to push this stroller nearly every time I jog.
2. He probably got special permission to run with the stroller in the race because of the good publicity, but whenever I've asked race organizers, I just get, "No."
3. If I hadn't had a baby every two and a half years, I'd be pretty darn fast too!

Good luck finding a sitter!


Anonymous said...

i have run some small local races (5k's) with my jogging stroller. I never thought to ask and see if I was allowed to do so. I did make a point to start at the back of the pack, so that I did not get into anyone's way. Then as the field got into their pace, I was able to run a regular race. I was not going to break any PR or anything, just enjoying the local running scene. Personally I have run marathons and not sure if I would want to push a stroller on anything more than 10K!

morgan said...

I think the worry is about the other runners -- tripping over the wheels, etc. You make good points. If you start in the back, it shouldn't be a problem in smaller races.

I have the same feelings about headphones -- most races say they are prohibited -- but for whose safety? I keep one earbud in, and the volume isn't blasting. I need my music.