Chagrin Falls, OH – Blossom Time Run: The Time I Thought it Would be Fun to “Race” with the Double Stroller
I’ve never pushed one or both kids in a race before, but when I heard a ton of friends were planning to race the Blossom Time 5.25 mile race and there was a kids race I couldn’t pass it up. I figured it would be fun to take the kids and give my husband some time to work in his garden. Of course, in theory this sounded like a great plan. I get my run in, the kids and I get to hang out with friends, the kids could try racing themselves and play and have a great time. It pretty much happened that way, except it was WAY more exhausting than I thought it would be.
I packed the kids up bright and early and we were off. I parked a bit away from the registration so I’d get in a bit of a warm-up. Of course, I had to trudge up a giant hill with the kids and wait in a hot stuffy gym, but it was doable. I found a dear friend to watch the kids while I went to the bathroom (one hard thing when you have two tots in tow!) and then made my way back down near the start. I found Pepper who watched the kids so I could pee again (hey, I’m pregnant!) Pepper left to do her strides and I found Jinger and we headed to the start to line up together.
I wasn’t sure where to line up. I figured I’d probably at least start around 8:00 pace. I really hate lining up too close to the front so we erred on the side of lining up further back. We picked a spot about a third of the way back in the crowd next to another double stroller. This turned out to be WAY too far back. Whoa!
The gun went off and we walked. And walked. And started to trot. And kept trotting and trotting at 10:40 pace with people trying to get out of the crowd only to run right in front of the stroller. I had to concentrate super hard so we didn’t run them over! Finally after several minutes the pace started to pick up and we were able to pass a couple of people, but just as soon as we were able to do that we started up the first gigantic hill and all the people we passed passed us back. We ran into our friend Beth who ran with us and Jinger and Beth tried pushing the giant stroller up the hill. Hills are HARD with that thing! After the hill and the first mile the crowds seemed to open up a bit and I took advantage of it, but then we made a turn down a narrower street and we were back to congestion. I found I could pass if I announced I was passing here so I did that a few times and it worked well. But then there was a wide gap with one woman kind of weaving in and out of it so I announced I was passing, but she had headphones and didn’t hear me. So I said it louder. No dice. LOUDER! “PASSING!” Still couldn’t hear me! Some guy behind me then decided to yell at me for running with the “dangerous” stroller. Ugh. I think he thought I was just yelling at people to get out of my way, which I wasn’t! Sometimes you can’t win!
Anyway, the lady weaved way over and I finally managed to pass her and move along my way. Finally after the second mile things really opened up. My first two miles were 9:38 and 8:47 respectively. But once I had more of an open road I ran 7:41; 7:40 and 7:38. I passed a ton of other single strollers. One I passed passed me back on the last hill and I couldn’t catch him after that. So no first stroller prize for us. Not that they have one, but this race has a ton of stroller racers so they should! Generally, I felt great unless I was running up one of the monster hills. But once we got close to town there were big crowds who really thought we were a hoot and gave us huge cheers. TIP: if looking for a boost run a race while pregnant and pushing a double stroller. People give you mad love! I finished in 43:07. Nothing special for 5.25 but it was so fun!
The kids did great through the big race. Pepper said my son was covering his eyes as we hit the finish. Ha! We finished and chatted with some friends and new acquaintances and made out way to the kids run. It ended up starting quite a bit later than I planned and by the time it started my son was hungry and freaked out by the whole thing and then my daughter, once she figured out what was going on could not get enough of it and kept running back to the street to race some more! This was adorable, but tiring dealing with his meltdowns about wanting popcorn and hers about wanting to keep running! Plus it was hot and crowded and trying to navigate crowds with a double stroller is exhausting in and of itself.
Luckily we ran back into our friends and went down to the festival area. I fed the kids some specious fair food while they played with Jinger and her boyfriend and then we decided to top it off with some ice cream with Pepper, CV, Pepper’s boyfriend and parents. Everything was ok and then the kids fell off a cliff and started running around the place like maniacs and I had to wrangle them back into the stroller and run out the door back to the car. Then we went home and all took a looooooong nap!
Have you ever raced with a stroller? Any tips for making it a pleasant experience?